Skip to main content

Tomoya Onishi Defends Takashimadaira 20 km Title

by Brett Larner


Less than a week after a brilliant run in the Izumo Ekiden, Toyo University senior Tomoya Onishi barely missed becoming the second university student to break the hour mark on the Takashimadaira Road Race's 20 km course, winning his second straight Takashimadaira title in 1:00:05.

Takashimadaira serves as an early-season tuneup for Tokyo-area universities, with three or four schools sending a mix of ace runners wanting a controlled time trial effort on the roads and B-squad members who did not run in either the previous week's Izumo Ekiden or the previous day's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai [Qualifying] 20 km but still have a chance of making the final team for Hakone.

Toyo fielded a full squad including half its team from the Oct. 13 Izumo Ekiden, but gave star first-year Ryuji Kashiwabara and Izumo team members Hiroyuki Uno and Masaya Mori a rest. Izumo Ekiden runner-up Komazawa University sent a smaller group, none of whom had run Izumo. Kanagawa University and Shuto University Tokyo likewise sent their secondary teams, each school's top twelve athletes having run the previous day's Yosenkai race.

Onishi, who won last year's race in 1:00:52, controlled the field right from the gun, running each iteration of the four-lap criterion course progressively faster. In sunny and warm conditions which became steadily windier, Onishi led a large pack through a relatively slow first 5 km lap of 15:15. A 15:00 second lap dropped the pack down to eight made up of five Toyo runners, two from Komazawa, and the race's lone professional, Tsuyoshi Igarashi of Team JR Higashi Nihon. As the winds picked up Onishi pressed on in search of a sub-hour mark. By the end of the 14:58 third lap the pack was down to just Onishi, teammate Shogo Otsu, and Igarashi. Despite a strong headwind at the finish, Onishi managed a 14:50 final 5 km to finish just over an hour. Otsu and Igarashi were a short distance behind, with the student runner beating out the professional in a sprint finish.

Toyo and Komazawa will next face each other in November's All-Japan University Ekiden championships.

Takashimadaira Road Race 20 km - Top Finishers
1. Tomoya Onishi (Toyo Univ.) - 1:00:05
2. Shogo Otsu (Toyo Univ.) - 1:00:15
3. Tsuyoshi Igarashi (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:00:16
4. Shuichi Fujiyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:03
5. Ryo Takami (Toyo Univ.) - 1:01:09
6. Hikaru Tominaga (Toyo Univ.) - 1:01:38
7. Tatsuya Yokoyama (Toyo Univ.) - 1:01:46
8. Kotaro Fujioka (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:46
9. Atsuyoshi Tobisaka (Toyo Univ.) - 1:01:53
10. Taishu Iwai (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:10

Takashimadaira Road Race - Course Records
Men's 20 km: Hideaki Date (Tokai Univ.) - 58:51 (2006)
Women's 20 km: Asami Obi (Team Starts) - 1:07:15 (2004)
Men's 10 km: Karamore Tsunaki (Team Honda) - 29:06 (1995)
Women's 10 km: Julia Mombi (Team Phiten) - 32:42 (2004)
Men's 5 km: Nobuaki Nagai (Dream AC) - 14:49 (2005)
Women's 5 km: Ai Mitamura (Team Phiten) - 16:24 (2004)

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…