Skip to main content

Nagano Unseats Tokyo in 25th East Japan Women's Ekiden

by Brett Larner

The Nagano Prefecture team staged a coup at Sunday's 25th anniversary East Japan Women's Ekiden in Fukushima, clocking 2:18:36 for the 9-stage, 42.195 km course to beat two-time defending champion Tokyo by over a minute and take its first-ever win at the regional championships.

Nagano's Yuko Shimizu, a member of the Japanese national team for the International Chiba Ekiden later this month, got her team off to a strong start with a 2nd-place finish on the 6 km first leg, one second behind Aomori Prefecture's Miho Notagashira in 19:08. Tokyo's Chisa Fujimoto languished far behind, finishing 13th out of 17 in 19:56. While Tokyo spent the rest of the ekiden trying to claw its way back to the front, Nagano's second leg runner Yuka Hakoyama overtook Aomori's Nao Sasaki to build a lead which Nagano never relinquished.

The biggest excitement of the day came on the anchor stage where Tokyo's Azusa Nojiri, a former pro XC skier who began running professionally just over a year ago and is now a teammate of 2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki at Team Daiichi Seimei, ran a sizzling stage best 32:33 for the 10 km anchor leg to take Tokyo from 7th to 2nd. Nojiri outran her nearest competitor, 2009 Tokyo Marathon winner Mizuho Nasukawa of Iwate Prefecture, by over 30 seconds. Although she narrowed the gap to leaders Nagano by 55 seconds, Nojiri could not singlehandedly make up the remaining distance and finished 2nd in 2:19:53. Like Tokyo the Kanagawa Prefecture team worked its way up through the field and finished a close 3rd in 2:19:57.

Nagano's strong showing gives it a chance of joining the prefecture's winning men's team on the victory stand at January's National Interprefectural Ekiden Championships. To get there they will have to take down five-time defending champion Kyoto Prefecture along with western Japan powerhouses Okayama Prefecture and Hyogo Prefecture.

2009 East Japan Women's Ekiden - top team results
click here for complete team results
1. Nagano - 2:18:36
2. Tokyo - 2:19:53
3. Kanagawa - 2:19:57
4. Saitama - 2:20:29
5. Tochigi - 2:20:36
6. Ibaraki - 2:20:58
7. Fukushima - 2:21:07
8. Chiba - 2:21:08
9. Yamagata - 2:21:16
10. Gunma - 2:21:41

Stage Best Winners
1st Leg - 6.0 km - Miho Notagashira (Aomori) - 19:07
2nd Leg - 4.0 km - Hiroko Shoi (Miyagi) - 12:54
3rd Leg - 3.0 km - Naoko Koizumi (Niigata) - 9:53
4th Leg - 3.0 km - Yuka Kobayashi (Tochigi) - 9:32
5th Leg - 5.0875 km - Kiyomi Shibazaki (Saitama) - 16:48
6th Leg - 4.1075 km - Makiko Kuroda (Kanagawa) - 13:11
7th Leg - 4.0 km - Michiru Otsuki (Tokyo) - 13:00
8th Leg - 3.0 km - Ayaka Amaha (Saitama) - 9:21
9th Leg - 10.0 km - Azusa Nojiri (Tokyo) - 32:33

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

congratulation for Miho Notagashira.
Great blog of japan blogspot...
nice to meet you...

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…