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Yamada Denki Women's Team Nagano Training Camp in Pictures

all photos by Brett Larner

Two women from the Yamada Denki women's ekiden team, 2:28 marathoner Ayumi Nakayama and 1:10 half marathoner Maki Suzawa, will be running next month's Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Yamada Denki head coach Katsuaki Isobata invited JRN to attend Yamada Denki's altitude training camp in Sugadaira, Nagano the last weekend of August to watch some of Nakayama and Suzawa's training. Below are some photos of the weekend, primarily of a 30 km tempo run Nakayama did with accompaniment from several teammates. Click photos to enlarge.

The start point of Sugadaira's main road loop, a course of about 6.5 km in length at 1300 m elevation.
Nakayama, left, in singlet, on the first loop of her 30 km run paced by teammates Megumi Kanetomo and Aoi Miyaji. Coach Isobata follows in a car shouting out instructions and pace.

Nakayama is wearing pink Mimura brand shoes custom-made by master craftsman Hitoshi Mimura.
Miyaji takes a turn leading near the end of the first…

Hara Returns, Njui Wins Debut at Hokkaido Marathon

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/sports/248520.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click link above for video highlights

The 2010 Hokkaido Marathon took place Aug. 29 in Sapporo, Hokkaido under exceptionally hot and humid conditions with 27 degree temperatures and 70% humidity at the start. Two-time World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara (Team Universal Entertainment) won the women's race in 2:34:12 in her debut wearing the Universal uniform after a year of inactivity following her sudden departure from former sponsor Team Kyocera. Kenyan Cyrus Njui (Team Hitachi Cable), winner of last month's Sapporo Half Marathon, won the men's race in 2:11:22, his debut over the marathon distance and the second-fastest time ever recorded in Hokkaido.

Njui broke away from leader Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) at 38 km to seal the win in an outstanding time for the Hokkaido course. General division entrant Harun Njoroge (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) likewise overtook the fading Mogu…

Mizuki Noguchi Announces Plans for Fall Half Marathon

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2010/08/27/11.html

translated by Brett Larner

Back to full training for the first time since a left thigh injury knocked her out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, women's marathon national record holder and Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32, Team Sysmex) announced on Aug. 26 that she plans to make a return this year with a half marathon.

In July Noguchi went to Sugadaira, Nagano for her first full-effort gasshuku training camp since the injury. She is currently training in Hokkaido together with her teammates, where she has extended her long runs up to the 30 km level. Team Sysmex coach Hisakazu Hirose commented, "She's back to running like her old self. This fall or winter Mizuki will do a half marathon."

Noguchi has not run a race since her victory at the Sendai International Half Marathon on May 11, 2008.* She has been talking discreetly with several domestic and overseas races to find the option best-suited fo…

Watch the Hokkaido Marathon Live Online - Preview

by Brett Larner

Each year the Hokkaido Marathon in Japan's northernmost major city of Sapporo is the first elite race on the worldwide fall marathon season calendar. Although it rarely has overseas elites, Hokkaido showcases much of Japan's up-and-coming talent and some of the better Japan-based Africans. This year's race takes place this Sunday, Aug. 29. The race will be broadcast live on Fuji TV starting at noon, a broadcast which overseas viewers can watch for free by clicking here. Additionally, this year for the first time Hokkaido will sponsor a 5-hour official webcast via Ustream. Check the Hokkaido Marathon website closer to race date for more information.

The men's race features the return of defending champion Daniel Njenga (Kenya/Team Yakult). The veteran Njenga may have slipped from the ranks of the world's top-tier marathoners but his world record-pace surge in the middle of last year's race showed that he still has the ability to compete and win. Hi…

World Championships Medalist Chiba Gives Talk at Ichinoseki Elementary

http://mytown.asahi.com/iwate/news.php?k_id=03000001008260003

translated by Brett Larner

One of the greats of Japanese distance running, 1996 Atlanta Olympian Masako Chiba (34), gave a talk before 74 5th graders at Hagiso Elementary School in Ichinoseki, Iwate on Aug. 25. Chiba appeared at the school as part of the "Classroom of Dreams Project" sponsored by the Japan Soccer Federation. As part of the opening session with students in the school's gymnasium, Chiba talked about the techniques behind running faster, the right way to train, speedwork, making use of her experience to set an example for the children. She showed students how changing your arm carriage affects your stride, a demonstration that had many students calling out, "Wow!"

Changing venues to a classroom, Chiba talked about her 15 year-long career as one of the world's top distance runners. She told students about finishing 5th in the Atlanta Olympics 10000 m and showed them her two World Ch…

Toyo Univ. Training for 3rd Hakone Win in Yamakoshi, Niigata

http://mytown.asahi.com/niigata/news.php?k_id=16000001008250005
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/kyoiku/news/20100824-OYT8T00394.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University's ekiden squad arrived in Yamakoshi, Niigata on Aug. 24 for a 5-day late-summer gasshuku intensive training camp. The 60 Toyo athletes attending the camp include the team's 12-member A-squad featuring captain Hikaru Tominaga and astounding Hakone Fifth Stage uphill specialist Ryuji Kashiwabara. On the first day of the camp 13 members of the team ran a rigorous speed workout. According to assistant coach Hisashi Sato, Toyo runners will average 30-40 km a day at the camp on the rugged and hilly roads around Yamakoshi. Tominaga commented, "The gasshuku in Yamakoshi is critical to our preparations and we can't afford to slack off here. The training is tough but knowing that it's all for Hakone keeps us motivated to give it everything we have."

Six ye…

Team S&B at Slovakia EA Classic - Results

2010 EA Classic Atleticky Most, Slovakia - Top Results
click event header for complete results
Men's 5000 m
1. Micah Kogo (Kenya) - 13:26.03
2. Paul Lonyangat (Kenya) - 13:30.58
3. Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) - 13:32.56
-----
7. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 14:07.00
8. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 14:14.32
9. Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) - 14:19.04

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Silver for Kyuma, Homma and Nashimoto; Nishiike Just Outside Medals at Youth Olympics

by Brett Larner

Double-click video to open in new window and bypass IOC block.

Despite holding PB and SB times head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the Youth Olympics girls' 3000 m final, Moe Kyuma only managed a silver medal performance with a clocking of 9:23.70, 10 seconds behind Kenyan winner Gladys Chesir who recorded a PB of 9:13.58. Kyuma and Chesir battled from the outset, but after a 3:01.62 first km Kyuma backed off while Chesir, pursued by Eritrean Samrawit Mengisteab, continued to push on. Mengisteab lost touch within 200 m, and by 1600 m Kyuma had overtaken her for 2nd.

At 2000 m Chesir clocked 6:04.09 to Kyuma's 6:14.68. The gap widened slightly over the next 400 m, but over the final 600 m Kyuma steadily reeled Chesir back in. Only over the last 100 m did Chesir again pull away, her winning time nearly 5 seconds off Kyuma's best. With only a decent performance Kyuma easily held 2nd. Mengisteab was overtaken by Greek runner Aikaterini Berdousi

Watch the 2010 Youth Olympics 3000 m Finals Live Online

by Brett Larner

The girls' and boys' 3000 m finals will be broadcast live on the 2010 Youth Olympic Games' outstanding website on Aug. 22. Throughout the Singapore Games the website has offered a glimpse of how coverage of an international championship event should be: eight online channels offering a range of different sports, many of which never make mainstream television coverage otherwise, as well as a selection of events available on demand and a ninth channel with news and highlights. All for free. No doubt this indicates a lack of interest in purchasing broadcast rights on the part of major broadcasters, but the quality of the Youth Olympics coverage simply illustrates how much the major broadcasters shortchange their viewers during the regular Olympics and other championship events by offering nothing comparable, even on a pay-per-view basis.

The girls' 3000 m final begins at 8:05 p.m. Singapore time, 9:05 p.m. Japan time on Channel 1. Japanese ace Moe Kyuma, hol…

Kyushu T&F Championships Day Two - Results

2010 Kyushu T&F Championships - Top Results
click event header for complete results
Women's 5000 m
1. Kazuka Wakatsuki (Team Toto) - 16:25.45
2. Yoko Nishimi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 16:41.07
3. Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) - 17:02.54

Men's 5000 m
1. Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei) - 14:23.67
2. Taku Miyahara (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 14:26.85
3. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 14:29.25

Junior Women's 3000 m - Heat 3
1. Tomoka Kimura (1st yr., Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 9:26.99
2. Maika Nishi (3rd yr., Kumamoto Shinai Joshi H.S.) - 9:47.66
3. Kaho Sasaki (2nd yr., Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 9:49.11

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Kyushu Track & Field Championships - Results

2010 Kyushu Track & Field Championships - Top Results
click event headers for complete results
Men's 10000 m
1. Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) - 30:35.02
2. Yoshikazu Kawazoe (Team Asahi Kasei) - 30:36.41
3. Yuji Iwata (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 31:16.19

Women's 10000 m
1. Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 36:14.43
2. Naoko Inoue (Team Nantick) - 37:26.32
3. Yuki Taniyama (Team Nantick) - 38:12.45

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Kyuma and Nishiike Advance to 3000 m Finals at Youth Olympics (updated)

Double-click video to open in new window and bypass IOC block.

by Brett Larner

On the first day of track and field competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Aug. 17, Japan's Moe Kyuma and Kazuto Nishiike easily advanced to the A-final in the girls' and boys' 3000 m races. In the opposite approach to most championships, all entrants in the Youth Olympics Games 3000 m competed in the qualifying round at the same time, with the results dividing the field into several different final rounds. Only those in the A-final are elligible to receive a medal.

Kyuma, holder of both the fastest personal and season bests in the girls' field, ran comfortably in the qualifying round to finish 2nd in 9:35.33. Qualifying round winner Gladys Chesir of Kenya ran a PB of 9:25.44 but was still over 15 seconds off Kyuma's best and nearly 10 seconds off her season best. In the boys' race, Nishiike was ranked only 4th coming into the qualifying round and, despite running a…

Ueno Clocks 1500 m PB in Leuven

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/100815/spg1008152024002-n1.htm
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010081500118

translated and edited by Brett Larner

At an international athletics meet in Leuven, Belgium on Aug. 14, 2009 men's 1500 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) recorded a PB of 3:39.52 while finishing 5th. His teammate Bitan Karoki (Team S&B) was 4th in the 3000 m in 7:51.91 with fellow teammate Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) 11th in 8:00.21. Waseda University junior Yo Yazawa was 7th in 7:57.62. Ueno's time was a PB by 1.31 seconds and puts him 2.10 seconds off the Japanese national record.

The same day at a meet in Fribourg, Switzerland, women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Team Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) won the 100 m in 11.32 with her longtime rival Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) 3rd in 11.64. Takahashi was also 2nd in the 200 m in 23.87. The pair, part of a first-ever Rikuren-sponsored European trip for Japan's top spr…

Training Where It's Cool - Kanto University Ekiden Training Camps in Full Swing

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/chiiki4/246285.html

translated by Brett Larner

Across Hokkaido the summer gasshuku training camp season is underway for the top university teams in the ultra-competitive Kanto region. With two new Kenyan recruits in its lineup, Takushoku University arrived in Mombetsu, Hokkaido on Aug. 13. Takushoku is just one of nine schools training in the area as they seek to run the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. Including athletes and coaches, the 27 members of the Takushoku squad landed at Mombetsu Airport on Aug. 13 and immediately ran their first practice session. Scheduled to be in Mombetsu through the 23rd, the team's training plan calls for runners to average 40 km a day throughout the gasshuku to build a base for October's Hakone Ekiden qualifier Yosenkai 20 km Road Race.

In Mombetsu for the sixth time, assistant coach Keigo Tabata (26) explained why the Mombetsu region is good for training, saying, "The weather is cool here and there isn't much tr…

Fukushima, Fukushi Lead Team of 17 to IAAF Continental Cup

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/100810/spg1008101851000-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Rikuren announced on Aug. 10 that it is sending a team of 17 to compete in a new IAAF regional competition called the Continental Cup to be held Sept. 4-5 in Croatia. Athletes to be sent include national record holders Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC), Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC), Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) and Beijing Olympics 4x100 m relay bronze medalists Naoki Tsukahara and Shinji Takahira (both Team Fujitsu). The Continental Cup replaces the IAAF World Cup last held in 2006.

For a complete listing of the Japanese team click here.

'Reigning NYC Half-Marathon Champion Mara Yamauchi Ready to Run New York City Again'

Note: This is a press release from the NYRR. Mara Yamauchi has long been based in Tokyo, where she trains along the Tama River.

New York, August 10, 2010 — Seven months after her come-from-behind triumph at the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon, Mara Yamauchi will seek a New York winning double by adding the ING New York City Marathon 2010 crown on Sunday November 7, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. No athlete has won both the NYC Half-Marathon and ING New York City Marathon in the same year.

“I am looking forward very much to my debut run in the ING New York City Marathon. After winning the NYC Half-Marathon in March, I can’t wait to return to New York and race against the best marathon runners in the world,” said Yamauchi, who caught Deena Kastor of the United States in the closing miles to win the NYC Half on March 21 in a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds. “New York is an iconic race and one of the best in the world. I will give it everythi…

7th Grade Girl Dies After Collapsing at Track Practice

http://www.sanyo.oni.co.jp/news_s/news/d/2010080921360315/

translated by Brett Larner

City officials have announced that a 7th grade girl, aged 13, who collapsed and lost consciousness Aug. 5 while at track team practice at Kowa Civic J.H.S. in Okayama passed away on Aug. 9. The cause of death remains unknown.

According to officials, the girl was a sprinter. At 11:10 a.m. on Aug. 5 immediately after the end of baton pass practice the girl collapsed onto the track and went into spasms. She was rushed to a hospital, but despite treatment did not regain consciousness and died at 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 9. The Aug. 5 practice began at 8:40 a.m and took place under sunny skies. The temperature in the area at 11:00 a.m. is officially recorded as having been 31.4 degrees. The girl was not known to have had any chronic illnesses and, up to the point that she collapsed, had seemed no different from usual throughout the practice.

An official from the city educational committee's sports department com…

Fukushima 3rd in Luzern

http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/article/g=96958A9C81818A9990E2E2E3E08DE2EBE2EAE0E2E3E2E2E2E2E2E2E2;at=ALL
translated by Brett Larner

Women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkkaido Hi-Tec AC) finished 3rd in the final at an international track and field meet in Luzern, Switzerland on Aug. 8. With a tailwind of 1.4 m/s, Fukushima clocked 11.30 in the high-level race, beating 2009 World Championships silver medalist Kerron Stewart (Jamaica) by 0.02 seconds. Marshevet Myers (U.S.A.) won in 10.99, with Beijing Olympics silver medalist Sherone Simpson (Jamaica) 2nd in 11.08. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) finished 3rd in the B-race in 11.73.

Daniel Njenga Returns to Hokkaido Marathon (updated)

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20100806-OHT1T00315.htm
http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/sports/245211.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Aug. 6 the organizing committee of the 2010 Hokkaido Marathon, scheduled for Aug. 29 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, released the names of this year's invited athletes. Defending men's champion Daniel Njenga (Team Yakult) returns to face 2008 winner Masaru Takamizawa (Saku Chosei H.S. AC). The pair will be challenged by this year's Sapporo International Half Marathon winner Silas Njui (Team Hitachi Cable) in his marathon debut, and former Hakone Ekiden star Mekubo Mogusu (Team Aidem) who dropped out of his marathon debut at last December's Fukuoka International Marathon.

The women's race features 2008 winner Yukari Sahaku (Team Universal Ent.) along with teammates Mizuho Nasukawa, the 2009 Tokyo Marathon winner, and Yumiko Hara, the 2007 Osaka International Women's Marathon winner. The Hokkaido Marathon is the first …

A Report From Asahi Kasei's Summer Training Camp

http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/jp/csr/sports/rikujo/result/2010/100723.html

translated by Brett Larner

We're deep in the heart of summer gashuku season, when Japan's high school, university and corporate teams relocate to the northern island of Hokkaido, the mountains of Nagano or elsewhere to beat the heat and focus on building a base for the upcoming fall ekiden season and the subsequent winter marathon season. Team Asahi Kasei, the best corporate team on the southern island of Kyushu, recently posted the following report about its gashuku in the mountains of Oita prefecture on its website. Click photos for full-sized versions or the link above for more pictures.

Asahi Kasei's annual mountain gashuku got underway July 15 in the Chojabaru region near Kokonoemachi, Oita prefecture. Morning temperatures are around 17-18 degrees. While midday temperatures can get up to 30 degrees in the evening they fall to 23-25 degrees, leaving ample chance for the entire team to get its …

Marathons Maxing Out - Tokyo Expects Applications 10x Field Limit

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20100802-OYT1T00642.htm?from=main3

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The mass marathon boom is overheating. Races everywhere are selling out within a matter of hours. Tokyo's "Runner's Paradise," the Imperial Palace loop, is packed solid with runners even at the peak of summer heat. On Aug. 1 the spark that set off the wildfire, the Tokyo Marathon, opened applications for next year's edition scheduled for Feb. 27. Applications exceeded the field size of 32,000 in less than 48 hours. Organizers expect to measure the total number of applicants in the hundreds of thousands.

The trend has spread to other races. The Nov. 28 Tsukuba Marathon, with a field limit of 12,000, sold out in 13 hours. Last year's race took 3 days to reach the limit. The 8,000-limit Nagano Marathon this past April 18 sold out in 5 and 1/2 hours. The Teganuma Eco Half-Marathon on Oct. 31 filled all 7,000 spots in 8 hours 20 minutes after taking 2 days la…

Wainaina Blocks Asian Jr. Champ Akamatsu's Double at HS Nationals

by Brett Larner

2010 Asian Junior Women's 3000 m Champion Mahiro Akamatsu of Kojokan H.S. came up agonizingly short of completing the 1500 m and 3000 m double on Aug. 2 at the 2010 National High School Track and Field Championships in Amami. With the 1500 m title under her belt Akamatsu coasted through yesterday's 3000 m qualifying heats, but on the final day of the 2010 Nationals she fell to the last sprint of Toyokawa H.S. Kenyan Beatrice Murugi Wainaina in the final. Wainaina, who had the fastest qualifying time in the three heats, 9:20.78, just clipped Akamatsu at the line as she won in 9:11.51. Akamatsu was 2nd in 9:11.60, 0.54 off her PB but a credible time given the sub-tropical weather. 3rd-placer Mary Wydira of Sendai Ikuei H.S. was the only other runner under 9:15, finishing in 9:12.33. The top 11 finishers all broke 9:30 including the identical twin Kyuma sisters Haruka, who ran last month's World Junior Championships 3000 m, and Moe, who will run this month'…

Githinji Completes Double at High School Nationals

by Brett Larner

Two days after winning the 2010 National High School Track and Field Championships 1500 m by a hair, Aomori Yamada H.S. senior Michael Githinji had another narrow win in the men's 5000 m to complete the distance double at this year's Championships. As in the 1500 m, Githinji outkicked the top Japanese man, in this case Suma Gakuen H.S. senior Kazuto Nishiike, in the home stretch to win in 13:59.86. Nishiike, just back from the World Junior Championships, barely held off Shogo Nakamura of Ueno Kogyo H.S. for 2nd in 14:00.54, Nakamura taking 3rd in 14:00.98. Nishiike will next compete in the 3000 m at the Youth Olympics in Singapore later this month.

The 2010 Nationals finish up Aug. 2nd with the finals of the women's 3000 m. For complete results click here.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Seko Jr. at High School Nationals: "I Want to Run Hakone"

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20100731-OHT1T00286.htm
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2010/08/01/10.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Tenri Seko at Nationals, July 31. Click photo for full-sized image.

The third son of marathon and ekiden legend Toshihiko Seko (54), Tokai Prep Urayasu H.S. senior Tenri Seko (18) ran the 800 m at the 2010 National High School Track and Field Championships July 31st on Amami island. The younger Seko ran 1:57.10, finishing 3rd in his heat. After the race he revealed that next year he will attend Tokai University where his goal is to make the school's Hakone Ekiden squad.

Tenri ran the 5th heat at Nationals, leading until the final 100 m when he was outkicked. Finishing only 3rd, he did not advance to the semifinal. "My goal was to make the final," he said with obvious disappointment. "I'm still not strong enough yet, and I didn't have my mental game together today either. But I know I'm capable of doi…