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Miyazaki Takes First Day of 10-Day Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Thanks to an all-star lineup of top Kyushu-based jitsugyodan aces, Miyazaki prefecture took a commanding 5 1/2 minute lead on the first day of the 59th Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, an epic 10-day, 72-stage, 1056.6 km road relay deep in tradition. First-year Team Asahi Kasei member and Komazawa University graduate Takuya Fukatsu got Miyazaki off to a good start with a 16-second win on the First Stage. Miyazaki's only challenge came from 13:18/27:41 man Yu Mitsuya of Fukuoka prefecture, who clipped Miyazaki by one second to put Fukuoka into the lead on the Second Stage. 2009 World Championships 10000 m runner Yuki Iwai put Miyazaki back into the lead on the Third Stage and from there it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day until Miyazaki's Hiroyuki Horibata brought the team home in first.

Days Two and Three promise to be a challenging effort for the runners as Japan is expected to be in the grip of a typhoon throughout the weekend.

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden Day One
click here for complete results from Day One
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (15.1 km) - Takuya Fukatsu (Miyazaki Pref.) - 45:13
Second Stage (17.7 km) - Yu Mitsuya (Fukuoka Pref.) - 54:58
Third Stage (14.0 km) - Yuki Iwai (Miyazaki Pref.) - 41:35
Fourth Stage (12.8 km) - Fumihiro Maruyama (Miyazaki Pref.) - 39:28
Fifth Stage (11.0 km) - Tomoyuki Sato (Miyazaki Pref.) - 32:34
Sixth Stage (13.2 km) - Satoru Sasaki (Miyazaki Pref.) - 39:39
Seventh Stage (11.4 km) - Hiroyuki Hirobata (Miyazaki Pref.) - 34:24

Top Team Results - 95.2 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 4:48:14
2. Nagasaki Pref. - 4:53:45
3. Fukuoka Pref. - 4:53:49
4. Oita Pref. - 5:02:27
5. Kagoshima Pref. - 5:04:32

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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