Thursday, September 30, 2010

Osaka Women's Marathon Announces Faster New Course

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/flash/KFullFlash20100927097.html
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/100927/oth1009272040025-n1.htm
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/100927/oth1009272039024-n1.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The organizers of the Osaka International Women's Marathon have announced that in its 30th edition, scheduled for Jan. 30, 2011, the race will for the first time in 20 years feature a new course designed to facilitate faster times. Gone is the race's most distinctive feature, the hilly, twisting middle section through Osaka Castle. In its place the marathon will now cover a longer distance on Osaka's flat major roads, allowing for more crowd support throughout the race.

1984 Los Angeles Olympic marathoner Akemi Masuda commented, "With the elimination of the hilliest sections the Osaka course is now one where we can expect to see extremely fast times." Considering that the old course was already the site of the fastest women's marathon ever run on Japanese soil, 2:21:18, the new course looks set to become one of the fastest in the world.

The Osaka Half Marathon, run concurrently with the Women's Marathon, will also feature a new course starting at Osaka Castle and finishing at the same location as the marathon, Nagai Stadium. Both races will start simultaneously at 12:10 p.m., allowing half marathoners to cheer the top marathoners on as they run and again at the finish line.

Translator's note: Click here to see a Google Maps rendition of the new course. Like the Biwako and Beppu-Oita marathons, this move is surely one to ensure the race stays relevant as Japan slowly shifts to a mass marathon model. The situation is especially dire in Osaka's case as the mass-participation Osaka Marathon is set to begin next fall.

Monday, September 27, 2010

210th Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Results

210th Nittai University Time Trials 5000 m Heats
click here for complete results
Men - Heat 39
1. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 13:18.22
2. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 13:22.38
3. Caleb Ndiku (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:26.03
4. Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 13:27.14
5. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 13:31.12
6. Masato Kikuchi (Meiji Univ.) - 13:49.36
7. Samuel Kariuki (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 13:49.57
8. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:50.53
9. Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:50.93
10. Takuya Noguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 13:51.42

Women - Heat 29
1. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 15:48.16
2. Miki Sakakibara (Hamakita Nishi H.S.) - 15:54.36
3. Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi) - 16:01.18
4. Michi Tanaka (Team Sekisui Giken) - 16:02.82
5. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Giken) - 16:04.71
6. Yuri Tokushige (Team Starts) - 16:06.12
7. Miki Ohira (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 16:07.01
8. Kaori Akagawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 16:07.71
9. Asami Furuse (Team Kyocera) - 16:08.61
10. Tomomi Higuchi (Team Daihatsu) - 16:09.64

Hakodate and Ichinoseki International Half Marathon - Top Results

2010 Hakodate Half Marathon
click here for complete results
Women
1. Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 1:12:48
2. Eri Hayakawa (Amino Vital AC) - 1:16:24
3. Erina Muta (Team Noritz) - 1:16:49

Men
1. Yuko Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:04:06
2. Takehiro Arakawa (Asahi Kasei) - 1:04:11
3. Daisuke Matsufuji (Kanebo) - 1:04:13

2010 Ichinoseki International Half Marathon
click here for complete results
Women
1. Kana Nomura (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 1:19:31

Men
1. Akinori Iida (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:37
2. Masaru Yamaki (Josai Univ.) - 1:04:42
3. Hideaki Tamura (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 1:04:44

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Toronto Waterfront Marathon Results (updated with photos)

all photos (c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


The start.

Minoru Okuda (Team Honda)














Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki)

Maki Suzawa (Team Yamada Denki)













The team award ceremony.

2010 Toronto Waterfront Marathon
click here for complete results
Men
1. Kenneth Mungara (KEN) - 2:07:58 - PB, CR
2. Jafred Chirchir (KEN) - 2:08:10 (CR)
3. Daniel Rono (KEN) - 2:08:15 (CR)
4. Nixon Machichim (KEN) - 2:08:22 (CR)
-----
16. Minoru Okuda (Team Honda) - 2:18:53 - debut

Women
1. Sharon Cherop (KEN) - 2:22:43 - PB, CR
2. Tirfi Tsegaye (ETH) - 2:22:44 - PB (CR)
3. Merima Mohammed (ETH) - 2:23:06 - PB (CR)
4. Koren Yal (ETH) - 2:24:33 - PB (CR)
-----
9. Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:38:26
13. Maki Suzawa (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:42:08 - debut

Maki Suzawa and Ayumi Nakayama where all Japanese people must go before they die.

Berlin Marathon - Results (updated with photos)

all photos (c) 2010 Thomas Jung
all rights reserved
photos courtesy of Dr. Helmut Winter


Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya)

Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda)

Fujiwara in no-man's land.

Akinori Shibutani (Team Kurosaki Harima)









2010 Berlin Marathon
click here for complete results
Men
1. Patrick Makau (KEN) - 2:05:08
2. Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) - 2:05:10
3. Bazu Worku (ETH) - 2:05:25 - PB
-----
9. Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) - 2:12:00
22. Akinori Shibutani (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 2:22:09

Women
1. Aberu Kebede (ETH) - 2:23:58
2. Bezunesh Bekele (ETH) - 2:24:58
3. Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:26:10

National Corporate Championships 5000 m and 3000 m Final Results

2010 National Jitsugyodan T&F Championships - Top Results
click here for complete results
Men's 5000 m - Final
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) - 13:45.69
2. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 13:48.26
3. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 13:49.06
4. Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:51.13
5. Hideyuki Anzai (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:52.14
6. Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo) 13:52.48
7. Kenta Murotsuka (SDF Academy) - 13:53.13
8. Takaya Iwasaki (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:53.68
9. Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:56.84
10. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Team Konica Minolta) - 13:57.61

Women's 5000 m - Final
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:25.40
2. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 15:27.89
3. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 15:29.56
4. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Giken) - 15:29.58
5. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 15:31.47
6. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 15:45.80
7. Christine Muyanga (Kenya/Team Panasonic) - 15:46.61
8. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 15:47.23
9. Aya Isomine (Team Shiseido) - 15:54.55
10. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 15:58.07

Junior Women's 3000 m - Final
1. Grace Kimanji (Kenya/Team Starts) - 9:07.99
2. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 9:08.31
3. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 9:11.11
4. Eri Mizutake (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 9:11.60
5. Ayaka Mori (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 9:12.31
6. Natsuki Morita (Team Sekisui Giken) - 9:15.87
7. Maiko Kushima (Niigata Albirex RC) - 9:17.53
8. Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:20.98
9. Shiori Kakizaki (Team Wacoal) - 9:21.71
10. Miharu Shimokado (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 9:22.85

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fujiwara Aiming for 2:06 in Berlin as Fall Marathon Season Gets Underway

by Brett Larner

This weekend marks the real beginning of the fall marathon season. With no major domestic women's marathon on the fall calendar and a relatively wide window in which to qualify for next summer's World Championships, a larger than usual number of Japanese marathoners are lining up overseas.

First and foremost, 2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) will be running tomorrow's Berlin Marathon as he aims to fulfill his post-Tokyo promise of delivering Japan its fourth 2:06. Fujiwara holds the Japanese collegiate and debut marathon records thanks to his 2:08:12 run at the 2003 Biwako Mainichi Marathon. For the next six years he suffered a continuous series of overtraining-induced injuries, but his Tokyo win signals that he is back to full capactiy. Fujiwara's coaches Kiyoshi Akimoto and Yosuke Osawa told JRN that he plans to go through halfway in 1:03:15 and then if all goes well to take a shot at the Japanese national record of 2:06:16. Also in Berlin are 2009 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon winner Akinori Shibutani (Team Kurosaki Harima) and, in the women's race, 2006 Vienna Marathon winner Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya). Morimoto, holder of the third-fastest PB in the field, is an exception to the rule on Tenmaya, a team notorious for its runners having an exceptional debut and then never approaching the same level. Morimoto has been free of both elements, relatively stable in the 2:24-2:26 range. She has not had the greatest year so far but a modest improvement in Berlin could be enough to put her up front.

Minoru Okuda, Ayumi Nakayama and Maki Suzawa in Toronto.

The same day as Berlin, three Japanese athletes will compete in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Fujiwara's junior teammate both at Chuo University and at Honda, Minoru Okuda, will run his marathon debut in Toronto. A solid half-marathoner in the mid-62 range and former Hakone Ekiden stage winner, Okuda is aiming for a 2:12. The Yamada Denki women's team has sent its two best runners to join Okuda, 2:28 woman Ayumi Nakayama and, in her marathon debut, 2009 Miyazaki Women's Half Marathon winner Maki Suzawa. Nakayama, in her fifth marathon, will be shooting for a PB while Suzawa, whose half marathon PB is two minutes faster than Nakayama's, hopes for a solid sub-2:30 debut. Meeting these goals gives either athete a shot for top five.

A few weeks later Morimoto's teammate Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) will be taking on the Chicago Marathon. Sakamoto is perhaps the most extreme example of the Tenmaya curse. With a 2:21:51 debut at the 2003 Osaka International Women's Marathon and her 4th-place finish later the same year at the Paris World Championships she was hailed as one of the top hopes for the next generation. Since then, with each passing year her times have slowed to the point of a 2:40:43 being her best mark in 2009. It's hard to see her lining up in a high-level race like Chicago if she is not ready for a major return to form, but history is against her.

Also in October, expect to see a number of Japanese elites at the Amsterdam Marathon. Rikuren officials have told JRN that this year officials will shift their federation program to send marathoners to compete abroad from the Beijing Marathon to Amsterdam in hopes of producing higher-quality times on a faster course with better conditions.

Following Amsterdam, the next Japanese athlete to the take the stage is Ottawa Marathon course record holder and two-time Tokyo Marathon runner-up Arata Fujiwara in November's New York City Marathon. A rare independent runner in Japan's corporate team-centered distance running world, Fujiwara hopes to become one of the few men to have broken 2:09 on the difficult New York course. His 2:09:34 course record on the equally challenging Ottawa course in May, Fujiwara's first time attempting a hilly marathon and the fastest of the year by a Japanese man thus far, has given him the confidence to go for something big in New York. A 2:08 seems realistic, but whether it will be enough for the win over a field which includes world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) and 2009 World Championships gold medalist Abel Kirui (Kenya) remains to be seen. Strong showings by both Fujiwaras in Berlin and New York will no doubt cause confusion abroad.

Later in November four Japanese marathoners will represent the nation at the Asian Games in Guanzhou, China. Teammates Yuri Kano and Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) should be favorites in the women's marathon, where Shimahara is the defending silver medalist. Kano's lackluster performance in last week's Philadelphia Half Marathon and Shimahara's withdrawal from the same race due to fatigue raise questions about their fitness at this stage, but both have demonstrated the ability to return to form in short order. Second Wind runners typically dominate the Honolulu Marathon in December, so it would not be a tremendous surprise to see one of the pair resurface in Hawaii a few weeks after the Asian Games. In the men's race, the second- and third-fastest men of the year, Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN), should be in the hunt for medals. Sato is a remarkably consistent 2:09-2:10 man while Kitaoka had a good 2:10:51 debut at March's Biwako Mainichi Marathon.

The Japanese season wraps up with the Fukuoka International Marathon and Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in December. Look for details on the elite fields for these two races to surface in mid-November.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner

Ibrahim Jeilan 27:12.43 at Nittai Time Trials 10000 m

by Brett Larner

In his first serious race since joining Saitama-based Team Honda in April, 2008 World XC Junior Champion Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia) ran a virtually solo 27:12.43 for 10000 m at the 210th Nittai University Time Trials in Yokohama. Accompanied partway by countryman Dejene Asefa (Ethiopia/Team Kurosaki Harima), Jeilan ran the second half of the race solo to clock the 6th-fastest time of the year worldwide. Although not a PB, it was Jeilan's fastest time since running just off the world junior record in 2006 when he recorded his 27:02.81 best. It was also 10 seconds faster than Kenyan Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) ran a day earlier to win the 2010 National Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships.

Honda assistant coach Yosuke Osawa told JRN, "Ever since he ran 27:02 as a teenager Jeilan has lost a bit of ground each year, but since arriving in Japan in April he has been making a comeback. This result shows what potential he's still got. The New Year Ekiden this year should be very interesting."

Asefa held on for 2nd in a solid 27:32.58. With most Japanese corporate runners taking part in the National Jitsugyodan Championships the top Japanese finishers was Nihon University's Naohiro Domoto, 3rd in 28:38.57.

210th Nittai University Time Trials - Top Results
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m - Heat Nine
1. Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 27:12.43
2. Dejene Asefa (Ethiopia/Team Kurosaki Harima) - 27:32.58
3. Naohiro Domoto (Nihon Univ.) - 28:38.57
4. Masamichi Yasuda (Team Aichi Seiko) - 28:44.32
5. Muryo Takase (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:44.67
6. Naosato Yoshimura (Team Toyota) - 28:45.16
7. Bernard Waweru (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 28:54.84
8. Tomoya Shirayanagi (Team Toyota) - 29:02.45
9. Naoto Yoneda (Team Konica Minolta) - 29:03.22
10. Yuma Hattori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 29:03.78

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

National Corporate Championships - 5000 m and 3000 m Results

by Brett Larner

2010 National Jitsugyodan T&F Championships - Top Results
click here for complete results
Men's 5000 m Heat Three
1. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 13:56.08
2. Kenta Murotsuka (SDF Academy) - 13:56.13
3. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 13:56.61
4. Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) - 13:56.62
5. Takamasa Uchida (Team Toyota) - 13:56.79
6. Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:57.01
7. Tsubasa Maeda (Team YKK) - 13:58.44
8. Hidehito Takamine (Team Fujitsu) - 13:58.73
9. Yoshikazu Kawazoe (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:59.28
10. Hitoshi Nishi (Team Sagawa Express) - 14:03.99

Women's 5000 m Heat One
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:59.42
2. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 16:00.14
3. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 16:00.20
4. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 16:00.38
5. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 16:00.38
6. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Giken) - 16:00.43
7. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Ent.) - 16:02.72
8. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 16:03.80
9. Mariko Nakao (Team Shiseido) - 16:04.82
10. Kaori Oyama (Team Noritz) - 16:06.43

Men's 5000 m Heat Two
1. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 13:54.81
2. Hideyuki Anzai (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:56.66
3. Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:56.67
4. Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo) - 13:56.68
5. Chiharu Nakamura (Team Toenec) - 13:56.74

Women's 5000 m Heat Two
1. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 16:02.52
2. Christine Muyanga (Kenya/Team Panasonic) - 16:05.56
3. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 16:05.87
4. Kazuka Wakatsuki (Team Toto) - 16:05.88
5. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 16:06.24
-----
DNF - Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal)

Men's 5000 m Heat One
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) - 13:56.80
2. Yasuhito Ikeda (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 13:57.28
3. Shuji Yoshikawa (Team Kyudenko) - 13:57.86
4. Peter Kariuki (Team Mazda) - 13:58.08
5. Yosuke Kanetsuka (Team Honda) - 13:58.11

Junior Women's 3000 m Heat One
1. Grace Kimazi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 9:23.87
2. Eri Mizutake (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 9:25.07
3. Natsuki Morita (Team Sekisui Giken) - 9:25.26
4. Ayaka Mori (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 9:27.56
5. Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:27.89

Junior Men's 5000 m
1. Takayuki Hamaguchi (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 14:04.13
2. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 14:04.51
3. Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) - 14:08.96

Junior Women's 3000 m Heat Two
1. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 9:23.94
2. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 9:27.49
3. Miharu Shimokado (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 9:28.37
4. Maiko Kushima (Niigata Albirex AC) - 9:28.66
5. Natsumi Matsumoto (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 9:28.70

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, September 24, 2010

Paul Tanui, Ryoko Kizaki Top National Corporate 10000 m

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/NewsPack/CN2010092401001013_Sports.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On the first day of the 2010 National Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships, Sept. 24 at Niigata's Big Swan Stadium, Kenyan ace Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) emerged victorious in the men's 10000 m with an excellent time of 27:22.32, outkicking sub-27 man Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) by less than second. Top Japanese honors went to former Toyo University captain Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) who ran a massive PB to finish 5th in 27:50.72, the best time of the year by a Japanese man and the fastest ever by a Japanese man at the Jitsugyodan Championships. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) and Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) joined Onishi in going under 28 minutes for the first time, Kihara's time of 27:52.75 also under the previous Japanese meet record. Altogether nine men ran in the 27-minute range.

In the women's 10000 m, November's Asian Games 10000 m team member Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) took down 3000 m, 5000 m and half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) in the final 100 m to win the 10000 m A-heat in 32:16.40. B-heat winner Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) was not far off the A-heat winner's level, taking the 'slower' heat in a PB of 32:22.93.

2010 National Corporate T&F Championships - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m Heat Two
1. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 27:22.32
2. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 27:22.78
3. John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:25.09
4. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:26.02
5. Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 27:50.72 - PB
6. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) - 27:52.75 - PB
7. Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) - 27:53.96
8. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 27:56.29 - PB
9. Samuel Ndungu (Kenya/Team Aichi Tokushu Seiko) - 27:58.51
10. Yoshinori Oda (Team Team Toyota) - 28:16.73

Women's 10000 m Heat Two
1. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 32:16.40
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 32:18.96
3. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 32:21.37
4. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 32:26.25
5. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:39.13
6. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 32:42.97
7. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 32:43.64
8. Saori Nejo (Team Hokuren) - 32:44.37
9. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 32:45.22
10. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 32:50.16

Men's 10000 m Heat One
1. Hiroyuki Ogawa (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 28:42.39
2. Kazuyoshi Shimozato (Team Komori Corp.) - 28:43.46
3. Koji Watanabe (Team Osaka Gas) - 28:46.16
4. Hiroshi Takahashi (Team JFE Steel) - 28:46.71
5. Norihide Fujimori (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:48.06

Women's 10000 m Heat One
1. Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 32:22.93 PB
2. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 32:24.46
3. Hiromi Chujo (Team Wacoal) - 32:43.02
4. Chika Horie (Team Universal Ent.) - 32:57.32
5. Ayumi Sakaida (Team Daihatsu) - 32:59.92

Thursday, September 23, 2010

200 x 10

Every now and then you get the pleasure of seeing someone who is truly good at what they do. おめでとうございます。

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

JRN On Location - Toronto Waterfront Marathon

JRN will be on location at the 2010 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this week. Apologies in advance for any interruptions to regularly-scheduled service.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon - Women's Results

2010 Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon - Women's Results
click here for complete results

1. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 1:07:44 - debut, CR
2. Lineth Chepkurui (Kenya) - 1:07:46 - PB
3. Werknesh Kidane (Ethiopia) - 1:08:30 - PB
4. Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) - 1:08:36 - PB
5. Kim Smith (New Zealand) - 1:08:39
6. Caroline Rotich (Kenya) - 1:10:24 - PB
7. Katie McGregor (U.S.A.) - 1:12:04
8. Stephanie Herbst Lucke (U.S.A.) - 1:12:15 - PB
9. Chaofeng Jia (China) - 1:12:46 - debut
10. Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia) - 1:13:01
-----
14. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 1:14:32
17. Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) - 1:15:27
24. Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 1:17:51

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Super Meet in Kawasaki 2010 - Top Results (updated with video)

by Brett Larner



On what will no doubt be one of the last summery days of the season, the 2010 Super Meet in Kawasaki took place under sunny skies on Sept. 19. Many of the major international stars including high jumper Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) and sprinter Christophe Lemaitre (France) duly picked up late-season wins, while all but two of the top Japanese entrants fell short of 1st. A summary of the results:

2010 Super Meet in Kawasaki - Top Results
click here for complete results
click event headers for video
Women's 800 m
1. Elena Kofanova (Russia) - 2:00.46
2. Tetiana Petliuk (Ukraine) - 2:01.01
3. Ruriko Kubo (Team Deodeo) - 2:03.09

Men's 400 m
1. Nery Brenes (Costa Rica) - 46.14
2. Sean Wroe (Australia) - 46.27
3. Yusuke Ishitsuka (Team Mizuno) - 46.30

Men's 100 m
1. Christophe Lemaitre (France) - 10.26
2. Wallace Spearmon (U.S.A.) - 10.47
3. Ramil Guliyev (Azerbaijan) - 10.50

Women's 100 m
1. Tianna Madison (U.S.A.) - 11.32
2. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido HiTec AC) - 11.48
3. Gloria Asumnu (U.S.A.) - 11.50

Men's 400 mH
1. Bershawn Jackson (U.S.A.) - 49.87
2. Felix Sanchez (Dominican Rep.) - 50.53
3. Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - 50.59

Women's 400 mH
1. Ieva Zunda (Latvia) - 56.67
2. Sayaka Aoki (Team Natureal) - 57.61
3. Yuka Nomura (Kirameki AC) - 58.16

Men's 110 mH
1. Dwight Thomas (Jamaica) - 13.46
2. Ryan Wilson (U.S.A.) - 13.48
3. Yuto Aoki (Messias AC) - 13.81

Women's 100 mH
1. Danielle Carruthers (U.S.A.) - 13.14
2. Asuka Terada (Hokkaido HiTec AC) - 13.24
3. Vonette Dixon (Jamaica) - 13.37

Men's High Jump
1. Hiromi Takahari (Team Hitachi ICT) - 2.24 m
2. Donald Thomas (Bahamas) - 2.24 m
3. Victor Ninov (Bulgaria) - 2.21 m

Women's High Jump
1. Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) - 1.97 m
2. Irina Gordeeva (Russia) - 1.95 m
3. Levern Spencer (St. Lucia) - 1.89 m

Men's Pole Vault
1. Hiroki Sasase (Waseda Univ.) - 5.50 m
2. Mark Hollis (U.S.A.) - 5.40 m
3. Hiroki Ogita (Team Mizuno) - 5.40 m

Men's Javelin
1. Tero Pitkamaki (Finland) - 83.12 m
2. Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 82.52 m
3. Teemu Wirkkala (Finland) - 76.85 m

Men's Shot Put
1. Scott Martin (Australia) - 18.72 m
2. Marco Fortes (Portugal) - 18.63 m
3. Yohei Murakawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 17.40 m

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Days Shy of 100, Miyazaki Targeting Triple Gold at Masters Championships (updated)

http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/news/20100914-OYO1T00801.htm?from=top

translated by Brett Larner

Hidekichi Miyazaki. Click to enlarge photo.

Competing among the age groupers at this weekend's National Masters Track and Field Championships in Tokyo, 99 year old Hidekichi Miyazaki of Kyoto stands out from the competition with 12 masters gold medals to his name. At the Masters meet, which gets underway 5 days before his 100th birthday on the 22nd, Miyazaki will be competing in the 60 m, 100 m and shot put. His goal is to add three more golds to his collection. "There's a lot of talk about all the disappeaing older people nowadays," he says, referring to the current scandal affecting Japan's census, "but I'd like to show how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle when you are older."

A native of Shizuoka prefecture, Miyazaki moved to Kyoto after retiring from his job at an agricultural cooperative to live with his daughter's family. To meet new friends he became a member of a Go players' club, but over the years his fellow Go enthusiasts and other friends one by one left this world. When he was 92 Miyazaki saw a TV program about a woman in her 90's who competed in the shot put. "When I saw that, I thought, 'This is something you can enjoy even if you are alone,'" Miyazaki said. The doorway to his new life in athletics was open.

In 2004 at the age of 93 Miyazaki entered the Masters' Championships for the first time. In 2006 he won the 100 m, his first national gold medal. To be honest, he was the only athlete competing in the 95-99 age group, but he nevertheless broke the goal tape running with all the passion his heart could muster and showed that dreams can come true no matter who you are.

In July the next year he fell and broke his left leg while taking old newspapers outside for recycling. His doctor told him that he had to prepare himself "for a life confined to a wheelchair." Facing a long 50 days of rehabilition in the hospital, he wrote haiku telling himself,

Physical rehab -
just another thing to be
endured in this life

and

My arms and my legs
are my powerful weapons
in the fight for life

Prior to the accident he had entered a November meet in Wakayama. He went to the meet to cheer for some friends, who told him, "Hey, why don't you run?" He decided to try the 60 m, running alone, slowly and shakily, in the soft shoes he wore for his physical therapy sessions. Nervously returning to the hospital afterwards with his gold medal, Miyazaki was greeted by his smiling doctor, who told him, "I can't believe you did it.....I'm so happy for you."

At the 2008 National Masters meet he faced two age group rivals but emerged victorious. Alarmed by the emergence of these "strong young" competitors, he also did the shot put for the first time. At an international meet last September he won three gold medals, running 29.38 for the 100 m. At last year's international and national meets he had tough competition in the shot put, but still emerged with two wins.

This year, the 1 m 53 cm, 42 kg Miyazaki "lost 3 kg training through the vicious summer heat." Every morning he ran to a local park from his house and back for training, more than an hour of running. "In the future I want to keep pushing the limits of how much I can run," he vowed with determination.

Update: Miyazaki succeeded in winning the 95-99 age group in all three events, running a meet record 16.30 in the 60 m, 30.50 in the 100 m, and throwing 4.04 m in the shot put. Click here for complete results. Miyazaki's 100th birthday is on Wednesday.

Kono Named to 7th Term as Rikuren Head

http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201009/2010091100119

translated by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner

Rikuren sources have confirmed that Yohei Kono, 73, is to be named to a 7th term as the Japanese federation's director at an executive committee meeting on Sept. 28. The new term, which will last two years, begins next April. This fall Rikuren will apply to the government for a new status as a semi-privatized corporate entity. Advisors on the move recommended that Kono's leadership be maintained through the transition period. With the exception of the director's position, Rikuren officials are currently required to retire at age 70. Under the new privatized regulations retirement rules will be significantly tighter, meaning Kono's 7th term is likely to be his last.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Son of Yamanashi Gakuin Coach Ueda Breaks 30 Year-Old 2000 m Record

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20100913-OYT1T00255.htm
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/yamanashi/news/20100913-OYT8T00829.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

At the Yamanashi Prefectural Track and Field Championships on Sept. 11, Kofu North Municipal J.H.S. third-year Kenta Ueda, 15, son of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Yamanashi Gakuin University's head coach Masahito Ueda, 51, ran 5:34.41 to break the junior high school 2000 m national record 30 years after the previous mark of 5:40.02 was set in 1980 by Hiro Takeuchi (Hiroshima Takamiya J.H.S.). The younger Ueda's time also broke the best time his father ran in junior high school. "I'm happy, but I think this was just a checkpoint along the way," he said afterwards. "I'm already looking toward the next step. I want to run the Hakone Ekiden someday." His father commented, "Kenta still has a long way to go ahead of him, but more than anything else I want him to enjoy his years as an athlete."

Ueda previously won the 1500 m at August's National Junior High School Track and Field Championships in Tottori prefecture. With these two marks under his belt in just over a month Ueda looks set to become a star like his father, but the older Ueda says with a laugh, "It probably looks like this is just a situation where a famous athlete is trying to push his child into following in his footsteps, but it's not like that at all." His son agrees, saying, "Dad gives me advice on my form and whatnot, but whether we're at home or practice nothing changes. We're just a normal father and son."

Kenta began junior high school on the basketball team, but, he says, "When I saw Kensuke Takezawa (Waseda Univ. grad, now Team S&B) run the Hakone Ekiden it had a big impact on me and I wanted to run too. He was really great." Coach Ueda trains his son twice a week at the Yamanashi Gakuin University track. The focus of the sessions is on 400 m intervals because, Coach Ueda explains, "When runners are in their mid-teens the body and especially the nervous system are still growing, and it is important to teach the body how it feels to run fast at that stage. Otherwise they won't be able to race hard once they are fully grown. I'm always thinking about how to adjust workouts to be suitable for an athlete's age. There's no point in them burning out while still young."

Last year Kenta Ueda had a brush with exactly this kind of problem. Between August and May he grew rapidly and experienced severe anemia as a result of trying to continue to train hard. He was unable to keep up his workouts and did not get back into form until early this past summer. His 1500 m national title and 2000 m national record show that he and has father now have their training fine-tuned to match his physical maturity level.

Looking toward high school, with the same passion and zeal characteristic of his father Kenta says, "I'm prioritizing track and field over academics. I want to go somewhere with a lot of strong guys that I can test myself against. I want to be national high school champion, and I want to go to a school where I can run Hakone. After that I want a long, successful career as a pro athlete."

Although many athletes from Yamanashi prefecture go elsewhere for their university and professional ekiden careers, the chance that the younger Ueda will attend Yamanashi Gakuin University is very high. The possibility that this native son will continue to run locally gives Yamanashi residents something to look forward to in distance running in coming years.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Osaka and Kobe Announce Dates of New Mass-Participation Marathons

http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/marathon/20100911-OYO8T00247.htm?from=sub
http://mainichi.jp/area/hyogo/news/20100909ddlk28050304000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Following recent news that the Nagoya International Women's Marathon will drop its elite-only format to become a mass-participation race beginning in March, 2012, the cities of Osaka and Kobe have announced the dates for the first runnings of their new mass-participation marathons. Osaka will hold the first Osaka Marathon on Oct. 30, 2011 with a field limit of 30,000 on par with London and the world's four other great marathons, a seven-hour time limit, and wheelchair and family run divisions. The first edition of the Kobe Marathon will take place three weeks later on Nov. 20, 2011 with a field size of 20,000 and a time limit of seven hours. Applications for Kobe, which will also feature quarter-marathon (app. 10 km) and 1-3 km family run divisions, will open in April.

Osaka's course will be publically announced in January or February, but some preliminary details concerning the route were made available. The Osaka Marathon will begin at Osaka Castle, pass by many of Osaka's major public attractions, and finish in front of the waterfront Intex Osaka International Exhibition Center. With an aim for the Osaka Marathon to become a major charity event, organizers will select seven charities for which runners will raise funds. Each charity will be assigned a different-colored wristband and runners will join one charity's "team," wearing the appropriate wristband and creating a rainbow of color along the course. The rainbow theme is expected to become the Osaka Marathon's trademark feature.

The Kobe Marathon is designed to show how the city has returned from the disaster of the Great Hanshin Earthquake to renew itself as a world-class city. The course begins in front of Kobe City Hall and tours many of the downtown areas that were most heavily damaged in the earthquake before finishing at the Port Island waterfront park. The city will invite victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China and this year's Haiti Earthquake as guests of honor, pairing them with local residents who will offer their hospitality in the form of homestays. Organizers intend for the race to raise money to help with supplying water and other relief to earthquake-stricken areas around the world. The runners themselves can look forward to sampling many of Kobe's reknowned local delicacies.

Beyond Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe, Kyoto is expected to make an announcement soon concerning the first running of its new marathon in the winter of 2011-2012, making the Kansai region home to four large new marathons. The venerable Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in Kyushu is also said to be considering adding a women's field and relaxing its entry standards to accomodate slower runners.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mitsuoka Schools Hakone Stars, Nishihara and Takahashi Score Meet Records, Iizuka Flat on Final Day of Japanese University Nationals

by Brett Larner


The final day of the 2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships wrapped up with some of the best action of the meet's three days. Despite missing its three top-ranked runners Kiragu Njuguna (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.), Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) and Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.), the men's 5000 m field included 18 men with PBs under 14 minutes. The conditions, 32 degrees, sunny and windy, meant that the race would be slow and allow some of the slower men to have a chance.

With the early leaders taking it out on track for a 14:10, Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) took full advantage of the situation. One of the only men in the field from outside the Kanto region, with just the 15th-best PB in the field, 13:57.67, Mitsuoka patiently waited until the final 800 m to get into the race. With no warning he suddenly kicked from 700 m out and dropped a 59-second 400 m. Pursued partway by Waseda University ace Yo Yazawa, Mitsuoka broke away and held on with a 62-second final lap to steal the win in 14:01.90 and trump some of the best Hakone Ekiden runners. Mitsuoka beat 14 men with better PBs, and the next-best runner from outside Kanto finished only 17th. It was a rare win at Nationals by a complete outsider, the first time a non-Kanto runner has won the men's 5000 m since 2000 and the first time since the great Toshinari Takaoka's win in 1992 that a runner from the Kansai region has taken the title. You have to love it.


The women's 5000 m saw the season debut of the two best distance runners in the Japanese university scene, 2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 5000 m silver medalist Kasumi Nishihara and 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto of Bukkyo University. The pair faced a likely challenge only from Kyoto crosstown rivals Michi Numata and Risa Takenaka of Ritsumeikan University. Yoshimoto took things out right on pace for the 9 year-old meet record of 15:38.75 despite the heat, sun and wind, with Nishihara, in her first race in 4 months following a left leg injury in the late spring, at her side and the Ritsumeikan pair right behind. Partway through Nishihara took over and, pursued by Takenaka and unheralded Ayuko Suzuki of Nagoya University, sped off to claim the meet record by less than a second as she won in 15:38.19. 10000 m winner Hanae Tanaka of Ritsumeikan overtook Numata for 4th, while Yoshimoto faded badly to a distant 7th. In contrast to the men, the highest finisher from a school in Kanto was no higher than 11th, Josai University's Miki Yamada.




Expectations were heavy for 2010 World Junior 200 m Champion Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) in his event of choice, but as in Saturday's 4x100 m relay he appeared relatively flat. A terrible run through the curve put him near the rear of the pack coming into the straight with little chance of catching eventual winner Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.). Iizuka's superior closing speed allowed him to bridge the gap to 2nd, but Kobayashi was far out of reach. Kobayashi crossed the line in a wind-aided 20.52, faster than Iizuka's PB of 20.58, as the World Champion came home in a disappointing 20.70.


Having already broken her own meet record on Saturday in the 100 m, Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) did it again with a 23.62 win in the women's 200 m. Takahashi's time clipped the old record, held by 400 m specialist Asami Tanno, by just 0.02. Less than 2 hours later Takahashi was back again to anchor Heisei Kokusai's 4x400 m squad. Although she ran by far the fastest split in the field she was unable to catch Miyabi Tago (Chuo Univ.). Tago collapsed after holding Takahashi in a duel to the line and giving Chuo the win in 3:40.23. Video is linked below.

2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships
click here for complete results
click event headers for video links
Women's 5000 m
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:38.19 - MR
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:46.99
3. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:49.22
4. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:54.18 - PB
5. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:57.33

Men's 5000 m
1. Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 14:01.90
2. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 14:03.92
3. Benjamin Gando (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 14:04.61
4. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 14:05.54
5. Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.) - 14:07.20

Women's 200 m - wind +0.8 m/s
1. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 23.62 - MR
2. Rina Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - 23.84
3. Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 23.88

Men's 200 m - wind +3.8 m/s
1. Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.) - 20.52
2. Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.70
3. Kei Takase (Juntendo Univ.) - 20.74

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Minato Yamashita (Chukyo Univ.) - 8:53.45
2. Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.) - 8:53.98
3. Ken Akazome (Tokai Univ.) - 8:54.40

Women's 4x400m Relay
1. Chuo Univ. - 3:40.23
2. Heisei Kokusai Univ. - 3:40.72
3. Shigakkan Univ. - 3:41.51

Men's 4x400m Relay
1. Chuo Univ. - 3:06.70
2. Waseda Univ. - 3:06.98
3. Chukyo Univ. - 3:06.99

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Juntendo and Shigakkan Score Surprise 4x100 m Wins - Japanese National University Champs Day Two

by Brett Larner

Sprints were the main attraction on the second day of the 2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships on Sept. 11 at Tokyo's National Stadium. 2009 women's 100 m open national champion Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) took 0.07 seconds off her own meet record, winning in 11.55 and announcing that she will join Team Fujitsu following her graduation next March. Two-time men's 100 m open national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda University) had no trouble picking up the university title, coasting to the win in 10.62. It was his fourth straight year winning the 100 m at national university championship, making Eriguchi only the second Japanese man and the first in 77 years to accompish the feat.



Both champions returned a few hours later for the 4x100 m relays. Takahashi ran a solid anchor leg but was outdone by the virtually unknown Shigakkan University's Saori Imai, who brought Shigakkan home for an unexpected win in 45.45. Shigakkan finished 0.12 ahead of the Heisei Kokusai squad despite Imai losing to Takahashi by 0.22 earlier in the day in the 100 m.



Eriguchi's Waseda University was the three-time defending champion in the men's 4x100 m but was heavily expected to lose to the Chuo University team, which features 200 m World Junior Champion Shota Iizuka on anchor and set the national collegiate record of 38.54 while beating Waseda at May's Kanto Regionals. Chuo did beat Waseda, but thanks to several flubbed exchanges including Iizuka's anchor run both schools were trounced by the venerable Juntendo University. Juntendo took the national university title in 39.32 versus 39.62 for Chuo and 39.63 for Waseda.

For complete results from these and other events, click here.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tanaka Wins 10000 m Debut, Gando Adds National Title to His Collection - National University Championships Day One

by Brett Larner



On the first day of the 2010 National University Track and Field Championships Kenyan Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) added a national 10000 m title to his 10000 m win at May's Kanto Regional University Championships. With the fastest PB in the field by over 10 seconds there was little doubt that Gando would go on to exactly the type of runaway victory he scored, winning in 28:26.72 by a margin of nearly 20 seconds. It was left to teammates Akinobu Murasawa and Tsubasa Hayakawa of Tokai University and 2009 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) to battle it out in a chase pack. Despite being one of three athletes over the course of the day to stumble at the same point on the track, possibly due to an obstruction which meet officials were examining immediately after the men's 10000 m, Murasawa took the runner-up spot with Hayakawa 3rd. Tanzanian Jackson Kwarai (Nara Sangyo Univ.) shook things up by overtaking Hiraga for 4th, the only runner from outside the Tokyo-centric Kanto region to make the top 15.



In the women's 10000 m the withdrawal of top-ranked Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) meant that it should have been an easy win for 2008 national university 10000 m champion Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.), the only woman in the field with a PB under 33 minutes. The race went out roughly on pace for a 33:20 and Numata was content to sit in the front pack, taking the lead at times but never trying to press her competitors and apparently planning to save it for the last kilometer. The lead pack eventually whittled down to Numata, third-ranked Maria Yano (Matsuyama Univ.) and, in their 10000 m debuts, 15:40 5000 m runner Shiho Takechi (Bukkyo Univ.) and Numata's teammate Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.). Tanaka stole the show with a stunning surge from 300 m out to win in 33:17.52 by a margin of nearly 5 seconds. Yano, coached by Keiichi Murai, the coach and husband of marathon great Reiko Tosa, likewise had a solid kick for 2nd. Takechi and Numata battled to the line with Takechi prevailing over the former champion for 3rd. A victim of her own underestimation of the competition, Numata had to be content with 4th as another teammate, Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) rounded out the top 5.

2010 Japanese National University T&F Championships - Top Results
Men's 10000 m
1. Benjamin Gando (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:26.72
2. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:45.16
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:57.72
4. Jackson Kwarai (Tanzania/Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 28:59.96 - PB
5. Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) - 29:00.15
6. Hirotaka Tamura (Nihon Univ.) - 29:22.83
7. Dai Nakahara (Josai Univ.) - 29:44.96
8. Masaki Ito (Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:47.63
9. Takuya Noguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 29:55.47
10. Takuya Tanino (Nittai Univ.) - 30:06.24

Women's 10000 m
1. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:17.52 - debut
2. Maria Yano (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:22.08
3. Shiho Takechi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 33:22.36 - debut
4. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:22.40
5. Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:28.23
6. Natsumi Katsutani (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:30.95
7. Nanami Matsuura (Kagoshima Sports Univ.) - 33:50.44
8. Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 33:56.60
9. Emi Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 34:08.92
10. Mizuki Utsumi (Matsuyama Univ.) - 34:22.33

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Iizuka, Fujimoto, Yoshimoto and More - National University Championships Preview

by Brett Larner

It's one of the peculiarities of the Japanese scene that the national university and corporate championship track and field meets come in September, sandwiched between the end of the summer gasshuku training camps and the start of the fall ekiden season three months after the regional meets and open Nationals. For once, the focus of the National University Track and Field Championships, to be held this weekend at Tokyo's National Stadium, will be on the sprints rather than the distance races. That's because scheduled to run both the 200 m and the 4 x 100 m is Chuo University frosh Shota Iizuka. Iizuka's surreal anchor leg for Chuo's relay squad at May's Kanto Regionals got attention around the world as he singlehandedly gave Chuo a one-second margin of victory and the national collegiate record of 38.54. With expectations high he followed up in the 200 m with Japan's first-ever world-level track gold medal at July's IAAF Junior World Championships. It's safe to say that he will be the main draw of the meet when he runs on Saturday.

Turning back to the distance events, it's another peculiarity that at least for men this weekend's Nationals are relatively less important than May's Kanto Regionals, Kanto being the home of the Hakone Ekiden and all the best men's running universities in the country. While the Kanto Regionals are a genuine championship coming at the end spring track season, Nationals add little because all the best men are already running in Kanto. Witness the men's 5000 m and 10000 m, where only one runner in the top 15 in either entry list is from outside Kanto. The converse is true for women. Whether it is because the Kanto schools spend all their athletic budgets recruiting the best high school boys to round out their Hakone squads, almost without exception the best women run for schools outside Kanto. In the women's 5000 m and 10000 m only one woman in the top 10 of either race is from a Kanto school.

Nevertheless, the meets are high-level and serve as the best early-season indicator of who is on top as the ekiden scene gets rolling. 28 of the 42 men on the 5000 m entry list have PBs under 14:00, including 2010 Kanto Regionals top 5 Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.), Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.), Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.), Yusuke Hasegawa (Jobu Univ.) and Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.). Thrown into the mix to stop things from being a simple retread of May's race, Kyushu-based Kenyan Kiragu Njuguna (Daiichi Kogyo) comes in with the fastest PB in the field by a slight margin, 13:38.17 versus 13:38.68 held jointly by Fujimoto and Murasawa.

Kanto Regionals 10000 m champ Kenyan Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) is a sure bet for the national title, his strongest competition from May being 5th placer Masaki Ito (Kokushikan Univ.). Murasawa is listed for the double but is more likely to focus on Sunday's 5000 m. Surprising absences include Hakone star Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.), Takushoku University's new Kenyan aces Duncan Mozay and John Maina, and all but one of Komazawa University's squad. 13 men in the field hold PBs under 29 minutes.

The women's races are thinner but promise some great matchups. The 5000 m duel between teammates Hikari Yoshimoto and Kasumi Nishihara of 2009 National Champions Bukkyo University should be one of the highlights of the meet. Nishihara spent all of last year steadily surpassing her great rival Kazue Kojima, then of Ritsumeikan University, only to in turn be suddenly overtaken by her younger teammate Yoshimoto. Yoshimoto, who grabbed attention with a stage-best anchor run at last November's International Chiba Ekiden, set the 10000 m national collegiate record this spring and smashed both Kojima and Nishihara's 5000 m PBs with a 15:26.72 clocking. 10 women in the field have PBs under 16 minutes but if both are fit it should be all Yoshimoto and Nishihara to the end.

Yoshimoto is sitting out the 10000 m, where she would be easily assured of a win. In her absence 2008 National University Champion Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) will try to hold off the younger Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) to claim a second title. Numata is scheduled to double in the 5000 m, where she has the fastest PB after Yoshimoto and Nishihara.

In all cases, but especially the men's and women's 5000 m which are scheduled for mid-afternoon Sunday, heat will be a major worry. So far this has been the hottest September on record all across Japan, with temperatures steadily over 35 degrees in Tokyo. A typhoon passing through Tokyo on Wednesday and Thursday has temporarily cooled things off but a wave of tropical heat is expected to follow the typhoon's path over the weekend. Should this result in slower times the races will be wide open for many of the second-packers to take a chance up front. JRN will be at all three days of the meet to bring you video coverage. Check back for updates.

2010 National University T&F Championships Partial Entry Lists
click here for complete entry lists
Men's 10000 m - Sept. 10
Benjamin Gando (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:21.31
Takuya Noguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 28:30.06
Fuminori Shikata (Waseda Univ.) - 28:38.46
Masaki Ito (Kokushikan Univ.) - 28:38.69
Asuka Tanaka (Tokai Univ.) - 28:40.96
Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) - 28:41.42
Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:44.23
Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:44.62
Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:47.37
Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 28:48.23
Kazuhiro Kuga (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:55.80
Hirotaka Tamura (Nihon Univ.) - 28:55.90
Hiroyuki Sasaki (Waseda Univ.) - 28:58.47

Men's 5000 m - Sept. 12
Kiragu Njuguna (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 13:38.17
Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 13:38.68
Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 13:38.68
Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 13:39.31
Yusuke Hasegawa (Jobu Univ.) - 13:40.83
Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.) - 13:43.49
Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 13:43.84
Hideyuki Tanaka (Juntendo Univ.) - 13:47.12
Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:47.29
Kazuya Deguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 13:47.57
Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:47.80
Dai Nakahara (Josai Univ.) - 13:47.89
Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 13:48.87

Women's 10000 m - Sept. 10
Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 32:43.45
Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 32:47.41
Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:07.32
Maria Yano (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:17.60
Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Meijo Univ.) - 33:25.59
Emi Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 33:29.76
Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 33:57.02
Chisato Saito (Josai Univ.) - 33:57.12
Chiaki Fukumori (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:58.76

Women's 5000 m - Sept. 12
Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:26.72
Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:32.89
Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:41.00
Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:41.60
Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:45.46
Ayuko Suzuki (Meijo Univ.) - 15:47.36
Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 15:50.06
Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:52.75
Maria Yano (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:55.98
Ayaka Sutani (Meijo Univ.) - 15:59.69

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shimahara Withdraws From Philadelphia Half

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20100905-OHT1T00267.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Nov. 27 Asian Games marathon team member Kiyoko Shimahara (33, Second Wind AC) has cancelled her planned altitude training camp beginning Sept. 5 in Boulder, Colorado due to illness. She has also withdrawn from her scheduled appearance in the Sept. 19 Philadelphia Half Marathon.

Shimahara spent August training in Hokkaido, but after returning home to Nagano she came down with a fever. Exhibiting symptoms similar to those of dehydration, she was advised to spend at least a week allowing for total recovery. Departing for Boulder Sept. 5 with Shimahara's Asian Games teammate Yuri Kano (31) and other Second Wind runners, coach Manabu Kawagoe (48) commented, "Shimahara overtrained in Hokkaido. If she feels back to normal in time then she'll join us in Boulder (for the last part of the training camp)." He indicated that the situation is not a major setback for Shimahara's preparations for November's main event.

Kano told reporters, "I'll be using Philadelphia to check on my current condition. From there I'll be targeting peaking at the Asian Games."

Translator's note: Second Wind runner Eri Okubo is also scheduled to run Philadelphia.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ogi Wins Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach, Japan-Trained Africans Take Great Scottish Run

by Brett Larner

In the absence of any serious competition, Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) won the women's race at the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Sept. 5. Ogi's time of 1:14:17 was unremarkable but good enough to win by a margin of nearly a minute and a half over a field which included Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita (Romania) and world trail running champion Fiona Docherty (New Zealand). Along with Seattle winner Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz), Ogi is the second Japanese woman to win a Rock 'n' Roll-brand half marathon this year. Japanese men also fared decently in Virginia Beach, taking five of the top ten spots led by 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) in 1:03:57 for 4th behind Kenyan Yusuf Songoka's 1:02:46 winning performance. Click here to read the official press release on Songoka and Ogi's wins.

Across the ocean, formerly Japan-based Africans took both of the top spots at the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon where 2009 World Half Marathon 4th placer Caroline Kilel Cheptanui (Kenya) won the women's race in a quick 1:09:11 and Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia) the men's race in 1:01:53. Yoshio Koide-trained Julia Mumbi (Kenya) was 4th in the women's race, just ahead of Japanese runners Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) and Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex). Shingo Mishima was the only Japanese man to crack the top ten, 7th in 1:05:21.

2010 Rock 'n' Roll Virgina Beach Half Marathon
click here for complete results
Women
1. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 1:14:17
2. Fiona Docherty (New Zealand) - 1:15:39
3. Lyubov Denisova (Russia) - 1:16:45
4. Constantina Dita (Romania) - 1:17:20
5. Jane Kibii (Kenya) - 1:17:54

Men
1. Yusuf Songoka (Kenya) - 1:02:46
2. Patrick Ivuti (Kenya) - 1:02:51
3. Tesfaye Sendeku (Ethiopia) - 1:03:09
4. Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:03:57
5. Kirui Kiprotich (Kenya) - 1:04:31
6. Shota Yamaguchi (Japan) - 1:05:02
7. Keita Akiba (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:05:16
8. Hisanori Kitajima (Japan) - 1:05:52
9. John Crews (U.S.A.) - 1:06:23
10. Hiroaki Onishi (Japan) - 1:07:26

2010 Great Scottish Run Half Marathon
click here for complete results
Women
1. Caroline Kilel Cheptanui (Kenya) - 1:09:11
2. Eyerusalem Kuma (Ethiopia) - 1:11:15
3. Etalemahu Kidane (Ethiopia) - 1:11:25
4. Julia Mumbi (Kenya/Team Universal Ent.) - 1:12:42
5. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 1:13:07
6. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 1:13:29
7. Johanna Van Schalkwyk (South Africa) - 1:14:45

Men
1. Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia) - 1:01:53
2. Jason Mbote (Kenya) - 1:01:58
3. Modike Mohale (South Africa) - 1:03:20
4. Samuel Gichochi (Kenya) - 1:03:21
5. Tsegezeab Woldemichael (Eritrea) - 1:03:47
6. Tsegai Tewelde (Eritrea) - 1:05:20
7. Shingo Mishima (Japan) - 1:05:21

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Event Report - Women's 3000 Metres Steeplechase' - Continental Cup

http://www.iaaf.org/WCP10/news/newsid=58237.html

2010 Continental Cup - Women's 3000 m SC
click here for complete results
1. Yuliya Zarudneva (Russia) - 9:25.46 - MR
2. Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Kenya) - 9:25.84
3. Sofia Assefa (Ethiopia) - 9:29.53
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10. Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) - 10:04.97

Sunday, September 5, 2010

'Event Report - Women's 3000 Metres' - Continental Cup

http://www.iaaf.org/WCP10/news/newsid=58210.html

2010 Continental Cup - Women's 3000 m
click here for complete results
1. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 9:03.33
2. Alemitu Bekele (Turkey) - 9:04.08
3. Shannon Rowbury (U.S.A.) - 9:04.82
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8. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 9:10.92

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tokyo Marathon Applications Hit Record 335,000

http://www.nikkei.com/news/headline/article/g=96958A9C81818A9997E2E1E2EA8DE2E0E2EBE0E2E3E2E2E2E2E2E2E2

translated by Brett Larner

Following the end of the application period on Aug. 31, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced on Sept. 2 that applications for next year's fifth running, scheduled for Feb. 27, hit a record 335,147 for the combined full marathon and 10 km divisions, 9.6 times the number of spots available and exceeding last year's numbers by 20,000.

294,469 people applied for the 32,000 marathon positions, 9.2 times the maximum field size, while 46,678 people applied for the 3000 places in the 10 km, 13.6 times the field limit. 77.3% of marathon applicants were male and 22.7% female, while in the 10 km 49.7% were male and 50.3% female. Results of the lottery for entry will be anounced beginning Oct. 12.

Translator's note: To compare to the past four years' numbers click here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nagoya to Become World's Largest Women-Only Marathon in 2012

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/s/article/2010083190225214.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010083100992

translated and edited by Brett Larner

A key selection race for Olympic and World Championships teams held each March, the Nagoya International Women's Marathon will from 2012 abandon its traditional elite-only format in favor of a mass-participation format. The new race, tentatively titled the Nagoya Women's Marathon, will be open to women only and, with a field limit of 10,000, is expected to become the world's largest women-only full marathon. Designed for both elites and amateurs, the new race will have a cutoff time of 7 hours.

Along with the change in format, November's Nagoya City Half Marathon will change dates following this year's running to become incorporated into the new event along with 10 km and 4 km races to allow both men and women, adults and children to take part. The total number of runners in the race weekend is expected to exceed 30,000. The first edition of the new event will take place on Mar. 11, 2012.

The course for the new event is still in planning but will include many of the major roads through Nagoya. Sponsors will include many large, locally-based corporations. At a press conference on Aug. 31 Aichi Athletics Association director Yukio Toyama commented, "We are expanding our base to include amateur runners in order to become a race which makes a contribution to running as a lifelong pursuit for everyone." Organizers hope to make the Nagoya Women's Marathon into an event with the highest international standards.

Quercia Rovereto Results

2010 Atletica Roverto Quercia - Top Results
Aug. 31, 2010 - click here for complete results
Men's 5000 m
1. Alex Korio (Qatar) - 13:17.09
2. Paul Lonyangata (Kenya) - 13:19.07
3. Daniele Meucci (Italy) - 13:24.38
-----
11. Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) - 13:46.86