Sunday, October 31, 2010

Discovering the Legend - Tsutomu Akiyama on Finding Wanjiru

It's been a long time coming but here at the end of the month we are proud to present at last a three-part interview with Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the men responsible for the discovery of Samuel Wanjiru, Mekubo Mogusu, Gideon Ngatuny and more. Akiyama speaks freely on controversial topics, naming names and telling it as he sees it. Our best interview yet, and one available only to JRNPremium subscribers.

Subscribers click here to log on.

Newcomers click here to subscribe and receive access to the entire 2010 series of JRNPremium exclusives.

Athens Classic Marathon - Top Results

2010 Athens Classic Marathon - Top Results
click here for complete results
Women
1. Rasa Drazdaukaite (Lithuania) - 2:31:06
2. Olga Glok (Russia) - 2:33:51
3. Svitlana Stanko (Ukraine) - 2:38:59
4. Eri Hayakawa (Amino Vital AC) - 2:40:25

Men
1. Raymond Bett (Kenya) - 2:12:40
2. Jonathan Kipkorir (Kenya) - 2:14:05
3. Edwin Kimutai (Kenya) - 2:15:21
-----
20. Hiroyuki Kamiguchi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:22:16

Tomoya Onishi Stage Record on Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden Day Three

by Brett Larner

With the top Japanese men's 10000 m and half marathon times of the year and a 9th-place finish at the World Half Marathon Championships under his belt within the last month, Miyazaki Prefecture's Tomoya Onishi, 23, delivered another big run with a 43:55 stage record for the 15.3 km Fourth Stage on Day Three of the 2010 Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, Oct. 31 on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu. Onishi's time broke the existing stage record by 1:12, 5 seconds per km, and was equivalent to a solid 46:11 10-miler. Stage runner-up Ryuji Watanabe of Fukuoka Prefecture also broke the old Fourth Stage record with a 44:16 clocking.

As with the first two days of the ten-day Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, the Miyazaki Prefecture team dominated the early stages of Day Three. A weak run from Third Stage runner Noritaka Yokoyama put Miyazaki 59 seconds behind rivals Fukuoka prefecture at the start of the Fourth Stage, and the team spent the next four stage edging back toward the lead, coming within 18 seconds at the start of the final 12.4 km Eighth Stage. Miyazaki anchor and 2009 World Championships marathoner Masaya Shimizu went to work, reeling in struggling Fukuoka anchor Yutaka Kusaga and retaking the lead. A crushed Kusaga folded and had a rare DNF, meaning that Fukuoka would receive a penalty clocking for the anchor stage of 5 minutes slower than the slowest finisher. Despite this penalty, Fukuoka finished 2nd overall for the day. Nagasaki Prefecture maintained its 3rd place spot as the ekiden moves into its fourth day.

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden Day Three
click here for complete results from Day Three
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (13.4 km) - Kenichi Shiraishi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 39:22
Second Stage (11.7 km) - Kenji Higashino (Miyazaki Pref.) - 35:55
Third Stage (10.4 km) - Yuya Konishi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 30:34
Fourth Stage (15.3 km) - Tomoya Onishi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 43:55 - CR
Fifth Stage (20.0 km) - Noritaka Fujiyama (Nagasaki Pref.) - 1:00:21
Sixth Stage (20.2 km) - Tomoyuki Sato (Miyazaki Pref.) - 1:01:21
Seventh Stage (14.4 km) - Kenichiro Setoguchi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 44:10
Eighth Stage (12.4 km) - Masaya Shimizu (Miyazaki Pref.) - 37:51

Top Team Performances - 117.8 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 5:56:53
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 6:03:55
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 6:08:20
4. Oita Pref. - 6:10:26
5. Kagoshima Pref. - 6:13:11

Top Team Standings After Day Three - 286.9 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 14:31:20
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 14:44:36
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 14:52:04
4. Oita Pref. - 15:09:20
5. Kagoshima Pref. - 15:12:36

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Haile Gebrselassie to Run Tokyo Marathon

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/TKY201010300131.html
http://yamagata-np.jp/news_core/index_pr.php?kate=Sports&no=2010102901000569
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20101029-OHT1T00317.htm
http://mainichi.jp/select/today/news/20101030k0000m050034000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On October 29 the organizing committee of the Tokyo Marathon announced that world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (37, Ethiopia) has committed to running the 2011 Tokyo Marathon in late February. Gebrselassie set the current men's marathon world record of 2:03:59 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon. Tokyo will be his second marathon in Japan, having won the 2006 Fukuoka International Marathon.

335,000 people applied for the 35,000 spots in the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. Committee executive Tadaaki Hayano commented, "We hope everybody in the race feels the energy of the greatest running in the world."

The 2011 Tokyo Marathon will be one of the selection races for the Japanese men's marathon team at the 2011 World Championships, meaning many of the country's best runners will also be lining up. Last year's race featured a first-place prize of 8,000,000 yen [$100,000 USD at current exchange rates] and a world-record bonus of 30,000,000 yen [$375,000 USD]. Although the Tokyo Marathon has had poor luck with weather in its four editions to date, the course record of 2:07:23 marks it as an outstanding high-speed course. Should the course record fall the winner will receive a bonus of 3,000,000 yen [$37,500 USD].

Update: Read the official press release here.

Miyazaki Lengthens Lead - Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden Day Two

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden Day Two
click here for complete results from Day Two
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (9.4 km) - Kyohei Nishi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 28:26
Second Stage (12.2 km) - Takahiro Mori (Miyazaki Pref.) - 37:29
Third Stage (15.3 km) - Kenji Takeuchi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 45:36
Fourth Stage (14.2 km) - Tomoya Adachi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 42:53
Fifth Stage (11.3 km) - Kazuya Ishida (Fukuoka Pref.) - 34:32
Sixth Stage (11.5 km) - Yoichi Watanabe (Nagasaki Pref.) - 35:21

Top Team Performances - 73.9 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 3:46:13
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 3:46:52
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 3:49:59
4. Kagoshima Pref. - 3:54:53
5. Oita Pref. - 3:56:27

Current Team Standings After Two Days - 169.1 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 8:34:27
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 8:40:41
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 8:43:44
4. Oita Pref. - 8:58:54
5. Kagoshima Pref. - 8:59:25

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, October 29, 2010

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

"Kenyans, Russians and Japanese favourites for Sunday - Athens Classic Marathon"

http://www.iaaf.org/LRR10/news/newsid=58603.html

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mari Ozaki to Headline Final Kobe Women's Half Marathon

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/0003563550.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 27 the organizers of the final Kobe National Women's Half Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 21, announced the names of the athletes in this year's elite field. Headlining the race is 2005 and 2007 World Championships marathoner Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz). Also on board are Barcelona Olympian Yumi Matsunaga (nee Kokamo), Misato Horie (Team Noritz), Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC RC), Miki Oka (Team Kojima Press), Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) and Satoko Uetani (Kobe Gakuin Univ. AC). Making a special appearance as guest runner is 1997 World Championships marathon gold medalist Hiromi Ito (nee Suzuki).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TV Personality Hiroshi Neko Runs 2:49 at Niagara Falls Int'l Marathon

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/news/p-et-tp0-20101026-694422.html

translated by Brett Larner

TV personality Hiroshi Neko, 33, ran a PB of 2:49:28 at the Oct. 24 Niagara Falls International Marathon, finishing 10th overall and breaking his PB by more than 6 minutes. The marathon, which featured a field of just 960, began in Buffalo, NY, ran along the shores of Lake Erie, crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada and finished in front of Niagara Falls, one of the world's three great waterfalls. Neko commented afterwards, "I was feeling pretty jetlagged, but since it had rained the day before it was pretty comfortable to run. I was shooting for a 2:48 but forgot to figure the last 195 m into my pace calculation and missed it by 30 seconds. I'll work on my math and next time I'll definitely get it."

Neko began running in 2005 for his appearance in the Akasaka Mini Marathon segment of broadcaster TBS' annual "All-Star Kanshasai" program. After a strong run there he began getting coaching from women's marathon great Mari Tanigawa. Neko made his marathon debut at the 2008 Tokyo Marathon, running 3:48:57. The following year he ran several domestic and foreign races. At this year's Tokyo Marathon Neko ran an excellent 2:55:45, following up with an 8th place finish at June's Ulan Batur International Marathon in Mongolia in 3:08:22. In December he plans to run the Ankor Wat Half Marathon before returning to the Tokyo Marathon in February.

Translator's note: I was in a TV commercial with Neko last year. I didn't think he was capable of a 2:49. My respect.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daihatsu Over Wacoal at First West Japan Corporate Women's Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Team Daihatsu outran Team Wacoal for the regional title at the first West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Oct. 24 in Munakata, Kyushu. A combination of three previous regional qualifiers for December's National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships, West Japan was run on the same course as the former Kyushu Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden. With the influx of teams from two other regions, stage records fell on four of the six stages in the 42.195 km race.

Team Wacoal dominated the early parts of the race, leading for the first four stages thanks to stage record performances by First Stage runner Tomoka Inadomi and Third Stage runner Kayoko Fukushi. At the start of the 10.9 km Fifth Stage, the ekiden's longest, Wacoal was up by 37 seconds over Team Sysmex and 1:02 over Team Daihatsu. Fresh from the World Half Marathon, Daihatsu's Ryoko Kizaki then turned in a big run, taking the stage best in 35:50, well over a minute faster than the next-fastest runner on the stage, Wacoal's Noriko Higuchi, and setting the stage for a classic ekiden anchor leg.

Daihatsu anchor Chizuru Ideta began the 6.395 km final leg up just 13 seconds on Wacoal's Chihiro Takato. Ideta ran for her life, finishing just two seconds off the stage record in 21:09. Takato was hell-bent on catching Ideta and snatching back the lead. Despite setting a new stage record of 20:57, she came up an agonzing step short as she finished one second behind Ideta, with Team Daihatsu clocking 2:17:53 and Team Wacoal 2:17:54. Team Sysmex, empowered in part by the return of marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi to competition after nearly 2 1/2 years of injury, hung on for 3rd in 2:19:15, three seconds slower than Noguchi's national record. All three teams qualified for the National Ekiden.

In other noteworthy individual performances, the top seven athletes on the 6.7 km First Stage, led by Inadomi, all broke the previous stage record. Kenyan Sally Chepyego Kaptich (Team Kyudenko) set a stage record on the 3.5 km Second Stage, restricted by discriminatory regulations which limit non-Japanese athletes to the shortest stages in most major ekidens. Former 2:21 marathoner Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya), seemingly oblivious to overseas proclamations that her career is over, won the 4.2 km Fourth Stage in 13:28 just two weeks after a dismal showing at the Chicago Marathon and demonstrated that perhaps there is more than one way to have a career.

2010 West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.7 km) - Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 21:17 - CR (top seven broke CR)
Second Stage (3.5 km) - Sally Chepyego Kaptich (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 10:34 - CR
Third Stage (10.5 km) - Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 33:44 - CR
Fourth Stage (4.2 km) - Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 13:28
Fifth Stage (10.9 km) - Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 35:50
Sixth Stage (6.395 km) - Chihiro Takato (Team Wacoal) - 20:57 - CR

Top Team Performances - 42.195 km
1. Team Daihatsu - 2:17:53
2. Team Wacoal - 2:17:54
3. Team Sysmex - 2:19:15
4. Team Tenmaya - 2:20:01
5. Team Otsuka Seiyaku - 2:20:23
6. Team Noritz - 2:20:46
7. Team Juhachi Ginko - 2:22:05
8. Team Kyocera - 2:22:37
9. Team Shikoku Denryoku - 2:22:45
10. Team Kyudenko - 2:23:24

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nishihara and Yoshimoto Lead Bukkyo to National University Women's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Led by stage record performances by its pair of aces, 2010 national university 5000 m Kasumi Nishihara and national 10000 m collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto, Bukkyo University won the 2010 National University Women's Ekiden on Oct. 24, covering the six-stage, 38.6 km distance in a new course record time of 2:02:44. Perpetual rivals Ritsumeikan University were second in a strong 2:04:20 after trailing Bukkyo from the start.

Bukkyo's Chinami Mori started things off with a 14-second lead over Ritsumeikan on the 5.8 km First Stage, and from there Bukkyo's next three runners progressively extended the lead to 1:18 thanks in large part to Nishihara's 28:56 stage record on the 9.1 km Third Stage. Ritsumeikan's Akane Yabushita managed to make a dent with a 12:38 stage record on the 4.0 km Fifth Stage, but anchor Yoshimoto delivered the win in style as she outran Ritsumeikan anchor Machiko Iwakawa by 50 seconds, running a new stage record of 25:14 for 8.0 km.

2010 National University Women's Ekiden Championships
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (5.8 km) - Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 18:24
Second Stage (6.8 km) - Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 21:30
Third Stage (9.1 km) - Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 28:56 - CR
Fourth Stage (4.9 km) - Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:24
Fifth Stage (4.0 km) - Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 12:38 - CR
Sixth Stage (8.0 km) - Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 25:14 - CR

Top Team Results - 38.6 km
top six seeded for 2011
1. Bukkyo Univ. - 2:02:44 - CR
2. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:04:20
3. Meijo Univ. - 2:08:00
4. Matsuyama Univ. - 2:08:55
5. Josai Univ. - 2:09:18
6. Kanoya Taiku Univ. - 2:10:39
-----
7. Josai Kokusai Univ. - 2:10:43
8. Osaka Gakuin Univ. - 2:10:56
9. Hakuo Univ. - 2:11:16
10. Fukuoka Univ. - 2:11:19

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sophomore Deki Ties 58:51 CR at Takashimadaira 20 km

by Brett Larner

University men's distance running has been full of surprises this year. The latest came on Oct. 24 at the Takashimadaira 20 km Road Race in Tokyo's northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira as unheralded Aoyama Gakuin University sophomore Takehiro Deki tied the 58:51 course record set four years ago by former Tokai University ace Hideaki Date as a junior. Deki, aged 20, had no previous results on record to suggest a run of this caliber, equivalent to a 13:26 using the McMillan Running Calculator. His personal bests prior to this performance were 14:01.50 for 5000 m, 29:49.57 for 10000 m, 1:01:58 for 20 km and 1:06:22 for half marathon.

Deki ran a completely solo race, winning by exactly 1 1/2 minutes over Masuo Nishiyama of two-time Hakone Ekiden champions Toyo University. While Deki was the only man to break the hour mark, overall results were the deepest in Takashimadaira history with 14 men under 61 minutes and 37 under 1:02:30. The only non-university runner to break 1:02:30 was, surprisingly, 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B), who finished 23rd in 1:01:48.

Deki's performance adds him to the list of 2010 standouts who should make an impact at January's Hakone Ekiden, on a par with Kenyans John Maina (Takushoku Univ.) and Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) at last week's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km. The overall strong showing by Aoyama Gakuin at Takashimadaira also does much to make up for the team's weak showing at the recent Izumo Ekiden and suggests the it is ramping up nicely toward a peak designed for Hakone's longer distances.

2010 Takashimadaira Road Race
click here for complete results
Men's 20 km
1. Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 58:51 - CR tie
2. Masuo Nishiyama (Toyo Univ.) - 1:00:21
3. Naohisa Matsuda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:24
4. Takahiro Gunji (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:00:25
5. Yuya Kayahara (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:00:28
-----
23. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 1:01:48

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Beijing Marathon - Top Results

2010 Beijing Marathon - Top Results
10/24/10
Men
1. Siraj Gena (Ethiopia) - 2:15:45
2. Gert Thys (South Africa) - 2:15:56
3. Matthew Sigei (Kenya) - 2:16:01
-----
9. Kurao Umeki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:18:41

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Noguchi Returns - 5th in First Race in 2 1/2 Years (updated)

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2010/10/25/18.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 24 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32, Team Sysmex) made a comeback from injury troubles that have plagued her since her withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics, running her first race in 2 years and 5 months at the 6-stage, 42.195 km West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden in Fukuoka prefecture. Noguchi placed 5th on the 10.5 km Third Stage, running a credible time of 34:15.

Her team Sysmex placed 3rd overall to qualify for the Dec. 19 National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships in Gifu prefecture. Team Daihatsu won the West Japan ekiden for the second-straight year, running 2:17:53.

Noguchi ran like a bouncing rubber ball, looking as strong and resilient as she used to be. "Before I ran I was half nervous and half looking forward to it," she told reporters. "But once I started running I forgot everything about the long blank spot in my life."

Noguchi covered the first kilometer in a very quick 3:05, going through 3 km in 9:30. Although she slowed significantly in the second half of the stage, she finished 5th out of 16 runners on the second-longest stage of the ekiden. "The most important thing today is that I am back to racing," Noguchi said with a smile. "I was 5th amongst a lot of much younger runners. I think that I can still go on from here."

After the 2008 Beijing Olympics Noguchi suffered a seemingly endless series of injuries. "I thought many times of retiring," she admitted, but her race today showed that she has pulled herself back up from the bottom. She still has issues with a lack of stamina, but her coach Hisakazu Hirose gave her passing marks, saying simply, "She did well."

Noguchi is now looking at running a half marathon. Looking toward the London Olympics Noguchi says, "I have never given up on the next Olympics. This was a good start. I'll keep running until my legs break down permanently."

Translator's note: Hard not to feel a little teary-eyed about this one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Watch the National University Women's Ekiden Live Online

The 2010 National University Women's Ekiden Championships, a.k.a. the Morinomiyako Ekiden, takes place this Sunday, Oct. 24. The race will be broadcast live from 11:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. on Nihon TV. Overseas viewers can watch live online via Keyhole TV by clicking here.

In the ekiden, look for Bukkyo University to take down perpetual rivals Ritsumeikan University thanks to its pair of stars, national university 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara and 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto. Junior Risa Takenaka will try to lead Ritsumeikan to an upset win.

Monday, October 18, 2010

JRN On Location: 2010 Venice Marathon

JRN will be on location at the 2010 Venice Marathon. Apologies in advance for any interruptions to regularly scheduled service.

JRNPremium Issue Seven, a one-on-one with Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the partners responsible for discovering Samuel Wanjiru, is fully translated and in the editing process. Expect to see it up within the next 48 hours. Sorry for the delay, but we wanted to get it right.

Central Japan Corporate Women's Ekiden Results

2010 Central Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.8 km) - Maiko Kushima (Niigata Albirex RC) - 21:47
Second Stage (4.2 km) - Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 12:29
Third Stage (10.2 km) - Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 34:29
Fourth Stage (4.6 km) - Yuki Kiuchi (Niigata Albirex RC) - 15:29
Fifth Stage (11.0 km) - Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 36:03
Sixth Stage (5.395 km) - Shizuka Marumo (Team Denso) - 18:11

Top Team Performances - 42.195 km
1. Team Denso - 2:18:59
2. Niigata Albirex RC - 2:23:24
3. Team Yutaka Giken - 2:23:37
4. Team Kojima Press - 2:24:45
5. Team Aichi Denki - 2:26:05

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Amsterdam Marathon - Top Results

2010 Amsterdam Marathon - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
Men
1. Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:05:44 - PB
2. Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 2:06:12 - debut
3. Chala Dechase (Ethiopia) - 2:07:23
4. Cherkos Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:07:29
5. Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia) - 2:07:37
6. Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:07:56
7. Daniel Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:08:45
8. Jackson Kotut (Kenya) - 2:08:59
9. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:12:38
10. Thomas Chemitei (Kenya) - 2:13:14
-----
11. Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 2:13:23
13. Naoya Hashimoto (Japan) - 2:15:01
20. Yuko Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:17:24

Women
1. Alice Timblili (Kenya) - 2:25:03 - PB
2. Eyerusalem Kuma (Ethiopia) - 2:27:04
3. Robe Guta (Ethiopia) - 2:27:44
4. Woinshet Girma (Ethiopia) - 2:27:51
5. Shitaye Bedaso (Ethiopia) - 2:29:48
6. Miranda Boonstra (Netherlands) - 2:34:24
7. Julia Mumbi (Kenya) - 2:34:37
8. Ayelech Worku (Ethiopia) - 2:35:09
9. Inge de Jong (Netherlands) - 2:38:00
10. Christiana Das Changas (Brazil) - 2:39:41

Note: Both Hailu Mekonnen and Julia Mumbi have spent time in Japan running for jitsugyodan teams, Mekonnen for Team Honda and Mumbi for Team Aruze.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nine Under 28 in Shizuoka TT 10000 m

by Brett Larner

In his first official track 10000 m, Kenyan Edward Waweru (Team NTN) ran one of the fastest 10000 m times of the year, 27:13.94, to lead nine men under 28 minutes at the 4th Shizuoka Prefecture Time Trials, Oct. 16 in Fukuroi, Shizuoka. Seven of the nine were Kenyan, while for both of the Japanese runners, Toyota teammates Yoshinori Oda and Yusuke Takabayashi, it was their first time to break 28 minutes. Oda was the faster, running 27:53.55 for 5th to break his 6 1/2 year-old PB by 10 seconds. The first-year pro Takabayashi, no doubt motivated by his former Komazawa University teammate Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) having broken Takabayashi's half marathon PB earlier the same day at the World Half Marathon, was 8th in 27:56.46. 10th placer Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), who just turned 19 at the end of August, took over a minute off his PB with a strong 28:21.00.

2009 national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) made good progress in his comeback from recent injury troubles with a 13:43.78 win in the men's 5000 m. High schooler Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) outkicked Kenyan Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.) for 2nd, 13:50.38 to 13:50.79.

In women's results, Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) ran the fastest time of the year by a woman on Japanese soil with a 15:11.65 in the men's 5000 m, breaking her PB by 4 seconds. High schoolers dominated the women's 5000 m and 3000 m, with Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) winning the 5000 m in 15:44.02 and Mutsumi Ikeda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) taking the 3000 m in 9:11.40. Altogether twenty high school women broke 9:30 in the 3000 m.

Shizuoka Prefecture Time Trials
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m - Heat 2
1. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:13.94 - debut
2. John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:16.54
3. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:42.20 - PB
4. James Mwangi (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:53.13
5. Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 27:53.55 - PB
6. Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 27:54.55
7. Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 27:56.39 - PB
8. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 27:56.46 - PB
9. Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Steel) - 27:59.28
10. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 28:21.00 - PB

Men's 5000 m - Heat 15
1. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 13:43.78
2. Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 13:50.38 - PB
3. Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 13:50.79 - PB

Men's 10000 m - Heat 1
1. Hiroaki Onishi (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 29:14.84
2. Naoki Sumida (Team Aichi Steel) - 29:17.08
3. Shunsuke Sakai (Team Chuo Spring) - 29:17.53

Mixed 5000 m - Heat 12
30. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:11.65 - (PB)

Women's 5000 m - Heat 2
1. Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 15:44.02
2. Kaori Akagawa - (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:54.94
3. Ayaka Mori - (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:58.85
4. Saeko Yuda - (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 16:00.96
5. Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 16:14.95

Women's 3000 m - Heat 10
1. Mutsumi Ikeda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:11.40
2. Yuka Ando (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:12.93
3. Miyuki Gokan (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:13.23
4. Saori Noda (Chiharadai H.S.) - 9:13.95
5. Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:15.70
6. Erina Maki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:16.29
7. Natsuko Omori (Kunei Jogakuin H.S.) - 9:16.34
8. Mao Kiyota (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 9:18.30
9. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:19.05
10. Misaki Sango (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:21.26

Women's 3000 m - Heat 9
1. Hitomi Sato (Hadano H.S.) - 9:30.79
2. Minami Hasegawa (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:31.50
3. Ami Mayanagi - (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:33.71

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Mizuki Noguchi on Entry List for Oct. 24 Regional Ekiden Championships

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/osaka/sports/article/news/20101015-OHO1T00115.htm

Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32) is on the entry list her corporate team Sysmex has submitted for the six-stage, 42.195 km West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships to be held Oct. 24 in Fukuoka. Noguchi withdrew from the Beijing Olympics shortly before the race after sustaining an injury to her left leg. Should she run the ekiden it will be her first race since winning the Sendai International Half Marathon two years and five months ago.*

Noguchi's condition has recovered to the point that she is able to handle 50 km a day of jogging, but she is not yet in shape to be able to do serious marathon training. Noguchi's trainer Hisakazu Hirose commented, "We can't say yet whether or not she will run the ekiden." Until the starting list is released on Oct. 23 the likelihood that Noguchi will remain only an alternate for the team is very high.

*Translator's note: Noguchi's last race was the anchor stage of a 4x400 m relay a week after Sendai.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

1st-Yr. Maina Runs 58:23 to Lead Takushoku to Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Win

by Brett Larner
photos by Daniel Seite



Takushoku University frosh John Maina, one of two Kenyans joining the team this season, led Takushoku to a surprise team win at the 87th Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km qualifier Oct. 16 in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park. Despite hotter than usual temperatures and a course change which added challenging hills and several sharp corners in the final two km, Maina won overall in 58:23 to become only the third man to ever break 58:30 at the Yosenkai.
John Maina and Benjamin Gando at 6 km.

After a slow first km in 3:03, Maina effortlessly pressed the pace as Nihon University's Benjamin Gando struggled to maintain contact. Gando attacked just past 10 km but faded in the final quarter to a 58:43 runner-up spot. In Maina Takushoku may have found a deep talent. With him, fellow Kenyan recruit Duncan Mozay and new head coach Toru Okada, who previously coached Asia Univ. to the 2006 Hakone Ekiden win, Takushoku could be one of the surprises of January's Hakone.
John Maina in the lead at 16 km.

The biggest surprise at the Yosenkai itself was Koku Gakuin University's 2nd-place finish. With 15th-place Yosenkai finishes the last two years, Koku Gakuin's strong showing to make its first Hakone Ekiden in four years came in under the radar, with no truly notable showings earlier in the year to indicate the team was of such caliber. Actually beating Koku Gakuin on pure time, the ten runners who will make up the Kanto Regional Select Team, an assembly of the top runners from teams which did not qualify for Hakone, could be a threat for one of the seeded spots in January. While they would not actually earn the seeded position, the Select Team would knock another team down to next year's Yosenkai if they finish in the top ten. Teikyo University took 3rd and would have finished higher with a better run from its 10th man as its top nine finished high up in the field. With Hakone irregulars picking up the top three team positions at the Select Team in the mix, January's Hakone Ekiden could be wild and chaotic.
The chase pack at 16 km.

Looking at the underperformers, Jobu University saw a drop for the first time since it first qualified for Hakone two years ago, finishing only 5th after two 3rd-place results in a row. Missing star Akinobu Murasawa, who won last year's Yosenkai in 59:08 as a frosh but suffered a sprained ankle in last month's National University T&F Championships, Tokai University managed a passable 6th thanks in large part to a 3rd-place finish from second-year Tsubasa Hayakawa in 1:00:03. Whether a fit Murasawa will be enough to push Tokai up to the seeded bracket remains to be seen.
Tsubasa Hayakawa at 16 km.

Kokushikan University was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day, with Kanto Region 5000 m champion Taku Fujimoto out with injury and backup ace Masaki Ito dropping from a 14:49 first 5 km to a 16:50 last 5 km and finishing 95th but still being Kokushikan's top man. Needless to say, the team did not qualify. Also missing the cut were 2007 Hakone Ekiden champions Juntendo University, 2006 Hakone winners Asia University, perennial near-misses Hosei University, and, dropping out of Hakone range for the first time in several years, Daito Bunka University.
Injured Tokai ace Akinobu Murasawa signs autographs.

2010 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km Qualifying Road Race
Top Individual Results
click here for complete individual results
1. John Maina (1st yr., Takushoku Univ./Kenya) - 58:23
2. Benjamin Gando (2nd yr., Nihon Univ./Kenya) - 58:43
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 1:00:03
4. Yusuke Hasegawa (4th yr., Jobu Univ.) - 1:00:12
5. Kohei Ogino (3rd yr., Koku Gakuin Univ.) -1:00:12
6. Koji Kobayashi (4th yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:16
7. Tomohiro Tanigawa (4th yr., Takushoku Univ.) - 1:00:17
8. Norimasa Nishina (4th yr., Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:26
9. Ryota Nakamura (4th yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 1:00:26
10. Naohiro Domoto (3rd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 1:00:34

Top Team Results
click here for complete team results
top nine schools qualify for 2011 Hakone Ekiden
1. Takushoku Univ. - 10:11:39
(Kanto Regional University Select Team - 10:15:02)
2. Koku Gakuin Univ. - 10:15:46
3. Teikyo Univ. - 10:16:22
4. Chuo Gakuin Univ. - 10:16:40
5. Jobu Univ. - 10:17:49
6. Tokai Univ. - 10:20:10
----- 7th-9th include points from May's Kanto Regionals
7. Nihon Univ. - 10:23:01 (-3:35)
8. Kanagawa Univ. - 10:21:57 (-0:30)
9. Senshu Univ. - 10:23:31 (-0:45)
-----did not qualify
10. Hosei Univ. - 10:27:35 (-3:00)
11. Daito Bunka Univ. - 10:27:59 (-2:15)
12. Asia Univ. - 10:27:32 (-0:40)

2011 Hakone Ekiden Field
1. Toyo Univ.
2. Komazawa Univ.
3. Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.
4. Chuo Univ.
5. Tokyo Nogyo Univ.
6. Josai Univ.
7. Waseda Univ.
8. Aoyama Gakuin Univ.
9. Nittai Univ.
10. Meiji Univ.
-----
11. Takushoku Univ.
12. Kanto Regional University Select Team
13. Koku Gakuin Univ.
14. Teikyo Univ.
15. Chuo Gakuin Univ.
16. Jobu Univ.
17. Tokai Univ.
-----
18. Nihon Univ.
19. Kanagawa Univ.
20. Senshu Univ.

2011 Hakone Ekiden Kanto Regional Univ. Select Team
Noriaki Fukushima (4th yr., Soka Univ.)
Aritaka Kajiwara (3rd yr., Shoin Univ.)
Masaaki Higuchi (3rd yr., Soka Univ.)
Takumi Kiyotani (4th yr., Hosei Univ.)
Yohei Kondo (3rd yr., Hosei Univ.)
Tatsunori Hamasaki (4th yr., Asia Univ.)
Shintaro Funai (2nd yr., Reitaku Univ.)
Tomonori Ikebuchi (4th yr., Asia Univ.)
Koki Inada (2nd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.)
Hiroyuki Okabe (4th yr., Juntendo Univ.)
Takahiro Yoda (3rd yr., Tokyo Univ. Grad School)
Yoshihiro Shinohara (2nd yr., Hosei Univ.)

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

all photos (c) Daniel Seite
all rights reserved

Ozaki, Onishi, Kizaki Crack World Half Top 10 as Women Take 5th-Straight Bronze

by Brett Larner

2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and 2010 National Corporate 10000 m champion Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) led the way for the Japanese women to secure their fifth-straight bronze medal at the Oct. 16 World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China. In a relatively slow race, Ozaki and Kizaki ran together with Chinese rival Xiolin Zhu in a second pack behind the exclusively Kenyan and Ethiopian lead group. While winner Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) ran 1:08:24 to win by a margin of 10 seconds over Ethiopian Dire Tune, Zhu, Ozaki and Kizaki finished over a span of only two seconds with Zhu taking 8th in 1:11:01. Ozaki's teammate Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei), a former pro XC skiier, rounded out the scoring for the Japanese women with a 13th-place finish in 1:11:35.

Fresh from running the top 10000 m time of the year by a Japanese man, 27:50.72, former Toyo University captain Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) delivered another big PB run with a 1:01:31 for 9th, again the fastest time of the year by a Japanese man. First-year pro and former Komazawa University ace Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) was close behind with a large PB of his own, 1:01:49 for 12th. Much-respected Hakone Ekiden 'Mountain God' Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), a past training partner of Chicago Marathon winner Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya), was Japan's third scorer in 1:03:28, his best of the year. The Japanese men finished 4th in the team scoring but impressively were only 1:22 behind the bronze medal-winning Ethiopian team. With this performance Onishi looks set to become one of the leaders of the current crop of under-25 Japanese men.

2010 World Half Marathon - Top Results
click here for complete results
Women
1. Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:08:24
2. Dire Tune (Ethiopia) - 1:08:34
3. Peninah Arusei (Kenya) - 1:09:05
4. Feyse Tadese (Ethiopia) - 1:09:28 - PB
5. Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya) - 1:09:30 - PB
6. Meseret Mengistu (Ethiopia) -1:09:31 - PB
7. Fate Tola (Ethiopia) - 1:09:38 - PB
8. Xiaolin Zhu (China) - 1:11:01
9. Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:11:02
10. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 1:11:03
-----
13. Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:11:35
15. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:11:40
29. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 1:14:56

Men
1. Wilson Kiprop (Kenya) - 1:00:07
2. Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) - 1:00:11
3. Sammy Kitwara (Kenya) - 1:00:22
4. Silas Kipruto (Kenya) - 1:01:03
5. Samuel Tsegay (Ethiopia) - 1:01:13
6. Titus Masai (Kenya) - 1:01:24
7. Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) - 1:01:28
8. Birhanu Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:01:28 - PB
9. Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) 1:01:31 - PB
10. Moses Mosop (Kenya) - 1:01:31
-----
12. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:01:49 - PB
21. Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:28
31. Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:04:49
65. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 1:13:28

Team Results
Women
1. Kenya - 3:26.59
2. Ethiopia - 3:27:33
3. Japan - 3:33:40

Men
1. Kenya - 3:01.32
2. Eritrea - 3:03:04
3. Ethiopia - 3:05:26
4. Japan - 3:06:48

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, October 15, 2010

Watch the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Online

by Brett Larner

It's less than 24 hours until the world's greatest 20 km race: the 87th Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai. A chance for Tokyo-area schools that did not score one of the ten seeded spots at January's prestigious Hakone Ekiden to qualify for one of nine second-tier places, the Yosenkai features dozens of universities fielding their twelve best runners in one mass race. Winning times are usually in the 58-59 minute range and have more than once dipped into 57 minute territory. Last year's race was the most competitive 20 km in history, with 163 runners breaking 1:02:30 and won in 59:08 by Tokai University frosh Akinobu Murasawa whose split for the winding, uphill final 8 km was 23:26, one second faster than top American university runner Chris Derrick ran the same weekend for the 8 km NCAA Pre-Nationals XC Meet. Click here to read last year's report.

Part of what makes the Yosenkai what it is is the atmosphere, with marching bands and cheering squads of alumni from each competing school everywhere on the tough course. Combined with the rarity of mass-start road races in the Japanese university schedule and what is ultimately at stake, a chance to help their team make it into Japan's greatest road race, the Yosenkai is electric and gripping. JRN will be on-site to cover the race live.

Nihon TV will broadcast the race with a delay beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16. Overseas viewers can watch online through Keyhole TV by clicking here. JRN will be doing live English commentary on the broadcast via Twitter at JRNLive.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ivy League in Shinjuku

The 2010 Ivy League Select Team celebrates their last night in Japan after this year's Izumo Ekiden, 10/13/10.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Discovering the Legend - JRNPremium Issue Seven on the Way

Issue seven of JRNPremium will be ready this week: a one-on-one interview with Tsutomu Akiyama, one half of the partnership responsible for bringing the world Samuel Wanjiru. Akiyama shares priceless firsthand accounts of picking Wanjiru up at the airport the first time he came to Japan, talks about Wanjiru's career from the inside, and gives his unique insight on the Kenyan distance running world. It may be our best issue yet, and it's available in full to subscribers only. Don't miss it.

Click here to subscribe.

Subscribers click here to log on.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Japan's fall track season is well underway, a transition period designed to sharpen the summer base as the focus shifts to the ekiden season. The Monday, Oct. 11 national holiday saw two major track meets alongside the Izumo Ekiden.

The Niigata Big Athletics Festa focused on 10000 m for the distance runners. Former Sendai Ikuei H.S. standout Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) led the way with a 27:50.64 to move into the 2010 worldwide top 30. In second came Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) in a PB of 28:07.99, just clearing the 2011 World Championships B-standard. The women's 10000 m added two more Japanese women to the 2010 worldwide top 30, with veteran Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) clearing the World Championships A-standard in 31:44.93 and Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) the B-standard in 31:53.22.

In other Niigata events, Miwa Yokoyama (Niigata Meikun H.S.) broke the prefectural high school girls' 5000 m record with a solo 15:58.81, winning by over a minute. Steepler Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) ran the fastest Japanese men's time of the year, 8:30.49 in a 5-second PB. Men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota was just 0.02 off his own record, winning in 1:46.18. Second placer Takanori Matsumoto (SDF Academy) was also under 1:47 and the top four all broke 1:48, the first time this has ever happened in a domestic Japanese 800 m.

Across the country at the Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships, Kenyan Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku) set a meet record of 13:37.07 in the men's 5000 m. Sugihara's teammate, Ethiopian ace Betelhem Moges (Team Denso),had an easy win in the women's 3000 m, winning in 9:03.43 by a margin of nearly 45 seconds. Meet records also came in the women's 100 m, men's 110 mH, men's and women's triple jump and men's discus.

For complete Niigata Big Athletics Festa results, click here.

For complete Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships results, click here.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, October 11, 2010

Waseda CR For First Izumo Ekiden Win Since '96 (updated)

by Brett Larner

Sophomore Shota Hiraga brings Waseda University in for a course record win at the 2010 Izumo Ekiden.

With starting temperatures an unseasonable 27 degrees, Waseda University head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe finally put it together Oct. 11 with the biggest success of his career, a sleek and scintillating course record win at the 22nd Izumo Ekiden. Despite a slight edge on paper over rivals Komazawa University and Nittai University, Watanabe's history of drilling talented squads into the ground and arriving at important races in tatters stood against Waseda's chances.

The fears of another blowup were groundless. All six Waseda runners, juniors Yo Yazawa and Yuki Yagi, sophomore Saku Chosei HS grads Hiroyuki Sasaki and Shota Hiraga and star frosh recruits and 2010 World Jr. Championships teammates Suguru Osako and Fuminori Shikata ran perfectly, the first time in recent memory that can be said of a Waseda team. Yazawa pushed Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) over the 8.0 km First Stage before dropping him easily in the last km. Osako, another Saku Chosei grad, ran with guts and grace in his university ekiden debut on the 5.8 km Second Stage despite an ankle sprain 3 weeks ago. Yagi, a high school national champion who has been flat and listless in his first two years of university, covered the 7.9 km Third Stage with a stage best time and delivered his first good race since arriving at Waseda, nearly bringing Waseda alum and marathon legend Toshihiko Seko to tears.

Sasaki was arguably the star of the ekiden, beauty in motion as he broke the 6.2 km Fourth Stage record by 39 seconds. That's over 6 seconds a km, nearly 10 seconds a mile. If there was a weak spot in Waseda's armor it was Shikata, who lost a few seconds on the 6.4 km Fifth Stage but delivered a comfortable lead to anchor Hiraga. Like Osako and Sasaki, Hiraga, the 2009 Ageo City Half Marathon champion with a 1:02:08 PB as a frosh, showed the classic smooth Saku Chosei form as he cruised to the win with a 30:00 stage best for the 10.2 km anchor leg to bring Waseda in to the win in 2:10:05 for the 44.5 km distance, breaking the course record by 2 seconds and giving Waseda its first Izumo win since 1996.

Komazawa University and to a lesser extent Nittai University were close to Waseda on paper and, in the case of a typical Waseda breakdown, should have been there to pick up the pieces. Nittai was up front from the start and thanks to a stage best run from sophomore Yutaro Fukushi on the Second Stage advanced to 2nd, where it remained for the rest of the race. Komazawa suffered from weak performances in the first half, particularly from star frosh Ikuto Yufu and sophomore Saku Chosei H.S. grad Kenta Chiba, and was running as low as 7th before frosh Shinobu Kubota and top sophomore Wataru Ueno turned things around, Ueno scoring a new stage record of 18:30 on the 6.4 km Fifth Stage. It came down to ailing Nittai anchor Takuya Noguchi to hold things together and keep away from charging Komazawa man Kazuhiro Kuga, and he did, just, taking 2nd by a 12-second margin over Komazawa.

Click to enlarge. A comparison of the 5000 m and 10000 m PBs for the members of the top three schools at the 2010 Izumo Ekiden. All six members of winner Waseda's team have 10000 m PBs under 29 minutes. It would be great to see some of the top U.S. schools such as Oregon, Stanford or CU go up against these and other top Kanto Region schools over these kinds of distances.

The biggest surprise was perhaps 4th-place Toyo University, the two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion. Missing ace junior Ryuji Kashiwabara, the team ran only three members of its Hakone squad, opting to put in three frosh and see what happened. Identical twins Keita and Yuta Shitara delivered, both scoring top five marks on the first two stages to put Toyo into a stable 3rd. Only sophomore anchor Takanori Ichikawa slipped, overtaken by Komazawa anchor Kuga, but the 4th place finish exceeded expectations and suggests Toyo is in a good position to maintain its second-greatest asset, its depth of talent.

Yamanashi Gakuin University was 5th thanks in large part to a stage-second by anchor Muryo Takase, who earlier this year broke 62 minutes for the half marathon to become the #1-ranked university half marathoner in the country. The top school from outside the Kanto Region was Kyoto Sangyo University, only 9th despite a solid run from national university 5000 m champion Hiroki Mitsuoka.

Following the race Waseda coach Watanabe was calmly confident, predicting that Waseda would win the triple crown this season: Izumo, the National University Ekiden in November, and January's celebrated Hakone Ekiden. Big words with little to back them up. With this win he has finally shown that he is capable of bringing a talented group to a major race with all the key players in peak shape, but whether he can maintain that situation for another three months is another question entirely. In the last decade no team that has won Izumo has gone on to win Hakone, much less complete the triple crown. Is Watanabe overreaching in his ambition? We'll see. The biggest test will come at next month's Ageo City Half Marathon, where Watanabe will most likely give frosh Osako and Shikata their first tests over the longer distances that typify Hakone.

Update: Ivy League team member Jordan Kinley posted a great account of running this year's Izumo Ekiden. Read it here along with some pre-race posts.

2010 Izumo Ekiden Results
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (8.0 km) - Yo Yazawa (Jr., Waseda) - 23:07
2nd Stage (5.8 km) - Yutaro Fukushi (So., Nittai) - 16:45
3rd Stage (7.9 km) - Yuki Yagi (Jr., Waseda) - 23:15
4th Stage (6.2 km) - Hiroyuki Sasaki (So., Waseda) - 17:54 - CR
5th Stage (6.4 km) - Wataru Ueno (So., Komazawa) - 18:30 - CR
6th Stage (10.2 km) - Shota Hiraga (So., Waseda) - 30:00

Team Results - 44.5 km
1. Waseda Univ. - 2:10:05 - CR
2. Nittai Univ. - 2:11:16
3. Komazawa Univ. - 2:11:28
4. Toyo Univ. - 2:11:59
5. Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. - 2:12:09
6. Tokyo Nogyo Univ. - 2:13:04
7. Chuo Univ. - 2:13:20
8. Meiji Univ. - 2:14:19
9. Kyoto Sangyo Univ. - 2:14:25
10. Daiichi Kogyo Univ. - 2:14:28
11. Aoyama Gakuin Univ. - 2:15:34
12. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:16:07
13. Josai Univ. - 2:16:42
14. Chukyo Univ. - 2:17:57
15. Ivy League Select Team - 2:18:16
16. Hokkaido Select Team - 2:19:48
17. Tohoku Select Team - 2:20:09
18. Nihon Univ. - 2:20:29
19. Nippon Bunri Univ. - 2:21:28
20. Chugoku/Shikoku Select Team - 2:22:29
21. Hokuriku Select Team - 2:23:14
22. Hiroshima Univ. - 2:26:28

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'In a Thriller, Kamathi Takes 2:07:38 Victory in Eindhoven'

http://www.iaaf.org/news/kind=100/newsid=58476.html

Along with Chicago Marathon winner Samuel Wanjiru, Eindhoven Marathon winner Charles Kamathi is a Japan-trained Kenyan. He ran for Team Fujitsu.

Kaori Yoshida Sub-2:30 PB at Chicago Marathon (updated with photos)

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter


After years of near-misses, former Second Wind AC and Team Shiseido runner Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) finally broke through the 2:30 barrier, barely, with a 2:29:45 PB for 8th place at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. After a solid buildup which included wins at July's Gold Coast Marathon and last month's Hakodate Half Marathon, both in times just off her PBs, Yoshida hit Chicago hard with a 1:13:06 first half, just seconds off her winning time in Hakodate. Largely ignored on the Japanese television broadcast which concentrated on cursed Tenmaya runner Naoko Sakamoto's attempt to make a comeback, Yoshida faded in the final kilometers but rallied to just clear her target and mark the best Chicago finish by a Japanese woman since her former Shiseido and Second Wind teammate Kiyoko Shimahara's 3rd-place showing two years ago.

Half-marathon specialist Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) had a middling day, 14th in 2:33:21, while Sakamoto, holder of a 2:21:51 debut, continued her unfortunate slide from the professional level, 29th in 2:44:47.

Japanese coverage of Chicago also included an exclusive interview in Japanese with men's winner Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya), who talked about the importance of gaman, the capacity of calm endurance he learned during his years living in Japan, and wrote the kanji for the word and his Japanized name on a banner for the Japanese TV audience. He also said that his ultimate goal is to defend his Olympic medal in London.

2010 Chicago Marathon - Top Results
click here for complete results
Women
1. Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) - 2:20:25 - NR
2. Atsede Baysa (ETH) - 2:23:40
3. Maria Konovalova (RUS) - 2:23:50 - PB
4. Desiree Davila (U.S.A.) - 2:26:20 - PB
5. Irina Mikitenko (GER) - 2:26:40
6. Mamitu Daska (ETH) - 2:28:29
7. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet (U.S.A.) - 2:28:44
8. Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) - 2:29:45 - PB
9. Jia Chaofeng (CHN) - 2:30:35
10. Tera Moody (U.S.A.) - 2:30:53 - PB
-----
14. Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 2:33:21
29. Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:44:47

Men
1. Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) - 2:06:24
2. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) - 2:06:43
3. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) - 2:08:10
4. Wesley Korir (KEN) - 2:08:44
5. Vincent Kipruto (KEN) - 2:09:08
6. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) - 2:09:28
7. Laban Moiben (KEN) - 2:10:48
8. Jason Hartmann (U.S.A.) - 2:11:06 - PB
9. Ridouane Harroufi (MAR) - 2:13:01
10. Mike Sayenko (U.S.A.) - 2:14:27

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved
photos (c) 2010 Dr. Helmut Winter
all rights reserved

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nishihara Scores 5000 m PB at Marugame Nighter

by Brett Larner

2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 5000 m silver medalist and 2010 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) took another step toward the top with a 15:27.94 PB to finish 1st in the final women's 5000 m at the 2010 Nighter Time Trials in Marugame on Oct. 9. With runner-up Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) over 15 seconds behind, Nishihara's solo effort makes her the third-fastest Japanese woman of the year over 5000 m behind national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Nishihara's younger teammate Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.). Nishihara's progression since high school has been impressively consistent:

2006: 15:47.52
2007: 15:41.54
2008: 15:36.72
2009: 15:32.89
2010: 15:27.94

Yoshimoto was also scheduled to run but was a DNS, raising concerns about her condition after several weak performances earlier this fall season. With Bukkyo runners Mai Ishibashi and Rika Kawashima also under 16 minutes in heats 5 and 6, if both Yoshimoto and Nishihara are at full strength Bukkyo University should be virtually unchallenged to defend its national ekiden title in December.

2010 Nighter Time Trials in Marugame
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m - Heat 6
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:27.94 - PB
2. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 15:43.30
3. Mai Ishibashi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:44.96
4. Miyuki Oka (Kojokan H.S.) - 15:45.87
5. Mariko Nakao (Team Shiseido) - 16:02.60
6. Atsuko Muraoka (Team Shiseido) - 16:03.33
7. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 16:04.24
8. Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) - 16:07.75
9. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 16:10.65
10. Machi Tanaka (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:14.80

Women's 5000 m - Heat 5
1. Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:53.92
2. Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:57.79
3. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Oita) - 16:01.72

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

10/10/10 10:10:10

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Watch the Izumo Ekiden Online - Komazawa vs. Waseda

by Brett Larner

Monday's 22nd Izumo Ekiden kicks off Japan's fall season, with some of the top university teams from the Kanto region squaring off against the best from the rest of the country over shorter distances than in any of the other major road events. An all-star team of American Ivy League alum also makes an appearance each year to add a bit of international color. The race will be broadcast live online on Fuji TV on Oct. 11 from 1:00 to 3:25 p.m. Japan time, and thanks to the miracle of modern computer technology overseas viewers can watch live online through Keyhole TV. That's midnight Sunday night for Ivy Leaguers, 9 pm on the West Coast, or, unfortunately, 5 a.m. Monday morning in London. Click here for more details on watching online. JRN will be doing live English commentary via Twitter on JRNLive.

It looks like a foregone conclusion that the race is going to be a battle between two of the big powerhouse universities: Komazawa and Waseda. The Hakone Ekiden's race announcers like to talk about the number of sub-14 5000 m and sub-29 10000 m guys different schools have, but at the Izumo Ekiden where the six stages range from 5.8 to 10.2 km it's a more meaningful statistic. There has been a noticeable upswing in the number of guys hitting those marks in the last two years, and both Komazawa and Waseda bring squads that to say the least stack up favorably against the best American NCAA Div. I teams. What makes Komazawa's notable is that they are all frosh and sophomores. Take a look at the two schools' entry lists, from which each will select a starting lineup of six (click to enlarge):


Apart from Nittai University with four men sub-14 no other school comes close to these two teams' quality, so although neither has won Izumo since the mid-90's it should come down to Komazawa, 2nd in 2008, and Waseda, 4th last year. Komazawa head coach Hiroaki Oyagi has a far more reliable record than Waseda head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe, Oyagi having produced the most dominant school in recent Hakone Ekiden history and Watanabe having produced a string of teams deep in talent and completely unable to put it together on race day. All things considered, despite Waseda looking better on paper Komazawa gets the JRN call for the win.

Looking at the competition, most of the other top schools are not able to field their best. Nittai looks like the strongest based on their entry list, but captain Takuya Noguchi has been far from his peak performances all year. Two-time defending Izumo champion Nihon University blew this year's Hakone Ekiden and has to run next weekend's Yosenkai 20 km to re-qualify, the same situation Komazawa was in last year. Nihon will follow Komazawa's strategy from last year, putting its A-squad into the Yosenkai and signing off on Izumo with a young B-squad. Last year's runner-up Yamanashi Gakuin University may do well if Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba and 61 minute half marathoner Muryo Takase are fit, but the school lacks any depth to compete with the two favorites. 2009 3rd-placer and two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University has a reliable, solid squad, but with its key weapon, junior Ryuji Kashiwabara, out with injury it's unlikely that Toyo will factor into the top three again this year.

Daiichi Kogyo University is the only school from outside the Kanto region to reliably challenge the top positions, having finished 3rd in 2008 on the strength of a pair of Kenyans. Its ace Kiragu Njuguna returns, but much will depend on the performance of Moroccan frosh Alhamli Mohammed. Last year's 6th and 7th placers, Ritsumeikan and Kyoto Sangyo, each feature a sub-14 ace, in Kyoto Sangyo's case freshly-minted National University 5000 m champion Hiroki Mitsuoka. Strong team showings could put either into the top five.

The Ivy League team typically finishes in the bottom third of the field, unable to beat even a single school from the Kanto region. In a perfect world we'd instead see a top NCAA team or two, say Oregon or Stanford, taking on schools like Komazawa and Waseda, which are at least their equals, in Izumo where the distances are ones to which American university runners are more accustomed. That would all be a lot of money and red tape away, but what a race it would be to see the best from the world's two great university systems running together.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kashiwabara to Miss Izumo Ekiden

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010100600762

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 6 it was made public that Toyo University ace junior Ryuji Kashiwabara will sit out the Oct. 11 Izumo Ekiden in Izumo, Shimane prefecture. Toyo head coach Sakai told reporters that Kashiwabara's condition this season is not good and that he will take things easy. Toyo won the last two Hakone Ekidens on the strength of Kashiwabara's pair of stage record runs on Hakone's legendary uphill Fifth Stage.

Translator's note: Look for JRN's Izumo Ekiden preview and information on watching live online tomorrow night.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unknown Risa Shibuya Tops National Sports Festival 3000 m (updated)

by Brett Larner

Unknown high schooler Risa Shibuya of Hanawa H.S. in the northern city of Akita turned in one of the biggest performances in the 2010 National Sports Festival on the final day of competition on Oct. 5 in Chiba. Running in the high school girls' 3000 m, Shibuya trounced 2010 Asian Junior 3000 m champion Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) by over 6 seconds to win in 9:08.07, the second-fastest time of the year by a Japanese woman behind only 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki). Shibuya's performance would have put her in 2nd place at last weekend's National Corporate Championships ahead of world-ranked Ethiopian ace Betelhem Moges (Team Denso).

With most of the top high school boys opting for the 5000 m the high school boys' 3000 m was relatively unremarkable, won in 8:25.76 by Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.).

Update: This article reports that Shibuya is a 3rd year who for the last two years placed in the top 8 in the 800 and 1500 m. In moving up to the 3000 m she has practiced kicking hard with 1000 m to go, the exact strategy she used to win this time. Her time of 9:08.07 was a PB by 6 seconds.

2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Oct. 5, Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium
click here for complete results
High School Girls 3000 m
1. Risa Shibuya (Hanawa H.S.) - 9:08.07
2. Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:14.49
3. Eri Tayama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:16.99
4. Ayaka Kikuchi (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 9:17.72
5. Eina Yokozawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:20.70

High School Boys 3000 m
1. Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.) - 8:25.76
2. Yusuke Nishiyama (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 8:29.31
3. Shohei Fujihara (Tottori Johoku H.S.) - 8:30.05

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Taniguchi to Resign as Head Coach of Tokyo Denryoku

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20101005-OHT1T00005.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Team Tokyo Denryoku announced on Oct. 4 that its head coach, 1991 World Championships marathon gold medalist Hiromi Taniguchi, will resign his position with the team. In explaining the move, Taniguchi, who turned 50 in April this year, commented, "I'd like to use my experience to help larger numbers of people." Representatives of the team thanked Taniguchi for his time with them, saying, "Please use your wisdom and abilities to help strengthen the Japanese distance runnning world." Taniguchi will now become a supervisor with the Tosupu Running company, doing consulting work related to running events and training facilities. He hopes to make work with the country's ever-growing numbers of amateur runners a priority.

Taniguchi's most well-known achievement was the marathon gold medal at the 1991 Tokyo World Championships. Following his retirement from competition he became coach of the Asahi Kasei running team, and later head coach of the Oki Denki women's team. In April, 2008 he took over as head of Team Tokyo Denryoku, leading it to two straight appearances at the New Year Ekiden national championships in 2009 and 2010.

15 Athletes Arrive for Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Training Camp

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/national/20101004-OYS1T00203.htm

translated by Brett Larner

15 corporate runners and their coaches arrived in Hofu this week for a week-long training camp designed to prepare them for the 41st Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, scheduled for Dec. 19. Hofu Athletics Association assistant director Kyoji Nomi described the training camp, saying, "We want this week to kick off their preparations for the marathon in excellent style. It is an opportunity for young athletes to learn from veterans and for all of them to spread their wings wide and fly."

On the first day of the camp all the runners in the group did a 30 km tempo run together. Other workouts scheduled for the week include a 40 km long run and 120 minute sustained run. 2008 Hofu Yomiuri winner Kentaro Ito (Team Kyowa Hakko Bio) commented, "This week will form a solid foundation for our training for the main event. I'll put my best into everything on the menu."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mitsuya, Chepyego Win Fukuoka Road Championships

by Brett Larner

After a string of runner-up placings, Team Toyota Kyushu ace Yu Mitsuya took his second win Oct. 3 at the Omuta Road Race 10 Miler, site of the annual Fukuoka Prefectural Road Championships. Mitsuya easily handled the competition, runner-up Shuji Yoshikawa (Team Kyudenko) finishing 16 seconds back. Defending champion Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) was only 10th in 49:04.

In the women's 5 km, Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) outkicked Fukuoka University's Rina Hidaki for the win in a modest 16:23. Local boy Atsushi Yamasaki (Omuta H.S.) took the high school boys' 10 km in 32:59.

2010 Fukuoka Prefectural Road Championships
Omuta, Fukuoka, 10/3/2010
click here for complete results
Men's 10 Miler
1. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:23
2. Shuji Yoshikawa (Team Kyudenko) - 48:39
3. Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:42
4. Teruo Taneno (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 48:48
5. Hayato Ideue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:48
6. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:48
7. Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:52
8. Masanori Sakai (Team Kyudenko) - 48:53
9. Shinji Tateishi (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 48:55
10. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 49:04

Women's 5 km
1. Sally Chepyego Kaptich (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 16:23
2. Rina Hidaki (Fukuoka Univ.) - 16:24
3. Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) - 16:42

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Atsushi Yamasaki (Omuta H.S.) - 32:59

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

University Runners Win 35th Sapporo Half Marathon

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hokkaido/news/20101004-OYT8T00012.htm

translated by Brett Larner

A record 12,689 runners took part in the 35th anniversary Sapporo Half Marathon on Oct. 3. Conditions at the 10:00 a.m. start were an ideal 15.4 degrees, helping many in the field to reach their pre-race goals. Komazawa University senior Shuichi Fujiyama won the men's race in 1:05:27, while national champion Bukkyo University's Sayuri Yamanaka won the women's category in 1:16:41.

Translator's note: This is a separate event from July's Sapporo International Half Marathon.

36 Stung by Killer Hornets at Iizuna Marathon

http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/20101004/a-1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

At around 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 3 at Nagano's Iizuna Kogen ski area, 36 people including staff and runners at the 24th Nagano Iizuna Kogen Kenko Marathon were stung by what appeared to be yellow killer hornets. 33 people including 18 children were taken by car to a local hospital for treatment. According to city officials and race organizers, none of the injuries was serious. Nevertheless, organizers stopped the race to protect the safety of those taking part.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Four Under 14 in High School 5000 m - National Sports Festival Day Three

2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Oct. 3, Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium
click here for complete results
High School Boys' 5000 m - final
1. Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzei H.S.) - 13:39.43
2. Genki Yagisawa (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 13:57.37
3. Takashi Ichida (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 13:57.76
4. Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 13:59.88
5. Norihisa Imai (Gijuku Ishikawa H.S.) - 14:06.98
6. Kazuto Nishiike (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:07.58
7. Kenta Murayama (Meisei H.S.) - 14:07.91
8. Naoki Shimada (Hamamatsu Nittai H.S.) - 14:12.48
9. Ryoma Takeuchi (Tokai Oyamagata H.S.) - 14:13.14
10. Kei Fumimoto (Rakunan H.S.) - 14:17.73

Women's 1500 m - final
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 4:12.38 - MR
2. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:18.22
3. Yukari Soh (Team Asahi Kasei) - 4:18.38

High School Girls' 1500 m - final (10/2)
1. Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:16.90 - MR
2. Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 4:17.93 - MR
3. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:23.39

Men's 1500 m - final
1. Yasunori Murakami (Team Fujitsu) - 3:43.80
2. Takanori Matsumoto (SDF Academy) - 3:44.29
3. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:44.39

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jeilan Again - Solo 13:21.29 at Saitama Time Trials

by Brett Larner

Just a week after running one of the fastest 10000 m of the year, 2008 World XC Jr. Champion Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) ran a solid 13:21.29 to win the men's 5000 m A-heat at the Saitama Prefecture Time Trials on Oct. 2. It was a completely solo performance as second-placer Makoto Iwase (SDF Academy) was over a minute behind in 14:23.73. Despite neither being a PB, Jeilan's two solid efforts show he is adapting to life and training in Japan and will be a major factor in the upcoming jitsugyodan ekiden season.

In other results from the meet, Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) led three under 29 minutes in the men's 10000 m A-heat, while Josai University runners Hiromi Katakai and Miki Yamada went 1-2 in the women's 5000 m A-heat.

2010 Saitama Prefecture Time Trials
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) - 28:52.06
2. Keita Baba (Team Honda) - 28:55.16
3. Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) - 28:57.75

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 13:21.29
2. Makoto Iwase (SDF Academy) - 14:23.73
3. Junichi Sakai (SDF Academy) - 14:25.15

Women's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Hiromi Katakai (Josai Univ.) - 16:13.85
2. Miki Yamada (Josai Univ.) - 16:15.81
3. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 16:16.86

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

National Sports Festival Day One - Results

2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium, Oct. 1
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m
1. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 15:30.34
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:31.12
3. Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:34.77
4. Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:35.95
5. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:37.72
6. Ayuko Suzuki (Meijo Univ.) - 15:37.83
7. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 15:44.62
8. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 15:45.97
9. Saori Yamashita (Team Hokuren) - 15:52.37
10. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 15:56.93

Junior Men's 5000 m - Heat 1
1. Kazuto Nishiike (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:06.46
2. Kenta Murayama (Meisei H.S.) - 14:07.03
3. Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 14:07.34

Junior Men's 5000 m - Heat 2
1. Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzei H.S.) - 13:58.49
2. Takashi Ichida (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 14:08.23
3. Genki Yagisawa (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 14:21.14

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon to Accept Women

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201010/CN2010100101000843.html

translated by Brett Larner

Organizers of the 60th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 6, 2011, announced on Oct. 1 that they will accept female applicants for the anniversary race. Organizers have no plans to add an invited women's field but will admit any women who meet the race's qualifying time of 2 hours 50 minutes. They hope to increase the number of applicants beyond last year's biggest-ever field size of 600.

Women have occasionally run Beppu-Oita in the past with special permission. Kiyoko Obata's 2:48:52 in the 1979 Beppu-Oita was a landmark in the history of Japanese women's marathoning, the first official time recorded by a Japanese woman in a domestic race.

Full details on application criteria for the 2011 race will be available on Oct. 6.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Beijing Sports University Withdraws From Izumo Ekiden After Territorial Clash

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/101001/spg1010010507000-n1.htm
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201009/CN2010093001000614.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010093000955

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Sept. 30 the Japanese National University Athletics Federation [Gakuren] received an email from Beijing Sports University saying that its team will not take part in the 22nd Izumo Ekiden, to be held Oct. 11 in Shimane prefecture. This year was to be the first time since 1991 that a Chinese university team had taken part in the prestigious ekiden.

The email did not give a specific reason for the withdrawal of the team of eight runners and two coaches, but the move is believed to be in response to the current territorial conflict between Japan and China sparked by Japan's recent seizure of a Chinese fishing boat and arrest of its captain near the Senkaku archipelago in Okinawa prefecture. According to a Gakuren official the email message stated simply, "Due to sudden personal circumstances of several team members we are unable to field enough runners to take part in the competition."