Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kentaro Ito Returns to Hofu Yomiuri Marathon

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/national/20101130-OYS1T00214.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Nov. 29 the organizing committee of the 41st Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, scheduled for Dec. 19, announced the field of ten invited elites at this year's race. Eight domestic runners and two overseas athletes will compete for the win, while the general division will see its largest-ever field including 1692 men and 156 women.

At the top of the field is Kurao Umeki (Team Chugoku Denryoku), who set his PB of 2:09:52 at the 2003 Berlin Marathon. 2008 Hofu champion Kentaro Ito (Team Kyowa Hakko Bio) returns to seek a second title. Young rising stars seeking to make a name include Takuro Yamashita (Team Fujitsu), Takashi Yamauchi (Team Aisan Kogyo) and Kiyotaka Shimamura (Tokyo T&F Assoc.). Kenyan Samuel Ganga (Team Mazda) will make his marathon debut.

Invited overseas elites include Mongolian Serod Batochir, who set a PB of 2:12:42 at September's Berlin Marathon and returns for his third-straight Hofu, and Korean Chon Un San who last ran Hofu in 2008.

2010 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Elite Field
Kurao Umeki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:09:52
Serod Batochir (Mongolia) - 2:12:42
Chon Un-San (South Korea) - 2:13:39
Kentaro Ito (Team Kyowa Hakko Bio) - 2:13:44
Kiyotaka Shimamura (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:15:34
Akira Kiniwa (Team S&B) - 2:16:36
Hiroyuki Kamiguchi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:17:21
Takuro Yamashita (Team Fujitsu) - 2:17:30
Takashi Yamauchi (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 2:17:38
Samuel Ganga (Kenya/Team Mazda) - debut - 1:03:18 half marathon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Takushoku University First-Years Sub-28 at Kanto Time Trials

by Brett Larner

Takushoku University's fortunes under its new coach Okada continue to improve. A month after Takushoku won both the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km qualifier team and individual titles Takushoku first-years Duncan Mozay and John Maina worked together to crack 28 minutes at the Kanto Regional University Time Trials in Tokyo's National Stadium on Nov. 27. Both runners clocked 27:53, meaning they are now the fastest university runners in the Kanto region ahead of Jobu University senior Yusuke Hasegawa and Nihon University junior Benjamin Gando. Only one of the pair will be allowed to run January's Hakone Ekiden, but with two aces to choose from Takushoku is in an excellent position to make the Hakone seeded bracket.

2010 Kanto Regional 5000 m champion Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.), fresh from a 3rd-place finish on the competitive 1st Stage of Tuesday's International Chiba Ekiden, won another of the meet's ten heats of 10000 m, pushed to a 28:41.40 by Meiji University sophomore Masato Kikuchi.

2010 Kanto Regional University Time Trials
National Stadium, Tokyo, 11/27/10
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m - Heat 8
1. Duncan Mozay (1st yr., Takushoku Univ.) - 27:53.00
2. John Maina (1st yr., Takushoku Univ.) - 27:53.50
3. Yuki Munakata (3rd yr., Chuo Univ.) - 28:55.65
4. Kenta Matsubara (3rd yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 29:03.77
5. Junya Kinoshita (3rd yr., Tokyo Nogyuo Univ.) - 29:08.85

Men's 10000 m - Heat 6
1. Taku Fujimoto (3rd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 28:41.40
2. Masato Kikuchi (2nd yr., Meiji Univ.) - 28:43.61
3. Tatsuya Sato (1st yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 29:33.04

Women's 5000 m
1. Eri Yagi (2nd yr., Meijo Univ.) - 15:54.52
2. Nanaka Izawa (1st yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 15:57.91
3. Erika Ikeda (1st yr., Meijo Univ.) - 16:11.96

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Time Trial in Nagasaki - Top Results

2010 Time Trial in Nagasaki
Kakidomari Field, Nagasaki Civic Sports Park, 11/27/10
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m - Heat Two
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 15:37.44
2. Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) - 15:55.60
3. Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 16:07.22
4. Manami Takehisa (2nd yr., Kojokan H.S.) - 16:09.16
5. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 16:12.21

Men's 10000 m
1. Masahiko Takeyasu (Team Chudenko) - 29:09.02
2. Kazuaki Iwami (Team Kyudenko) - 29:10.54
3. Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) - 29:16.68

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kitaoka Marathon Silver at Asian Games

by Brett Larner

With the emergence of India's superb double track medalists Preeja Sreeharan and Kavita Raut and nearly all of the remaining medals in the men's and women's distance medals going to Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes running in the colors of Qatar and Bahrain, Japanese athletes were virtually shut out of the distance medals at the 2010 Asian Games in Guanzhou, China. In just his second marathon, Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) delivered one of Japan's only distance medals of the Games, outkicking the defending gold medalist, Kenyan Richard Yatich running as Mubarak Hussan Shami of Qatar, in the final meters of the race to take silver behind an outstanding if unsportsmanlike gold medal run from South Korea's Youngjun Ji. In taking silver Kitaoka likely earned himself one of the five spots up for grabs on the Japanese marathon squad for next summer's World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

By contrast the Japanese women marathoners came up empty-handed for the first time as defending Asian Games silver medalist Kiyoko Shimahara and her Second Wind AC teammate Yuri Kano were beaten fair and square by Japanese-coached defending gold medalist Chunxiu Zhou and her training partner Xiaolin Zhu of China, 2009 Asian half marathon champion Kum Ok Kim (North Korea) and, in a brilliant performance, the unknown Triyaningsih (Indonesia).

The men's race was in more ways than one a duel between Ji, holder of the fastest SB in the field and Shami, who had not finished a marathon since 2008. Shami, who repeatedly throughout the race stopped at water stations to dig water bottles out of cardboard boxes rather than take the paper cups placed on the tables, did much of the attacking over the difficult Guangzhou course. Ji consistently followed right behind, clipping Shami's heels at seemingly every available opportunity. Shami at first responded by waving Ji off, then forward, then turning and shouting, then swerving wildly to get away from the Korean, then slowing to a walk so Ji would be forced to go around him, and ultimately slapping, pushing or apparently throwing a punch at Ji on at least three occasions. For an international championship race it was wild and crazy sequence of events and a remarkably dirty run by the eventual Korean gold medalist.

Following a surge by Kitaoka at 31 km, Ji took control of the race at 32 km, breaking away with Shami close by but trying to keep to his own personal space. Ji eventually wore Shami down and by 38 km was on his own, pushing impressively through the heat and hills to take gold in 2:11:11. Shami, still close behind Ji at the 40 km water station, shockingly stopped and struggled to take a bottle of water out of a cardboard box below an aid station table as Kitaoka, still visible behind him, bore down. Entering the final straightaway to the finish Kitaoka caught Shami, sailing on to take silver in 2:12:46 with Shami hanging on for bronze just seconds back.

The women's marathon was more one-dimensional with Zhou, the defending women's gold medalist and holder of the best PB and SB in the field, controlling the race. Looking to be in her best form since winning the 2008 London Marathon, she and Zhu ran together wearing down the field until it was down to the eventual medalists. Zhou then broke away with an aggressive surge after 32 km to repeat her gold from the 2006 Doha Asian Games in 2:25:00, her best time of the year. Her perpetual bridesmade Zhu took silver, with bronze medalist Kim likewise dealing out a season best performance in 2:27:06.

Triyaningsih deserves an honorable mention for her surprising 4th place, coming to the Games with a PB of only 2:47:35, a build and form like a middle distance athlete, running most of the race with her head and shoulders covered, and outkicking Shimahara for 4th. The always-reliable Shimahara had a gutsy performance, falling from the lead pack after only 8 km but returning in the final 4 km to catch Triyaningsih and challenge for 4th, but for the Japanese women it was nevertheless a disappointing day, the last chance to put a bright ending on the weakest year in the modern history of Japanese women's marathoning.

2010 Asian Games Distance Events
click here for complete results
italicized results indicate African athletes competing in the Asian Games
Men's Marathon, 11/27/10
1. Youngjun Ji (South Korea) - 2:11:11
2. Yukihiro Kitaoka (Japan) - 2:12:46
3. Mubarak Hussan Shami (Kenya/Qatar) - 2:12:53
4. Dong Guojian (China) - 2:14:48 - 3rd Asian
-----
7. Tomoyuki Sato (Japan) - 2:18:24

Women's Marathon, 11/27/10
1. Chunxiu Zhou (China) - 2:25:00
2. Xiaolin Zhu (China) - 2:26:35
3. Kum Ok Kim (North Korea) - 2:27:06
4. Triyaningsih (Indonesia) - 2:31:48 - PB
5. Kiyoko Shimahara (Japan) - 2:32:11
-----
7. Yuri Kano (Japan) - 2:36:40

Men's 10000 m, 11/26/10
click here for video highlights
1. Bilisuma Shugi Gelassa (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 27:32.72 - PB, MR
2. Essa Rashed (Kenya/Qatar) - 27:33.09
3. Ali Hasan Mahboob (Kenya/Qatar) - 27:40.07
-----
6. Satoru Kitamura (Japan) - 28:54.71 - 3rd Asian

Women's 10000 m, 11/21/10
click here for video: part one - part two - part three
1. Preeja Sreedharan (India) - 31:50.47 - PB, NR
2. Kavita Raut (India) - 31:51.44 - PB
3. Shitaye Habtegebrel (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 31:54:27 - PB
4. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) - 31:55.54 - 3rd Asian
5. Hikari Yoshimoto (Japan) - 32:06.73

Men's 5000 m, 11/21/10
1. Ali Hasan Mahboob (Kenya/Bahrain) - 13:47.86
2. James Kurui (Kenya/Qatar) - 13:48.55
3. Felix Kibore (Kenya/Qatar) - 13:49.31
4. Dejene Mootumaa (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 13:50.60
5. Abdullah Aljoud (Saudia Arabia) - 13:52.34 - 1st Asian
6. Kensuke Takezawa (Japan) - 13:54.11 - 2nd Asian
7. Baek Seung Ho (South Korea) - 13:56.18 - 3rd Asian
-----
9. Yuki Matsuoka (Japan) - 14:03.62

Women's 5000 m, 11/26/10
click here for video highlights
1. Mimi Belete Gebregeiorges (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 15:15.59 - PB
2. Preeja Sreedharan (India) - 15:15.89 - PB
3. Kavita Raut (India) - 15:16.54 - PB
-----
5. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) - 15:25.08 - 3rd Asian
8. Ryoko Kizaki (Japan) - 15:58.85

Men's 3000 m SC, 11/23/10
1. Tareq Taher (Kenya/Bahrain) - 8:25.89
2. Thamer Kamal (Kenya/Qatar) - 8:26.27
3. Ali al-Amri (Saudia Arabia) - 8:30.96 - 1st Asian

Women's 3000 mSC, 11/21/10
click here for video highlights
1. Sudha Singh (India) - 9:55.67
2. Jin Yuan (China) - 9:55.71
3. Minori Hayakari (Japan) - 10:01.25

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Diamond in the Rough - 17 Yr Old Girl Breaks CR by 9 Minutes and Makes Top 10 Overall at Nishi-Kanasa 14 km (updated)

by Brett Larner

New Nishi-Kanasa Mountain Road Race women's CR holder by 9 minutes, 17 year-old Minami Yamanouchi.

The 11th Nishi-Kanasa 14 km Mountain Road Race took place Nov. 21 in the town of Hitachi Ota, Ibaraki prefecture. For the second year in a row, Kenyans Joaz Ogata and Evan Malarsa of Team Ibaraki Kankyo Kigyo went 1-2, just off Ogata's course record in times of 49:36 and 49:45. The relatively slow pace, just over 3:30/km, reflects the difficulty of the course - a gentle downhill for the first two km, a gradual uphill for the next four, and then a suddenly 300 m climb from 6 km to 9 km followed by an equal descent in only 2 km and then a gradual slope down to the finish.

The big news of the race came in the women's division, where 17 year old Minami Yamanouchi, a high school junior from Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, finished 9th overall. Her time, 54:37, was only five minutes off that of the professional male Kenyan winner, broke the existing women's course record by nine minutes, and broke the high school boys' course record by nearly four minutes. The top high school boy in the race, speechless when he saw the results board post-race, was more than five minutes behind Yamanouchi.

Dressed in a maroon heavy polyester t-shirt and basketball shorts, Yamanouchi's appearance gave no indication of her talent. Attending a high school without a track program, she was Fukushima prefectural 800 m champion in junior high school and now trains by herself with support from her mother. In the off-season she runs longer-distance road races to stay in shape, recently winning a local half marathon in Fukushima in a 1:20-flat course record.

It's difficult to gauge her ability from her outstanding performance on a specialist course like Nishi-Kanasa's, but relative to the performances of the two Kenyan pros, women's 3rd placer and JRN associate editor Mika Tokairin and myself it suggests current 10000 m ability under at least 33:30. That's not bad for a female high school junior most places, let alone one who is self-coached. She may well amount to nothing, but Tokairin and I both felt that if Yamanouchi keeps running post-high school and lands at the right team, university or pro, we may have been lucky to see the first appearance of a future great.

Update: Yamanouchi followed up her Nishi-Kanasa performance two days later with a 2:56:04 at the Ohtawara Marathon in Tochigi prefecture, putting her in 6th in the women's division. Click here for complete Ohtawara Marathon results.

2010 Nishi-Kanasa 14 km Mountain Road Race
click here for complete results
Men
1. Joaz Ogata (Kenya/Team Ibaraki Kankyo Kigyo) - 49:36
2. Evan Malarsa (Kenya/Team Ibaraki Kankyo Kigyo) - 49:45
3. Katsunori Mori (unattached) - 51:59

Women
1. Minami Yamanouchi (unattached) - 54:37 - CR
2. Wakana Shinohara (Ota H.S.) - 1:07:19
3. Mika Tokairin (Namban Rengo AC) - 1:09:00

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hachioji Long Distance Meet - Top Results

2010 Hachioji Long Distance Meet
Kamiyugi Koen Track, Hachioji, Tokyo, 11/24/10
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m
1. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 15:24.53
2. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 15:24.66
3. Hiromi Koga (Team Denso) - 15:50.45
4. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 15:52.70
5. Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 15:54.89

Men's 10000 m - Heat 5
1. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 28:10.19
2. Samuel Kariuki (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 28:16.85
3. Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 28:19.73
4. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 28:29.40
5. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:34.54

Men's 10000 m - Heat 4
1. Shingo Mishima (Team Toyota) - 28:51.03
2. Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) - 29:13.80
3. Tsubasa Maeda (Team YKK) - 29:14.51

Men's 10000 m - Heat 3
1. Ryotaro Nitta (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:56.88
2. Takanobu Otsubo (Osaka City Hall AC) - 29:07.51
3. Noriyuki Nabetani (Osaka City Hall AC- 29:14.71

Men's 10000 m - Heat 2
1. Wataru Yamaguchi (Team Hitachi Cable) - 29:13.60
2. Kenta Iinuma (Team Sagawa Express) - 29:18.51
3. Hiromasa Fukushima (Team Commody Ida) - 29:21.54

Men's 10000 m - Heat 1
1. Hiroshi Yamada (Team Konica Minolta) - 29:36.30
2. Yuichi Shinoda (Team Hitachi Cable) - 29:41.05
3. Yosuke Chida (Team Hitachi Cable) - 29:43.50

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Japanese University Select Team Takes First-Ever International Chiba Ekiden Win

by Brett Larner
photos by Daniel Seite

On a windy and wild Nov. 23, a select team of Japanese university all-stars staged a surprise upset at the 2010 International Chiba Ekiden, coming up in the second half of the race to take its first-ever win over a field including ten national teams.

1st Stage leaders. In running order: Yuichiro Ueno (Japan), Vincent Yator (Kenya), Craig Mottram (Australia), Taku Fujimoto (Japan Univ.), Bobby Curtis (U.S.A.)

While the expected battle between Kenya and Japan took place up front, 2010 Kanto Regional University 5000 m champion Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) ran a gritty 1st Stage to put the university team into 3rd as 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno had a rare perfect run, putting Japan into 1st over Kenyan ace Vincent Yator just 1 second off the stage record. 2010 National University 5000 m runner-up Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) caught up to Kenyan Mercy Njoroge on the 2nd Stage while her male counterpart, 2010 National University 5000 m runner-up Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) reeled in struggling Japanese team leader Yuki Sato on the 3rd Stage.

Ed Moran (U.S.A.) passes Derek Nakluski (Canada) on the 3rd Stage.

2010 National University 5000 m Champion Kasumi Nishihara goes into the lead on the 4th Stage.

From there things took an unexpected turn. Despite having a 5000 m PB 30 seconds better than either Japanese runner, Kenyan 4th Stage runner Rispar Biyaki lost ground to the Japanese team's Tomoka Inadomi and 2010 National University 5000 m champion and double 2009 World University Games medalist Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.). Nishihara took advantage of Biyaki's momentary wrong turn at the 180' turnaround to seize the lead, the first time in Chiba history that the Japanese University team had taken the lead. Nishihara held on to build a 16 second lead in the second half of the stage, setting up for an action-packed final two stages.

Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Japan) running down the leaders on the 5th Stage.

Fresh from a sub-62 PB performance at last month's World Half Marathon, #1 ranked first-year pro Tsuyoshi Ugachi of the Japanese team went all-out to retake the lead, running stage record pace into a buffeting headwind to overtake Kenyan Boash Mayaka.

5th Stage leader Shota Hiraga (Japan Univ.).

With one km to go he caught 2009 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.). The pair battled over the final hills but Ugachi succeeded in breaking away from his younger rival, finishing the stage 1 second ahead and just 2 seconds off the stage record, no small feat considering the wind.

Aaron Braun (U.S.A.) goes beyond himself to catch Anatoly Rybakov (Russia) on the 5th Stage.

The stage was set for a classic anchor leg. In the lead: the Japanese team's Yuko Shimizu, 5000 m PB 15:29.58. Just 1 second behind: 2010 National University 10000 m champion Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.), 5000 m PB 15:54.18. Another 31 seconds back: Kenyan Pauline Korikwiang, 5000 m PB 14:45.98. 7.195 km to settle what was what.

Tomoka Inadomi (Japan) sailing smoothly.

Clearly showing her PB to be in need of an update, Tanaka had no trouble hanging with Shimizu, while behind Korikwiang bore down on the pair. The second Korikwiang made contact, with exactly 3 km to go, Shimizu and Tanaka both leaned forward and attacked. Korikwiang relaxed, then went by on the inside of a corner. Tanaka responded, while Shimizu began to slip behind. With 2 km to go Tanaka pushed her way up a hill, and Korikwiang let her go. The gap surprisingly continued to widen, and the Kenyan was never again a threat as Tanaka came in for a historic win to the surprise of pretty much everyone involved. Korikwiang held Shimizu off for 2nd, with Russia's Irina Sergeeva outrunning American Meghan Armstrong for 4th.

Kimberly Conley (U.S.A.) resigns herself to a stage 2nd-best time.

JRN's pre-race rankings predicted a finishing order of:

1. Kenya
2. Japan
3. Russia
4. Japan University Select Team
5. U.S.A.

Kenya, Japan, Russia and the U.S.A. teams all performed exactly as expected, finishing in precisely that order, but it was a shock to see the University team exceed expectations by such a significant degree. Along with this past weekend's results from the Ageo City Half Marathon, where Waseda University freshman Suguru Osako set an Asian junior record of 1:01:47, and the Nittai University Time Trials, where Jobu University senior Yusuke Hasegawa ran the fastest 10000 m time of the year by a Japanese university student, 28:07.47, and led unprecedented numbers of university runners under 29 and 14, it shows that despite the lapse in the current generation of Japanese marathoners there is no shortage of talent coming up through the pipeline. If Japan can make the necessary adjustments to its system to cope with changes in world marathoning in time for this young generation's prime years then its future will look good indeed.

2010 International Chiba Ekiden
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (5 km, men) - Yuichiro Ueno (JPN) - 13:23
2nd Stage (5 km, women) - Yuriko Kobayashi (JPN) - 15:27
3rd Stage (10 km, men) - Titus Mbishei (KEN) - 28:57
4th Stage (5 km, women) - Kasumi Nishihara (JUT) - 16:02
5th Stage (10 km, men) - Tsuyoshi Ugachi (JPN) - 28:51
6th Stage (7.195 km, women) - Pauline Korikwiang (KEN) - 23:20

Top Team Results - 42.195 km
1. Japan University Select Team - 2:07:52
2. Kenya - 2:08:06
3. Japan - 2:08:12
4. Russia - 2:09:35
5. U.S.A. - 2:10:54
6. Chiba Prefecture - 2:12:56
7. Australia - 2:14:07
8. Italy - 2:14:55
9. Romania - 2:15:02
10. Canada - 2:15:13
11. Czech Republic - 2:15:23
12. Norway - 2:17:01

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved
photos (c) and (p) 2010 Daniel Seite
all rights reserved

Mathathi, Matsuoka Win Final Nagoya Half Marathon

2010 Nagoya Half Marathon
Nagoya, 11/23/10 - final running
click here for complete results
Men
1. Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:00:29
2. Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Steel) - 1:00:32 - PB
3. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 1:01:12
4. Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:03:50
5. Munehiro Sugaya (Team Toyota) - 1:04:05

Women
1. Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:11:13 - PB
2. Hiromi Ominami (Utic AC) - 1:14:50

Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden - Results

2010 Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Fukuoka-Kitakyushu, 11/23/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (13.4 km) - Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 40:22
2nd Stage (10.2 km) - Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) - 31:20
3rd Stage (10.5 km) - Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 28:55
4th Stage (12.2 km) - Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 35:36
5th Stage (8.7 km) - Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 24:50
6th Stage (9.6 km) - Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:17
7th Stage (14.2 km) - Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) - 41:35

Top Team Results - 78.8 km
1. Team Asahi Kasei - 3:53:33
2. Team Yasukawa Denki - 3:55:38
3. Team Kyudenko - 3:57:47

Monday, November 22, 2010

Watch the International Chiba Ekiden Live Online With English Commentary

The 2010 International Chiba Ekiden will be broadcast live on Fuji TV from 1:00 to 3:25 p.m. on Nov. 23, Japan time. Overseas viewers can watch live online for free using Keyhole TV. JRN will be doing live English commentary http://twitter.com/JRNLive.

Click here for a preview of this year's possibly final edition of the last of the great international relays.

Click here for the starting lists and running order.

Click here for a course map.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freshman Suguru Osako 1:01:47 Jr. National Record at 2010 Ageo City Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
photos by Daniel Seite

Suguru Osako, 2010 Ageo City Half Marathon winner.

Waseda University first-year Suguru Osako ran his biggest performance yet Nov. 21 at the Ageo City Half Marathon, winning his half marathon debut in a new junior national record and junior Asian record of 1:01:47. Running in perfect conditions the 19 year-old Osako, who holds a 5000 m PB of 13:47.29 and a 10000 m PB of 28:35.75, battled it out with Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) for 16 km ahead of a large chase pack before dropping a hard surge with 5 km to go and pulling away for the win with the largest margin of victory in Ageo history, 57 seconds. Following the race he told the Yomiuri newspaper, "That didn't feel like it was very long at all."

Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) leads Osako and 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu) at 3 km.

Osako became only the third man to break 1:02 at Ageo and the fastest-ever Japanese runner to do so, beating Masato Kihara's time of 1:01:50 from the 2006 Ageo Half. Osako's time was also the second-best of the year by a Japanese man behind only pro Tomoya Onishi's 1:01:31 9th-place finish at last month's World Half Marathon Championships.

Perfect form one and all in the chase pack.

A former captain at Nagano's national champion Saku Chosei H.S., Osako is the latest in the steady stream of superb young runners to come out of Saku Chosei in recent years, following in the footsteps of Yuki Sato, Yuichiro Ueno and Akinobu Murasawa. Osako's performance puts Waseda, which won both the Izumo and National University ekidens this fall in course-record times, in an even better position to stop Toyo University from taking a third Hakone Ekiden title come January. Waseda head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe told the Yomiuri that Osako is likely to be put on Hakone's fastest leg, the Second Stage.

Mayhem at the 10 km turnaround.

Among the non-university runners in the field, two elites for next month's Fukuoka International Marathon had widely differing results. 2010 Tokyo Marathon 4th placer Yuki Kawauchi, an employee of the Saitama Prefectural Government, was just outside the top 10 and not far off his PB, running 1:03:48. 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu), debuting at the marathon in Fukuoka, ran the first part of the race with leaders Osako and Ondiba but faded badly to a final time of 1:05:47. Team Honda's Suehiro Ishikawa was the top pro finisher, 6th overall in 1:03:23. While things were fast up front, depth at this year's Ageo City Half Marathon was down somewhat compared to past runnings, when as many as 500 people have broken 1:13:

1st: 1:01:47
10th: 1:03:46
25th: 1:04:21
50th: 1:05:04
100th: 1:06:10
200th: 1:08:10
300th: 1:10:40
400th: 1:14:26
500th: 1:21:27

This may be indicative of a shift in priorities among the university coaches in the Kanto region, particularly in light of the dramatic increase in the number of Kanto runners clocking sub-14 and sub-29 this year. Nevertheless, Ageo remains unparalleled in its depth and level of competition.

2010 Ageo City Half Marathon - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
1. Suguru Osako (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:01:47 - debut, Jr. NR
2. Cosmas Onidba (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:44
3. Kazuya Deguchi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:14
4. Fuminori Shikata (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:20 - debut
5. Takuya Noguchi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:22
6. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 1:03:23
7. Yoshihiro Nishizawa (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:26 - debut
8. Hideki Inomata (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:30 - PB
9. Takumi Honda (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 1:03:41
10. Yusuke Mita (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:03:45 - PB

Click here for more excellent photos courtesy of Waseda University.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved
photos (c) 2010 Daniel Seite
all rights reserved

28-min and 13-min High Schoolers, a Masters National Record and More at Nittai Time Trials

by Brett Larner

Alongside the Ageo City Half Marathon it was a big weekend at the 212th Nittai University Time Trials, Nov. 20-21 in Yokohama. Among the highlights:
  • While 19 year-old Kenyan Bitan Karoki (Team S&B) added another sub-28 time in the 10000 m to his name with a 27:46.19 win, Jobu University senior Yusuke Hasegawa ran the fastest mark of the year by a Japanese university student, 28:07.47, to take 2nd in the A-heat. In the B-heat, Sendai Ikuei High School junior Yuma Hattori set the fastest time of the year by a Japanese high school student, 28:58.08. Three Josai University men broke 29 minutes for the first time; Josai head coach Seiji Kushibe, Jobu head coach Katsuhiko Hanada and Ageo winner Suguru Osako's coach at Waseda University, Yasuyuki Watanabe, were all teammates at Waseda during their student days.
  • Former 2:08 marathoner and national champion Team Nissin Shokuhin assistant coach Kenjiro Jitsui, 41, set a masters' 10000 m national record of 29:16.83 in the men's 10000 m B-heat.
  • In the men's 5000 m A-heat Kenyan newcomer Clement Langat (Team Subaru) continued to impress, winning in 13:37.55. Behind him Meisei High School's Kenta Murayama ran an excellent 13:49.45 for 2nd, while Ishikawa High School's Norihisa Imai and Sano Prep High School's Takuya Otani also broke 14, running 13:52.52 and 13:58.31 respectively.
  • Asagari San Junior High School's Ayaka Nakagawa ran the fastest junior high school girls' 3000 m of the year with a 9:22.54 in the women's 3000 m for 4th amongst a raft of top pro women.
  • Team Daihatsu's Remi Nakazato won the women's 5000 m in 15:38.50. Perpetual comeback hopeful and 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) had another sad DNS.

Click here for complete results from the 212th Nittai University Time Trials.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Asian Games Athletics Day One - Distance Results

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/114692/asian-games-athletics-sudha-wins.html

2010 Asian Games - Athletics Distance Results
click here for complete results
Women's 10000 m
1. Preeja Sreedharan (India) - 31:50.47 - PB, NR
2. Kavita Raut (India) - 31:51.44 - PB
3. Shitaye Habtegebrel (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 31:54.27 - PB
4. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) - 31:55.54
5. Hikari Yoshimoto (Japan) - 32:06.73

Men's 5000 m
1. Mahboob Ali Hasan Mahboob (Kenya/Bahrain) - 13:47.86
2. James Kurui (Kenya/Qatar) - 13:48.55
3. Felix Kibore (Kenya/Qatar) - 13:49.31
4. Dejenee Mootumaa (Ethiopia/Bahrain) - 13:50.60
5. Abdullah Aljoud (Saudia Arabia) - 13:52.34
6. Kensuke Takezawa (Japan) - 13:54.11
-----
9. Yuki Matsuoka (Japan) - 14:03.62

Women's 3000 mSC
1. Sudha Singh (India) - 9:55.67 - PB
2. Yuan Jin (China) - 9:55.71
3. Minori Hayakari (Japan) - 10:01.25

Nomura and Odagiri Go 3-4 at Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km

2010 Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km
Nijmegen, Netherlands, 11/21/10
Women
click here for complete women's results
1. Genet Getaneh (Ethiopia) - 47:53
2. Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) - 48:07
3. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 49:43
4. Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 51:37
5. Benita Willis (Australia) - 51:51

Men
click here for complete men's results
1. Leonard Patrick Komon (Kenya) - 41:13 - WR
2. Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) - 42:01
3. Ayele Abshiro (Ethiopia) - 42:01
4. Abraham Kiplimo (Uganda) - 43:03
5. Berhanu Delale (Ethiopia) - 43:08
-----
14. Kazuya Watanabe (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 45:31

Mari Ozaki Wins Final Kobe Women's Half Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/101121/spg1011211606004-n1.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

At the final running of the Kobe National Women's Half Marathon on Nov. 21, Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) took her first win with a time of 1:11:35. Her teammate Misato Horie was 2nd, 1 minute 10 seconds back. Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) was 3rd.

The Kobe National Women's Half Marathon is to be replaced with a mass-participation marathon, the Kobe Marathon, which will have its first running next fall. A field limit of 20,000 is expected.

Yokoyama Wins Setagaya 246 Half Marathon

http://www.mxtv.co.jp/mxnews/news/201011217.html

translated by Brett Larner

Once again this year the Setagaya 246 Half Marathon took place Nov. 21 in Setagaya, Tokyo. Under crystal-clear autumn skies it was an ideal race for hobbyists and elites alike. Begun in 2006 as an opportunity for Setagaya-area residents to enjoy their neighborhood in a new way, this year's race was the 5th edition. With demand growing steadily, this year organizers accepted an additional 500 entrants to bring the event up to 1500 runners. 6700 hundred people applied for the spots. A Rikuren-certified course, the Setagaya 246 Half Marathon begins at Komazawa Olympic Park and runs along Route 246 to the River Tama. Aoyama Gakuin University's Takuya Yokoyama won this year's race in 1:05:01, the second-fastest winning time so far. Hobby runners in the field enjoyed the support and cheers of their friends and family along the course, with all involved enjoying the best of autumn Setagaya.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kyoto Sangyo Takes First-Ever Biwako University Ekiden Win

by Brett Larner

Thanks in part to a big run from 2010 national university 5000 m champion Hiroki Mitsuoka on the 15.1 km Seventh Stage, Kyoto Sangyo University took its first-ever win Nov. 20 in the Biwako University Ekiden, western Japan's counterpart to January's Hakone Ekiden. Kyoto Sangyo defeated perpetual winner Ritsumeikan University by over 2 1/2 minutes, joining Bukkyo University's women's team in ending the Ritsumeikan stranglehold on western Japan men's and women's distance running.

2010 Biwako University Ekiden - Top Results
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (11.1 km) - Tetsuya Kimura (Osaka Keizai Univ.) - 33:12
Second Stage (7.3 km) - Kenji Nakamura (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 21:48
Third Stage (11.0 km) - Jackson Kwarai (Tanzania/Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 33:11
Fourth Stage (9.6 km) - Kiragu Njuguna (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 27:50
Fifth Stage (9.0 km) - Daiki Maruno (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 27:50
Sixth Stage (12.8 km) - Hiroyuki Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 38:27
Seventh Stage (15.1 km) - Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 44:55
Eighth Stage (7.7 km) - Kenro Muranishi (Nagoya Univ.) - 23:56

Top Team Performances - 83.6 km
1. Kyoto Sangyo Univ. - 4:13:54
2. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 4:16:35
3. Daiichi Kogyo Univ. - 4:18:25
4. Osaka Keizai Univ. - 4:20:22
5. Nara Sangyo Univ. - 4:20:28

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gharib and Tekeste to Headline Fukuoka International Marathon

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/flash/KFullFlash20101118070.html
http://mainichi.jp/enta/sports/news/20101119k0000m050060000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Nov. 18 Rikuren announced the elite field for this year's Fukuoka International Marathon scheduled for Dec. 5, the first of the domestic selection races for the 2011 World Championships marathon in Daegu, Korea. Beijing Olympics silver medalist and two-time World Championships gold medalist Jaouad Gharib (Morocco) leads the overseas invited field while a large group of Japanese elites will vie for a World Championships berth.

The domestic field includes 2005 World Championships marathon bronze medalist Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku), 2009 World Championships marathon team member Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo), 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), and in his marathon debut 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu).

Gharib will be running Fukuoka for the second time after finishing 3rd in 2006. Joining him in the field of seven foreign elites are 2010 Boston and 2009 Fukuoka runner-up Kebede Tekeste (Ethiopia) and last year's 3rd-place finisher and 2005 Fukuoka winner Dmytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine). Of the seven, Gharib holds the fastest PB with a time of 2:05:27. Two-time defending champion Tsegay Kebede (Ethiopia) will not return this year after competing in last month's Chicago Marathon.

2010 Fukuoka International Marathon Elite Field
click here for complete field listing in English
Jaouad Gharib (Morocco) - 2:05:27
Dmytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine) - 2:07:15
Kebede Tekeste (Ethiopia) - 2:07:23
Tomoaki Kunichika (Team S&B) - 2:07:52
Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:07:55
Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:08:37
Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) - 2:09:23
Tomoya Shimizu (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:09:23
Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:10:04
Adam Draczynski (Poland) - 2:10:49
Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:11:04
Dmitriy Safronov (Russia) - 2:11:51
Luis Feiteira (Portugal) - 2:11:57
Masatoshi Oike (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:12:15
Tomohiro Seto (Team Kanebo) - 2:12:21
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:12:36
Tomonori Onitsuka (Team Kyudenko) - 2:12:48
Kenta Oshima (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:12:54
Kim Min (Korea) - 2:13:11
Norio Kamijo (Team Aichi Seiko) - 2:13:37
Andrew Lemoncello (U.K.) - 2:13:40
Tetsuo Nishimura (Team YKK) - 2:14:22
Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:14:34
Takeshi Ueno (Team JFE Steel) - 2:15:26
Toru Okada (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 2:16:21
Fasil Bizuneh (U.S.A.) - 2:16:47
Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 2:18:34
Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu) - debut - 1:02:21 (half)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Noguchi on Entry List for National Corporate Ekiden Championships

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/flash/KFullFlash20101116082.html

translated by Brett Larner

Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) is on the entry list announced Nov. 16 for the National Jitsugyodan Ekiden Championships to be held Dec. 19 in Gifu. Should she start it will be the second race of her comeback. Noguchi withdrew from the Beijing Olympics marathon after sustaining an injury to her left thigh. On October 24 she ran in the West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden, her first race in 2 years, 5 months. According to the Kansai Athletics Association, Team Sysmex registered ten people for next month's Nationals. The starting lineup of six will be announced Dec. 18.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Akaba Tours New Osaka Course

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/other/101115/oth1011152039036-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On Nov. 15, Olympian Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) privately toured the new course for the 30th anniversary Osaka International Women's Marathon, scheduled for Jan. 30, 2011. Akaba jogged the final 20 km from the turnaround point at Dotonboribashi Minamijime to the finish at Nagai Stadium at a comfortable pace to let her get a feel for the new course while her coach and husband Shuhei accompanied her by car.

"There isn't much elevation change now, and the long straightaway [after 33 km] is also gone, so I think it's going to be a fast course," Akaba commented. Asked about her goals for what will be her fifth marathon she said, "I haven't won a marathon yet, so I am going to be in this race to win it. Not just to be the top Japanese finisher, but the winner." Osaka will be one of the selection races for next summer's World Championships in Daegu, Korea.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gebrselassie Reconfirms Intent to Run Tokyo Marathon

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201011/CN2010111501000936.html

translated by Brett Larner

Holder of the men's marathon world record of 2:03:59, Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie wrote on his Twitter feed on Nov. 15, "Running is in my blood. I have decided to keep running competitively," officially reversing his recent announcement of retirement.

In a telephone interview the same day Gebrselassie's agent Jos Hermans confirmed, "Haile will run the Tokyo Marathon. His knee problem is not serious. With another week's rest he'll be able to get back to training." He said Gebrselassie will travel to Japan in February as previously planned.

Aged 37, Gebrselassie dropped out partway through the Nov. 7 New York City Marathon with an injury to his right knee. Following the race Gebrselassie abruptly announced his retirement. Hermans commented, "Right after the race he was very emotional and in the heat of his disappointment blurted out that he was retiring, but he still has plenty of running left in him and has no reason to quit yet."

Known as the Emperor, Gebrselassie first set the marathon world record with a 2:04:26 at the 2007 Berlin Marathon. He returned a year later to break his own mark and become the first man under 2:04.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ekiden Weekend Roundup

by Brett Larner

It was a busy weekend across Japan, with six major ekidens taking place simultaneously. For professional men there were four regional qualifiers for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden, while for women there was the Fukui Super Ladies' Ekiden featuring corporate, university, regional and amateur teams, and the regional East Japan Women's Ekiden. Among the highlights:

  • Ritsumeikan University had a surprise win over rivals Bukkyo University and every corporate team in the Fukui Super Ladies' Ekiden. Four of the six Ritsumeikan runners took stage bests, leading the team to a course-record 1:34:56 for 30 km. Bukkyo was 2nd without a single stage best, while Team Denso took 3rd thanks to stage bests from aces Betelhem Moges and Kayo Sugihara.
  • Chiba Prefecture prevented another Nagano Prefecture win at the East Japan Women's Ekiden, taking four of nine stage bests. Anchor Chika Horie, who runs for Team Universal Entertainment and is usually thought of as a marathoner, was brilliant on the 10 km anchor leg, splitting 5 km in 16:08 and winning the stage in 32:30. Horie could be a major factor in the upcoming World Championships marathon qualifying period.
  • Team Sagawa Express prevailed in a close-pitched Kansai Jitsugyodan Ekiden despite taking only one stage best. 48 seconds separated 2nd and 5th place in the 80.45 km race.
  • Team Toyota nearly swept the Chubu Jitsugyodan Ekiden, with its runners taking five of the seven stage bests and 2nd on the remaining two stages. Toyota won by over 5 minutes.
  • Team Chugoku Denryoku did sweep their qualifier, the Chugoku Jitsugyodan Ekiden, all seven runners taking stage bests and the team winning by over 9 minutes. Sixth Stage runner Naoki Okamoto was voted MVP after winning his 17.9 km leg by nearly 3 minutes. Chugoku Denryoku's marathon ace Atsushi Sato was on the entry list to make a return to competion for the first time since February's Tokyo Marathon but was a DNS.
  • Team YKK easily took the Hokuriku Jitsugyodan Ekiden, the smallest of the six regions in the jitsugyodan system, like Chugoku Denryoku taking all seven stages. Runner-up Team Omokawa Murakiya qualified for the New Year Ekiden for only the second time in its history.

53rd Kansai Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Tabe, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (12.6 km) - Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 39:15
2nd Stage (7.68 km) - Masashi Kada (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 23:16
3rd Stage (10.87 km) - Noriyuki Nabetani (Osaka Pref. Office AC) - 31:14
4th Stage (9.5 km) - Masato Ando (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 27:06
5th Stage (16.0 km) - Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 47:51
6th Stage (11.0 km) - Toyoyuki Abe (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 33:32
7th Stage (12.8 km) - Shinji Yamashita (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 38:19

Top Team Performances - 80.45 km
1. Team Sagawa Express - 4:01:28
2. Team NTT Nishi Nihon - 4:03:02
3. Osaka Prefectural Office AC - 4:03:31
4. Team Shikoku Denryoku - 4:03:47
5. Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko - 4:03:50

50th Chubu Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Gero, Gifu, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (10.4 km) - Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 31:26
2nd Stage (7.2 km) - Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 21:23 - CR
3rd Stage (15.4 km) - Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 45:17
4th Stage (13.9 km) - Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 41:36
5th Stage (14.0 km) - Yoshiaki Shiota (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 40:33
6th Stage (11.6 km) - Takamasa Uchida (Team Toyota) - 33:14
7th Stage (10.4 km) - Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) - 29:53

Top Team Performances - 82.9 km
1. Team Toyota - 4:03:27
2. Team Aichi Seiko - 4:07:35
3. Team Toyota Boshoku - 4:07:51
4. Team Aisan Kogyo - 4:08:43
5. Team NTN - 4:09:10

49th Chugoku Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Sera, Hiroshima, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (12.0 km) - Norihide Fujimori (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 36:10
2nd Stage (8.2 km) - Hideaki Date (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 23:37
3rd Stage (12.7 km) - Takuya Ishikawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 37:35
4th Stage (8.5 km) - Takuji Morimoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 24:31
5th Stage (10.0 km) - Rui Yonezawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 30:20
6th Stage (17.9 km) - Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 52:56
7th Stage (13.5 km) - Hiroki Tanaka (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 39:48

Top Team Performances - 82.8 km
1. Team Chugoku Denryoku - 4:04:57
2. Team JFE Steel - 4:13:58
3. Team Mazda - 4:14:34
4. Team Chudenko - 4:18:55
5. SDF Yonago Base - 4:32:38

40th Hokuriku Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Gero, Gifu, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (10.4 km) - Naohiro Yamada (Team YKK) - 31:43
2nd Stage (7.2 km) - Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 21:44 - CR
3rd Stage (15.4 km) - Tsubasa Maeda (Team YKK) - 46:32
4th Stage (13.9 km) - Yoshihiro Hinomoto (Team YKK) - 42:56
5th Stage (14.0 km) - Tetsuo Nishimura (Team YKK) - 41:00
6th Stage (11.6 km) - Teppei Suegami (Team YKK) - 34:04
7th Stage (10.4 km) - Kazuya Miyamoto (Team YKK) - 30:39

Top Team Performances - 82.9 km
1. Team YKK - 4:08:38
2. Team Omokawa Murakiya - 4:15:31
3. SDF Takada Base - 4:17:29
4. Team Sekino - 4:22:50

26th Fukui Super Ladies' Ekiden
Fukui, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (6 km) - Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ. A) - 18:42
2nd Stage (3 km) - Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 9:06
3rd Stage (4 km) - Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ. A) - 12:33
4th Stage (4 km) - Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ. A) - 12:45
5th Stage (5 km) - Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 15:38
6th Stage (8 km) - Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ. A) - 25:41

Top Team Performances - 30 km
1. Ritsumeikan Univ. A - 1:34:56 - CR
2. Bukkyo Univ. A - 1:36:02
3. Team Denso - 1:37:18
4. Team Panasonic - 1:38:06
5. Meijo Univ. A - 1:38:50

26th East Japan Women's Ekiden
Fukushima, 11/14/10
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (6.0 km) - Miharu Shimokado (Tochigi) - 19:21
2nd Stage (4.0 km) - Rui Aoyama (Kanagawa) - 13:00
3rd Stage (3.0 km) - Miki Kobayashi (Saitama) - 9:55 - CR
4th Stage (3.0 km) - Yuka Kobayashi (Tochigi) - 9:10
5th Stage (5.0875 km) - Chiaki Takagi (Chiba) - 16:38
6th Stage (4.1075 km) - Yuriko Kosaki (Chiba) - 12:57 - CR
7th Stage (4.0 km) - Emi Ito (Chiba) - 12:59
8th Stage (3.0 km) - Naho Matsumoto (Kanagawa) - 9:18
9th Stage (10.0 km) - Chika Horie (Chiba) - 32:30

Top Team Performances - 42.195 km
1. Chiba Pref. - 2:18:02
2. Saitama Pref. - 2:18:59
3. Nagano Pref. - 2:19:28
4. Tokyo Met. - 2:19:52
5. Tochigi Pref. - 2:20:08

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mottram, Kiprop, Konovalova, Curtis, Moran, Sato, Nishihara Headline International Chiba Ekiden

by Brett Larner

On Nov. 12 the organizers of the 2010 International Chiba Ekiden announced the entry lists for this year's edition, scheduled as always for Nov. 23. The last of the great international ekidens, Chiba has in recent years scaled down to an interesting format of mixed-gender teams, with top men and women from 12 teams worldwide alternating stages on a six-leg, 42.195 course.

Notable names on the list this year include:

Bobby Curtis (U.S.A.) - 2008 NCAA 5000 m champion
Atsushi Fujita (Chiba Pref.) - former marathon nat'l record holder
Wilson Kiprop (Kenya) - 2010 African 10000 m champion
Yuriko Kobayashi (Japan) - 1500 m nat'l record holder
Maria Konovalova (Russia) - 3rd, 2010 Chicago Marathon
Hiroki Mitsuoka (Japan Univ.) - 2010 nat'l univ 5000 m champion
Ed Moran (U.S.A.) - 2010 U.S.A. road 10 km champion
Craig Mottram (Australia) - 2005 WC 5000 m bronze medalist
Kasumi Nishihara (Japan Univ.) - 2010 nat'l univ 5000 m champion
Yuki Sato (Japan) - Japanese men's 10000 m all-time #3
Yuichiro Ueno (Japan) - 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m nat'l champion

Teams scheduled to compete include:

Australia
Canada
Chiba Prefecture
Czech Republic
Italy
Japan
Japanese University Select Team
Kenya
Norway
Romania
Russia
U.S.A.

For a complete entry list, click here. The race will be broadcast live on Fuji TV from 1:00 to 3:25 p.m. on Nov. 23, Japan time. Overseas viewers should be able to watch online for free via Keyhole TV, available here.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Ominami Twins Announce New Private Sponsor Utic

http://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/modules/news0/index.php?page=article&storyid=24728&storytopic=4
http://mainichi.jp/area/fukui/news/20101112ddlk18050540000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

The town of Wakasa's most famous pair of long distance runners, identical twins Hiromi and Takami Ominami, 34, held a press conference in their native Fukui prefecture on Nov. 11 to announce the launch of a new running club under the support of new sponsor Utic which will support their athletic careers. Both Rotterdam Marathon winners, the world-class Ominami Twins lost their previous sponsor last spring when Toyota Shatai shut down its running team. Moving from Nagoya to Tokyo the sisters worked temp jobs while searching for a sponsor.

The new sponsor, Utic, is based in Sakai, Fukui. Utic AC will be made up of a team of four, the sisters, Toshio Shibata, their coach during their days at Mikata J.H.S. in Wakasa, and 110 m hurdler Hironori Murao. The company plans to add two more members in April. The Ominami sisters commented, "It has been very hard to keep the right training, access to the right places to train, the right nutrition, but now that we have secured a sponsor we're very glad that the road ahead is clear."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Watch the East Japan Women's Ekiden Live Online

The 2010 East Japan Women's Ekiden will be broadcast live on Fuji TV from 12:00 to 2:35 p.m. on Nov. 14, Japan time. International viewers should be able to watch online for free via Keyhole TV. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mathathi vs. Mogusu vs. Ngatuny at Final Nagoya Half Marathon

2010 Nagoya Half Marathon Elite Athlete Field
final running - 11/23/10
click here for complete listing
Men
Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 59:48
Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 59:48
Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 59:50
Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:07
Samuel Ndungu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:17
Munehiro Sugaya (Team Toyota) - 1:02:22
Yoshiki Otsuka (Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:03:29
Hiroaki Inoue (Team Toenec) - 1:03:32
Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 1:03:33
Satoshi Abe (Team Toenec) - 1:03:34
Yoshihiko Asaba (Team Toenec) - 1:03:35

Women
Hiromi Ominami (Yutic AC) - 1:08:45
Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:11:46
Kaori Akagawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:12:28

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shinji Nakadai Wins 100 km World Championships (updated)

http://www.iaaf.org/news/kind=100/newsid=58696.html

Tokyo-based men's winner Shinji Nakadai is one of my fellow coaches at the Harriers running club.

2010 I.A.U. 100 km World Championships
Gibraltar, 11/7/10
Men
click here for complete men's results
1. Shinji Nakadai (Japan) - 6:43:44
2. Jonas Buud (Sweden) - 6:47:40
3. Michael Wardian (U.S.A.) - 6:49:18
4. Noriyuki Araki (Japan) - 6:50:00
5. Oleksandr Holovnytskyy (Ukraine) - 6:51:03

Men's Teams
1. Japan - 20:32:21
2. U.S.A. - 20:46:04
3. France - 21:05:52

Women
click here for complete women's results
1. Ellie Greenwood (GBR) - 7:29:05
2. Monica Carlin (Italy) - 7:30:50
3. Lizzy Hawker (GBR) - 7:33:26
4. Gloria Vinstedt (Sweden) - 7:37:06
5. Meghan Arbogast (U.S.A.) - 7:46:01

Women's Teams
1. GBR - 23:16:54
2. Italy - 23:47:11
3. Japan - 24:00:22

Monday, November 8, 2010

Arata Fujiwara - ING New York City Marathon DNF

by Brett Larner

Arata Fujiwara faces the Japanese media immediately post-race.

Alongside the high-profile withdrawal of world record holder Haile Gebrselassie and low-profile withdrawal of 2010 European champion Viktor Rothlin from yesterday's ING New York City Marathon, Arata Fujiwara suffered his first-ever DNF at any distance as he pulled out of the marathon at the 35 km point. Throughout the first half of the race Fujiwara ran comfortably in the lead pack through the moderately-paced 1:05:20 first half, the slowest of any marathon he has ever run. Approaching the Queensboro Bridge he abruptly experienced sharp, stabbing pain in his lower left abdomen, something more serious than a simple cramp. "That was the worst pain I've felt since my first marathon," a dejected Fujiwara told Japanese media following the race.

The pain intensified into spasms which forced Fujiwara to bend forward, disrupting his balance and leg motion and causing him to slip from the lead pack just before Gebrselassie likewise fell out of contention. Entering 1st Avenue Fujiwara tried to pull himself together to come back from behind as he did at the 2008 Fukuoka Marathon, but the muscle spasms did not relent and he was reduced to a near walk. "I thought about dropping out there but the cheering on 1st Avenue was too loud and I couldn't stop," Fujiwara commented. "Every time I slowed to a walk people shouted, 'Come on! Come on!' It sounded like, 'Gaman! Gaman!' and I was thinking, 'Man, you're a harsh bunch of people here in New York." He finally withdrew near the 35 km mark after coming back into Manhattan.

The disappointed Fujiwara, who came to New York under intense scrutiny and great pressure and expectations but with something to prove and full of optimism and motivation, hopes to make up for his unfinished business at next year's Tokyo Marathon. He sincerely hopes that Gebrselassie changes his mind about his abrupt announcement of retirement and likewise gives it another go on Tokyo's streets come February.

2008 Tokyo Marathon top two Viktor Rothlin and Arata Fujiwara, reunited but empty-handed at the 2010 ING New York City Marathon post-race banquet.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Waseda Strikes Again - CR Win at National University Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Waseda University head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe has finally got it together. Weeks after Waseda's course record win at the Izumo Ekiden, the team came out fighting again and scored a stunning course record win to take the 2010 National University Ekiden Championships, its first national title in 15 years. In so doing Waseda took a big step toward Watanabe's stated goal of a triple crown this season: Izumo, Nationals and Hakone.

Two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University got things started with an outstanding run by frosh Keita Shitara, who took down a raft of older runners to win the 14.6 km First Stage by 12 seconds. Waseda's Yo Yazawa, highly impressive on Izumo's First Stage, only managed 9th in 43:28.

Star Waseda frosh Suguru Osako brought things back into place on the 13.2 km Second Stage, outrunning Toyo ace Ryuji Kashiwabara by 20 seconds to put Waseda into 2nd. Further back, Meiji University star Tetsuya Yoroizaka set a new stage record of 37:38 while Komazawa University's Wataru Ueno moved his squad into 3rd, 1 second ahead of Meiji.

Komazawa frosh Ikuto Yufu likewise set a new record on the 9.5 km Third Stage, passing Waseda's Yuki Yagi to put Komazawa into 2nd just 23 seconds behind leader Toyo. Impressively, Yufu's time broke Kenyan great Stephen Mayaka's 17 year-old stage record. The big change came on the 14.0 km Fourth Stage, where Waseda's Hiroyuki Sasaki ran a 32 second stage best, overtaking Toyo's Ryohei Kawakami at the line to put Waseda into the lead by 1 second.

The 11.6 km Fifth Stage, a showcase for top frosh, saw the best pure racing of the ekiden as Waseda's Fuminori Shikata battled Toyo's Yuta Shitara, the identical twin of First Stage runner Keita Shitara, to maintain the lead. The pair pushed each other past the standing stage record, Shikata coming out ahead in 33:47 to Shitara's 33:56. Komazawa fell to a distant 3rd, 1:40 behind Toyo and 1:50 from leader Waseda.

Komazawa's Shinobu Kubota made up ground on Toyo with the best time on the 12.3 km Sixth Stage, but nothing changed in the overall standings. Komazawa's Akinori Iida likewise took the best time on the 11.9 km Seventh Stage, and thanks to a disastrous run by Toyo's Koshi Watanabe, who finished 13th on the stage, moved Komazawa into 2nd.

At the start of the 19.7 km anchor stage Waseda was 1:12 up on Komazawa, Toyo another 47 seconds back. It was a surmountable lead from Komazawa's point of view, but Waseda anchor Shota Hiraga, the 2009 Ageo City Half Marathon winner, delivered a big 58:24 to outdo Komazawa anchor Shota Inoue, who nevertheless turned in a fine 59:22 just ahead of Toyo anchor Shogo Otsu's 59:34. Stage best honors went to defending national champion Nihon University's Benjamin Gando, who clocked an outstanding 56:42. The biggest news on the anchor stage, however, was Tokai University sophomore Akinobu Murasawa's return from a severe ankle sprain at September's National University T&F Championships. Murasawa took the 2nd-best time on the stage, 57:47, which when prorated out to 20 km equals 58:40, the second-fastest ever by a Japanese university student.

Waseda came home in a new course record of 5:13:02, Komazawa over two minutes back in 5:15:22. Toyo was just under a minute behind in 5:16:21 for 3rd. Nihon, Tokai and Meiji joined the top three in the seeded bracket for next year's Nationals, with Nittai University missing out on making the seed by just 8 seconds.

Waseda's performance stakes a claim to favorite status for January's Hakone Ekiden, particularly considering that one of its aces, Yusuke Mita, sat Nationals out. But with two course record wins to its name this season the question arises whether coach Watanabe has the team peaking too soon, whether the team can maintain its current form or peak again 8 weeks from now in Hakone. Rival Komazawa and two-time defending champion Toyo will be on notice.

2010 National University Ekiden Championships
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (14.6 km) - Keita Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 42:42
Second Stage (13.2 km) - Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 37:38 - CR
Third Stage (9.5 km) - Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:02 - CR
Fourth Stage (14.0 km) - Hiroyuki Sasaki (Waseda Univ.) - 40:23
Fifth Stage (11.6 km) - Fuminori Shikata (Waseda Univ.) - 33:47 - CR
Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 33:56 - also under old CR
Sixth Stage (12.3 km) - Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 36:03
Seventh Stage (11.9 km) - Akinori Iida (Komazawa Univ.) - 35:09
Eighth Stage (19.7 km) - Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) - 56:42

Top Team Performances
top six seeded for 2011
1. Waseda Univ. - 5:13:02 - CR
2. Komazawa Univ. - 5:15:22
3. Toyo Univ. - 5:16:21
4. Nihon Univ. - 5:19:18
5. Tokai Univ. - 5:19:45
6. Meiji Univ. - 5:19:52
-----
7. Nittai Univ. - 5:20:00
8. Chuo Univ. - 5:20:32
9. Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. - 5:21:05
10. Teikyo Univ. - 5:22:04

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Miyazaki Takes Sweeping Overall Win at Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden

by Brett Larner

With 8 individual day wins and 37 single-stage victories, Miyazaki prefecture easily took down defending champion Fukuoka prefecture to win the 10-day, 72-stage, 1056.6 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden. The Tour de France of Japanese distance running, the Kyushu Isshu Ekiden consists of one loop of the coast of Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu beginning in Nagasaki, heading south, turning and heading north through Miyazaki, and ending in Fukuoka.

Miyazaki's team was made up almost entirely of runners from the Asahi Kasei corporate team based in the prefecture. 2010 World Half Marathon 9th placer Tomoya Onishi led the way, winning all three of his stages including a sizzling 43:55 stage record for the 15.3 km Day Three Fourth Stage. First-year Asahi Kasei member Takuya Fukatsu also won all his stages, as did veteran marathoner Tomoyuki Sato, 2009 World Championships 10000 m runner Yuki Iwai and the solid Satoru Sasaki. Olympian Ryuji Ono, out for the entire year with injury, made a notable return with wins on the second and third of the 3 stages he ran. Based on its results from the Kyushu Isshu Ekiden, Team Asahi Kasei's chances for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden look very, very good.

Runner-up Fukuoka scored 26 stage bests but only 1 individual day victory. Most of its success came from 13:18 / 27:41 ace Yu Mitsuya of Team Toyota Kyushu, who won all but one of his stages and marked one new stage record. 3rd-placer Nagasaki had 9 stage bests and 1 individual day victory. None of the other 6 teams in the ekiden scored even a single stage best title.

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden
72 stages, 1056.6 km
click here for complete results
1. Miyazaki - 53:30:01
2. Fukuoka - 54:15:21
3. Nagasaki - 54:49:44
4. Kagoshima - 56:12:20
5. Oita - 56:20:21
6. Yamaguchi - 57:02:09
7. Saga - 57:02:54
8. Kumamoto - 57:22:29
9. Okinawa - 58:19:31

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, November 5, 2010

Watch the National University Ekiden Championships Live Online

by Brett Larner

The 2010 National University Ekiden Championships take place this Sunday, Nov. 7. With six men with 10000 m PBs under 29 minutes, Izumo Ekiden winners Waseda University come in as the heavy favorites after taking apart rivals Komazawa University last month at Izumo. Komazawa, with five 28 minute men, is traditionally stronger over longer distances and should put a dent in Waseda. Also in strong contention will be two-time defending Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University, whose ace Ryuji Kashiwarabara returned from recent injury troubles with a 10000 m PB two weeks ago.

The race will be broadcast live by TV Asahi from 8:00 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. Japan time on Nov. 7. That's 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 6 on the East Coast of the U.S. Overseas viewers can watch live online for free using Keyhole TV. Click here for more info. JRN will be doing live race commentary via its Twitter feed JRNLive.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'New York City Marathon Contender Arata Fujiwara Inspired By Boxing'

http://www.boxinginsider.com/headlines/new-york-city-marathon-contender-arata-fujiwara-inspired-by-boxing/

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On His Own Two Feet: Arata Fujiwara Faces New York

by Brett Larner
photo courtesy of Remo System

Arata Fujiwara will be the best Japanese man to have ever run the ING New York City Marathon. That’s a safe statement to make considering that the best Japanese marathoners are never able to run New York due to the demands of the regional corporate ekiden qualifiers held in early November. But Fujiwara had dreamed of running New York since his high school days in Nagasaki, and he found his own solution for the dilemma of not being able to run: despite being one of Japan’s best current marathoners, with a 2:08:40 PB, two runner-up spots at Tokyo and a 3rd at Fukuoka that put him into the Berlin World Championships, he quit his corporate team cold this spring in order to be free to race where and when he wanted. And that meant New York.

First off the bat in his new solo career was a dry run, May’s Ottawa Marathon, a race with the same time difference from Japan as New York and a similar course, hilly with a combination of sharp curves and long, straight speed stages. In his first attempt at a more technical marathon of this sort he became the first man to break 2:10 in Ottawa with a 2:09:34 course record win. In so doing he became only the fifth Japanese man to ever win an overseas marathon sub-2:10, and, notably, the first in 23 years. The others on the list are a who’s who of the biggest legends in Japanese marathoning:

Taisuke Kodama, 2:07:35, Beijing 1986
Takeyuki Nakayama, 2:08:21, Seoul 1986
Toshihiko Seko, 2:08:27, Chicago 1986; 2:09:27, Boston 1981
Arata Fujiwara, 2:09:34, Ottawa 2010
Hiromi Taniguchi, 2:09:50, London 1987

It’s august company to be sure, and a demonstration of principle that helped Fujiwara secure a private sponsor, Remo System, which will ensure that he is free to train and race as he pleases through the 2012 London Olympics. It’s an unprecedented situation for a Japanese man, and while several great Japanese women including Naoko Takahashi and Yuko Arimori made similar moves the young Fujiwara can reasonably be said to be the first to do it while still on the upswing of his career.

Still in his 20’s, in the 3 1/2 years since Fujiwara’s disastrous debut at the 2007 Biwako Mainichi Marathon he has broken 2:09 once and gone sub-2:10 three times. At the same the dark half of his marathoning career has included one result in the 2:20’s and two in the 2:30’s, but with his two marathons this past spring being his two most impressive performances yet it looks as though he has plenty of potential for development.

Or does he? How much upswing, how much development still lies ahead? Stacking Fujiwara’s record up against the complete history of Japanese men’s marathoning, you can see the following:

Sub-2:09 once: 33 men
Sub-2:09 more than once: 9 men

Sub-2:10 three times: 19 men
Sub-2:10 four or more times: 7 men

There is a clear level that Japanese men usually reach, one sub-2:09 and three sub-2:10’s. That is exactly where Fujiwara currently stands, right on the edge of becoming a somebody. His stated goal for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon is a sub-2:08:30. History says he is probably already finished, that he has gone as far as he is going to go, but if he pulls it off he will fall on the right side of the line and join the few who have moved up to a higher level. With his 2:09:34 win in his New York test run in Ottawa, newfound freedom to set things his own way, the encouragement of appearing for the first time in a new sponsor’s uniform, and something to prove to those in power back home in Japan Fujiwara comes to with momentum, enthusiasm and motivation to take that next step.

How he would stack up in this year’s field with such a time is another question considering that world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia and 2009 World Champion Abel Kirui are in the field, but only twelve men have ever broken 2:09 in New York and with such a performance Fujiwara would be likely among the leaders. He has beaten Kirui before and outkicked then-2:06:15 junior world record holder and now 2:05:25 man Bazu Worku of Ethiopia by 20 seconds over the last kilometer in Ottawa. It’s a slim chance he could do it against the Emperor, but the chance is not zero and that’s what makes Fujiwara the best bet for the dark horse of this year’s race.

So here we sit on a plane, Fujiwara calm, positive, and hoping to join the winner’s club. Win or lose, should he break 2:09 in New York Fujiwara will join at least one exclusive club: The only Japanese men ever to win an overseas marathon sub-2:10, break 2:09 at least twice and break 2:10 at least four times in their careers are its two greatest, Toshihiko Seko and Takeyuki Nakayama. Number three may be on the way.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Shibui Runs Again as Daiichi Seimei and Honda Take East Japan Corporate Ekiden

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010110300284
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20101103-697806.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 21st Women's and 51st Men's East Japan Jitsugyodan Ekiden Championships, the regional qualifiers for the year-end National Ekiden Championships, took place Nov. 3 in Saitama prefecture. Led by 2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki, Team Daiichi Seimei took its first win in the women's race with a time of 2:18:46 for the six-stage, 42.195 km course. The top thirteen teams qualified for the Dec. 19 national championships in Gifu. Team Panasonic placed 2nd, while defending champion Team Toyota Jidoshoki could do no better than 9th.

Former nine-time champion Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo was 6th. Leading them for the first time in a year was 10000 m national record holder Yoko Shibui, who placed 3rd on the anchor stage. After nearly two years of injury setbacks Shibui told reporters, "That felt good. I'm starting to get the desire to run back." Shibui said she had put on as much as 10 kg during her layoff over the last year.

The men's race featured a seven-stage, 77.5 km course. Team Honda returned to the top, winning its fourth East Japan title with a win in 3:50:57. Team Kanebo was 2nd, while defending champion Team Nissin Shokuhin was 4th. The top fourteen teams qualified for the New Year Ekiden national championship.

2010 East Japan Jitsugyodan Ekiden Championships
Men
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (11.6 km) - Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo) - 35:47
Second Stage (15.3 km) - Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 44:49
Third Stage (9.2 km) - Ibrahim Jelian (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 25:52
Fourth Stage (9.9 km) - Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 30:04
Fifth Stage (7.4 km) - Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 22:06
Sixth Stage (10.6 km) - Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) - 30:01
Seventh Stage (13.5 km) - Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 40:03

Top Team Performances - 77.5 km
1. Honda - 3:50:57
2. Kanebo - 3:51:37
3. Konica Minolta - 3:51:48
4. Nissin Shokuhin - 3:52:19
5. Fujitsu - 3:53:50

Women
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.795 km) - Misaki Katsumata (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 21:13
Second Stage (3.1 km) - Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Ent.) - 9:44
Third Stage (12.2 km) - Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 39:46
Fourth Stage (3.8 km) - Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 11:59
Fifth Stage (10.0 km) - Hitomi Nakamura (Team Panasonic) - 33:52
Sixth Stage (6.3 km) - Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 21:09

Top Team Results - 42.195 km
1. Daiichi Seimei - 2:18:46
2. Panasonic - 2:19:19
3. Universal Entertainment - 2:19:21
4. Hokuren - 2:20:10
5. Starts - 2:20:41

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

JRN On Location: 2010 ING New York City Marathon

JRN will be on location at the 2010 ING New York City Marathon with invited elite Arata Fujiwara (Remo System RC). Look for our exclusive evaluation of Fujiwara's chances soon, and apologies in advance for any disruptions to regularly-scheduled service during the trip.