Skip to main content

Miyazaki Holds Off Fukuoka for Grand Tour Kyushu Win

by Brett Larner

click here for video of the Grand Tour Kyushu 2011's finish

Defending champion Miyazaki Prefecture came to the final day of the eight-day Grand Tour Kyushu 2011 with a lead of 4:31 over rival Fukuoka Prefecture, comfortable but not safe.  Over the first of the stage's three legs Miyazaki's runners progressively widened the lead, but on the fourth and fifth of the stage's six legs Fukuoka fought back.  Its Leg Five runner Shuji Yoshikawa came within 10 seconds of catching the Miyazaki, still down on total time but almost enough for the lead heading into the final leg.  Miyazaki's anchor, Daegu World Championships marathon 7th-placer Hiroyuki Horibata, fought back and reopened the lead to bring Miyazaki in to a successful title defense, winning in a total time of 38:04:48 to Fukuoka's runner-up 38:10:11.  3rd-place Nagasaki Prefecture was the only other team to break 39 hours for the new 739.9 km course, clocking 38:55:12.

Four men in the field held the distinction of winning all three of their runs over the course of the Tour's eight days, three of them from Miyazaki.  Fukuoka's Kenji Takeuchi was the lone runner from elsewhere, winning three runs in six days.  Miyazaki rookie and former Nittai Univ. ace Kazuya Deguchi also managed three wins in six days, while Miyazaki's Yoshikazu Kawazoe did it in seven days and Takehiro Arakawa over the full eight days of competition.  Next up for the majority of the pros in the field will be the Nov. 23 regional qualifier for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national championships.

Grand Tour Kyushu 2011
Nagasaki-Fukuoka, 10/30-11/6/11
click here for complete results

Stage Eight - six legs, 83.8 km - Miyazaki Pref. - 4:13:42
Leg One (17.3 km) - Fumihiro Maruyama (Miyazaki Pref.) - 51:57
Leg Two (15.8 km) - Takehiro Arakawa (Miyazaki Pref.) - 47:05
Leg Three (14.6 km) - Yoshikazu Kawazoe (Miyazaki Pref.) - 44:11
Leg Four (10.8 km) - Hiroki Kubota (Fukuoka Pref.) - 34:27
Leg Five (10.8 km) - Shuji Yoshikawa (Fukuoka Pref.) - 30:32
Leg Six (14.5 km) - Hiroyuki Horibata (Miyazaki Pref.) - 42:37

Final Standings - 51 legs, 739.9 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 38:04:48
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 38:10:11
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 38:55:12
4. Kagoshima Pref. - 39:45.44
5. Oita Pref. - 40:04:10
6. Kumamoto Pref. - 40:17:19
7. Yamaguchi Pref. - 40:21:35
8. Saga Pref. - 40:41:17
9. Okinawa Pref. - 41:26:14

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kan…

2018 Japanese Distance Rankings - Updated 11/11/18

JRN's 2018 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2017 ・ 2016 ・2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Go Ahead and Call It a Comeback - Niiya Breaks Shibui's Course Record in Return to Road Racing

Ladies and gentlemen, Hitomi Niiya is back.

You might remember Hitomi Niiya from the 2013 Moscow World Championships 10000 m, where she led the entire way only to get destroyed over the last lap and finish 5th in 30:56.70. That made her the third-fastest Japanese woman ever over that distance, but not long after that race she quit the sport entirely, getting an office job as far away from athletics as she could and not running for almost five years.

But the pull of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is strong, and, now 30, early this year she made the decision to try to make a comeback. Under the eye of former men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota she ran a 3000 m and two 5000 m time trials on the track between April and October before choosing the East Japan Women's Ekiden for her return to the roads and the longer distances.

The East Japan Women's Ekiden celebrated its 34th running Sunday, 9 stages totaling 42.195 km through the Fukushima countryside with teams from eac…