Skip to main content

Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. and Tenmaya Win Kitakyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden

by Brett Larner

The 2012 Kitakyushu Invitational Women's Ekiden came close to an upset as Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. came close to running down the leading pro teams, as close as 18 seconds to taking the lead spot.  Ritsumeikan Uji started off in 7th overall and 3rd among high school teams, but a strong Second Stage run by Nanami Aoki moved them up to 3rd overall and the lead high school position.  Team ace Nanako Kanno won the 5.1 km Third Stage outright in a solid 16:26,  overtaking the pro Team Kyocera and coming within 22 seconds of leader Team Kyudenko, no small feat considering that Kyudenko's Second Stage runner Sally Chepyego (Kenya) won her leg by 26 seconds.

Past Olympian Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) overtook Ritsumeikan Uji's Asaka Iwai by 2 seconds on the 5.9 km Fourth Stage, but both advanced on Kyudenko, Tenmaya to within 16 seconds and the high schoolers to 18 seconds.  Kyudenko anchor Mika Okunaga needed a big run to stay ahead of Tenmaya's Rei Ohara but came up short, finishing only 6th on the 11.7 km Fifth Stage on time to drop from 1st of 3rd in the pro division.  Ohara gave Tenmaya the win, with half-marathon specialist Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) also catching Kyudenko for 2nd.  The high school teams split the anchor stage into two shorter legs, 4.9 km and an anchor run of 6.8 km, but despite this advantage Ritsumeikan Uji's final two runners could not stay with Ohara.  Ayano Ikeuchi won the high school anchor stage to bring Ritsumeikan Uji across the line 55 seconds behind Tenmaya and 36 seconds ahead of Kyocera, 1st in the high school division by over two minutes.

2012 Kitakyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden
Kitakyushu, 1/22/12
open division: 11 teams, 5 stages, 32.8 km
high school division: 17 teams, 6 stages, 32.8 km
click here for complete results

Stage Best Performances
First Stage - 4.2 km
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 13:36
2. Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 13:37
3, Mei Suzuki (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 13:41

Second Stage - 5.9 km
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 18:28
2. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 18:54
3. Shiori Yano (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 19:02

Third Stage - 5.1 km
1. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:26
2. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 16:38
3. Takako Yamada (Team Edion) - 16:43

Fourth Stage - 5.9 km
1. Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 19:22
2. Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 19:48
3. Asaka Iwai (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 19:53
3. Yuki Hidaka (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 19:53

Fifth Stage (open) - 11.7 km
1. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 36:48
2. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 37:21
3. Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 37:28

Fifth Stage (H.S.) - 4.9 km
1. Shoko Sonoda (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 16:29
2. Uran Hamada (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 16:31
3. Yuki Fujiwara (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:49

Sixth Stage (H.S.) - 6.8 km
1. Ayano Ikeuchi (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 20:52
2. Miki Yasutomi (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 21:33
3. Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 22:00

Top Team Performances - Open
1. Team Tenmaya - 1:46:04
2. Team Kyocera - 1:47:35
3. Team Kyudenko - 1:47:50
4. Team Juhachi Ginko - 1:48:51
5. Team Edion - 1:48:55

Top Team Performances - High School
1. Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. - 1:46:59
2. Kamimura Gakuen H.S. - 1:49:10
3. Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S. - 1:49:36
4. Suma Gakuen H.S. - 1:50:03
5. Yamada H.S. - 1:51:35

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …