Skip to main content

Fujiwara 29:08.00 and 29:00.98 in Shibetsu

by Brett Larner

Somewhat usually, all of Japan's major track action this weekend took place on Saturday.  The biggest meet of the day was the first in the Hokuren Distance Challenge series, held in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.  London Olympics men's marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) made news by running both the A and B heats of the men's 10000 m with less than six minutes in between.  Fujiwara won the B-heat in 29:08.00, then ran 29:00.98 in the A-heat where he placed 5th.  With new half marathon and marathon PBs of 1:01:34 and 2:07:48 behind him earlier this year, Fujiwara's three-year-old 10000 m PB of 28:41.05 is no doubt up for renewal whenever he wants it.  Fujiwara will run next weekend's Sapporo International Half Marathon as another tuneup for the London Olympics.

Kenyan Alex Mwangi (Team YKK) won the 10000 m A-heat in 28:12.47 over 2011 World Championships marathoner Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota), who took the runner-up position in 28:40.19.  Kenyans Edward Waweru (Team NTN) and Johnson Kiumbani (Team Konica Minolta) went 1-2 in the 5000 m A-heat in 13:27.61 and 13:36.92.  Something of a surprise in 3rd was a resurgent Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei), famed for making the Athens Olympics on the track while still in his teens.  Ono ran 13:47.22, the fastest time of the day by a Japanese man and bettering B-heat winner Seungho Haku of South Korea, who ran 13:54.17.

Kenyans Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Susan Wairimu (Team Denso) also went 1-2 in the women's 3000 m in 9:04.16 and 9:06.25, well ahead of Wairimu's new teammate Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) who clocked 9:18.66.  Another Denso runner, Yuka Takashima, had a narrow win in the 5000 m A-heat, running 15:43.51 over Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) and Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) in 15:43.85 and 15:44.07.  Aizu's identical twin sister Kyoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) was 2nd in the 5000 m B-heat in 16:14.79, well behind winner Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo).

Some noteworthy results also came at the Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials meet, where newcomers Agat Yashin Hassan (Team Chuo Spring) and Miliyon Zewdie (Ethiopia/ Team Yachiyo Kogyo), top-ranked Kenyan high schooler Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.) and Kenyan pro Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Team Aisan Kogyo) turned in time rivaling those in Shibetsu, Hassan running 13:34.10 and all four under 13:40.  In the women's 5000 m, Hachioji H.S. junior Shiho Yahagi turned heads with a 15:58.75 winning performance.  Four high school girls also went under 9:30 in the 3000 m, led by Eda H.S. junior Kaori Morita's 9:28.46.

Closer to Tokyo, the National University Individual Track and Field Championships, a relatively minor meet which rarely sees top competition, ventured into new territory with meet records in both the women's and men's 5000 m.  Rina Nabeshima (Kanoya Taiku Univ.) outran two-time double 5000 m and 10000 m Kanto Region champion Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) to win in a meet record 15:52.95.  Shinozuka ran 15:57.40, ten seconds better than the old record, to join Nabeshima as the only two women to break 16 in meet history.  3rd-place Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) was far back in 16:10.34 but just missed also breaking the previous record.  In the men's 5000 m, Takuro Nakanishi (Fukuoka Univ.) became the first man to break 14 in the history of the meet, running 13:59.34 to take almost eleven seconds off the old record held by Samuel Ganga (Kenya/ Hiroshima Keizai Univ.).

One other significant result came at the 21st Oita Nighter Time Trials meet, where Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), the former Hakone Ekiden star who memorably battled Yuki Kawauchi (Saitamai Pref.) for an Olympic marathon berth at last year's Fukuoka International Marathon, won the 5000 m in 14:05.31 over teammate Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu).

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…