Skip to main content

First-Years Kubota and Ogura 59:28 and 59:59 to Lead Aoyama Gakuin Sweep at Takashimadaira 20 km

by Brett Larner

Less than two weeks after their unexpected course record win at the Izumo Ekiden, Aoyama Gakuin University fired a serious warning shot across the bows of impending Hakone Ekiden rivals Toyo University, Komazawa University, Waseda University and Meiji University. Despite the absence of captain and course record holder Takehiro Deki, Aoyama Gakuin runners swept the top ten at the Takashimadaira 20 km in Tokyo on Oct. 21. First-years Kazuma Kubota and Yusuke Ogura, key elements in their team's Izumo win, led the way with solid 59:28 and 59:59 clockings for 1-2, but the team as a whole was impressive as its tenth finisher was under 1:00:30. Even without 58:51 man Deki. Any questions about Aoyama Gakuin's ability to translate its improvement over the relatively short distances at Izumo to the longer half-marathon stages of Hakone appear to be answered two and a half months out from the main event.

2012 Takashimadaira Road Race 20 km
Takashimadaira, Tokyo, 10/21/12
click here for complete results

1. Kazuma Kubota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 59:28
2. Yusuke Ogura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 59:59
3. Takuya Fujikawa (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:16
4. Ryotaro Otani (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:17
5. Shunsuke Ishida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:20
6. Isshin Nakai (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:21
7. Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:23
8. Yukiho Aihara (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:24
9. Masato Endo (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:26
10. Soshi Takahashi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:29

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Hope they are not peaking too early.

Most-Read This Week

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …

Ekiden Weekend Roundup

Ekiden season is in full swing, and across the country it was another busy weekend. Although there were four major ekidens nationwide, the best action came as runners from high school to the pros tuned up for the string of national championship ekiden races stretching from the end of this month to mid-January. At Kanagawa's Nittai University Time Trials meet, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) pipped 5000 m junior world championships bronze medalist William Malel (Honda) at the line in the 10000 m A-heat, winning in 27:22.73 to Malel's 27:22.79. Four other Kenyans including Ndiku's junior teammate Richard Kimunyan broke 28 minutes as their coaches eye who to run at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden.



Evans Yego of the tiny Sunbelx supermarket team won the more conservative 5000 m A-heat in 13:48.04, a race most notable for high schoolers Luka Musembi (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), Masato Suzuki (Suijo H.S.) and Reito Hanzawa (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) …

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…