Skip to main content

Komazawa Ace Junior Kubota Aiming for Hakone Win, World Championships Qualification in Marathon Debut at Lake Biwa

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/p-sp-tp0-20121215-1059960.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Their ace is leading the way to the crown.  Aiming for their first Hakone Ekiden win in five years at the 89th running of the race on Jan. 1-2, national champions Komazawa University held a public training session on Dec. 14 in Tokyo.  Having turned heads in November by running down leader Toyo University on the anchor stage to bring Komazawa its tenth National University Ekiden title and giving Beijing Olympics 5000 m bronze medalist Edwin Soi a run for it at the International Chiba Ekiden, junior Shinobu Kubota is now aiming for his second-straight Hakone stage win.  "Last time we weren't even close to being able to compete with Toyo," he says.  "The disappointment hasn't faded a year later.   If you're not #1 in Hakone then you can't really be called the best.  That's what I want to become."

He has further ambitions to appear in Moscow next year.  "I want to run the World Championships," he nods, confirming that after Hakone he plans to make his marathon debut at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  Facing off against the likes of Yuki Kawauchi, Kubota hopes to do the exceptional and qualify for the Japanese World Championships marathon team as a student.  His goal time is a sub-2:10 clocking, a mark which would better the former national collegiate record of 2:10:07 set by Komazawa's Atsushi Fujita as a senior.  Fujita later went on to run a then-national record 2:06:51.  "I'm already doing longer runs in training," says Kubota, "but for the time being the focus is Hakone.  We are going to win."

Shinobu Kubota - Third-year, Komazawa University.  Born 12/12/91 in Fukui.  
5000 m: 13:49.53   10000 m: 28:07.01   half-marathon: 1:01:38

Translator's note: Aoyama Gakuin University junior Takehiro Deki and Waseda University junior Shota Hiraga debuted at the 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  Deki ran 2:10:02 for 9th, with Hiraga running 2:16:30 for 32nd.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …