Skip to main content

Toyota Boshoku and Toyokawa H.S. Take Meigi Ekiden Titles

by Brett Larner

The 67th running of the Meigi Ekiden joined other races across the country in being blessed with good weather on Feb. 3, the kind of weather that produces course records. In the 6-stage, 52.6 km open men's division Team Toyota Boshoku unseated defending champion and course record holder Team Toyota for the win in 2:31:17, just 32 seconds off Toyota's 2012 record.  Toyota Boshoku started slow, its opening man Yoshiaki Shiota only 7th, but steadily advanced through the field until Kenyan ace Patrick Mutunga ran down Toyota's Chihiro Miyawaki to put Toyota Boshoku ahead by 10 seconds.  Both Toyota Boshoku and Toyota's fifth men Yuya Taguchi and Kenta Matsubara broke the stage record, Matsubara closing to within 1 second as he fought desperately to retake the lead, but on the anchor stage his teammate Minato Oishi was no match for Toyota Boshoku anchor Yoshihiro Yamamoto, who ran a stage best 34:14 for the 11.8 km leg to secure the overall win.  Absent 2007 World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Martin Mathathi, the Suzuki Hamamatsu AC team could not mount its expected challenge and finished only 6th.

In the 6-stage, 40.2 km high school boys division, 2012 national champion Toyokawa H.S. continued to redefine high school ekiden running, taking nearly 3 minutes off the course record as it won in 1:56:55.  Toyokawa's first runner Takumi Minaura took the lead with a stage record-tying run and the rest of the team simply never looked back.  Only one other Toyokawa runner, Third Stage ringer Jeremiah Karemi, won his stage, but as an overall team there was no matching them.  Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. broke the course record by 3 seconds in the runner-up position thanks to a brilliant stage-best run by anchor Kento Kawaguchi, but it was an indication of how superlative Toyokawa was that its margin of victory over Saku Chosei was 2:46, nearly a kilometer.  Locals Chukyo H.S. took 3rd in 2:00:42, with the scandal-plagued Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. a short distance back in 4th in 2:00:53 off a stage record by its fourth runner Kazuma Taira.

2013 Meigi Ekiden
Nagoya-Gifu, 2/3/13
Open men: 6 stages, 52.6 km, 37 teams
High School boys: 6 stages, 40.2 km, 88 teams
click here for complete results

Open Men
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (12.4 km): Hiroaki Inoue (Team Toenec) - 36:16
Second Stage (7.3 km): Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 20:27 - CR
Third Stage (6.0 km): Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) - 16:59
Fourth Stage (9.8 km): Patrick Mutunga (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 27:05
Fifth Stage (5.3 km): Kenta Matsubara (Team Toyota) - 14:51 - CR
Sixth Stage (11.8 km): Yoshihiro Yamamoto (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 34:14

Top Teams (52.6 km)
1. Toyota Boshoku - 2:31:17
2. Toyota - 2:31:46
3. Aichi Seiko - 2:32:44
4. NTN - 2:33:08
5. Aisan Kogyo - 2:33:26

High School Boys
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (7.3 km): Takumi Minakura (Toyokawa H.S.) - 21:33 - CR
Second Stage (6.0 km): Yasuyuki Ishida (Hamamatsu Nittai Prep H.S.) - 17:43
Third Stage (9.8 km): Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 26:47 - CR
Fourth Stage (5.3 km): Kazuma Taira (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 15:08 - CR
Fifth Stage (5.2 km): Akira Tomiyasu (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 15:21
Sixth Stage (6.6 km): Kento Kawaguchi (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 19:43

Top Teams (40.2 km)
1. Toyokawa H.S. - 1:56:55 - CR
2. Saku Chosei H.S. - 1:59:41 (CR)
3. Chukyo H.S. - 2:00:42
4. Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. - 2:00:53
5. Iga Hakuho H.S. - 2:01:22

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…