Skip to main content

National University Women's Invitational Ekiden to Return After Three-Year Absence Dec. 23 at Mt. Fuji

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news/130528/szk13052802030003-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

National University Athletics Federation director Kosuke Hori, 78, appeared at a press conference on May 27 together with Shizuoka prefecture governor Heita Kawakatsu, to announce that the towns of Fuji and Fujinomiya at the base of Mt. Fuji will be the new hosts of the National University Women's Invitational Ekiden this Dec. 23.  The ekiden was held in Tsukuba, Ibaraki for three years beginning in 2007, but has been suspended indefinitely since 2010.  Its return on a new course around Mt. Fuji will be its first running since then.

Governor Kawakatsu smiled broadly as he told reporters, "Dec. 23 is the Emperor's birthday, so it is going to be a very wonderful day.  His Majesty was gracious enough to send a message saying, "I am looking forward to seeing our collegiate women run in the foothills of Mount Fuji."

According to race organizers, the ekiden will be run on a 44-km course starting at Fujisan Hongu Segen shrine, passing by Fujinomiya City Hall, Fuji City Hall, Tagonoura Port and other well-known local sites before finishing at Fuji Sports Park Field in Nakano, Fuji.  The field is expected to be made up of twenty-five teams including the top ten from October's National University Women's Ekiden in Sendai and around ten regional school and select teams.  Fuji TV will broadcast the race live and nationwide.

With Mt. Fuji achieving World Heritage Site status in the four years since the ekiden's last running, organizers are also examining attaching "Mt. Fuji" to the event's official name.  Director Hori commented, "As Mt. Fuji earns recognition as a World Heritage Site, the cities of Fuji and Fujinomiya have come together to help stage this race.  With Mt. Fuji forming the backdrop for a fantastic course, we hope to generate a wave of excitement for this race all across the country.  It is absolutely essential that we continue to hold our important competitions like this one."  With the cooperation of the police department and other local bodies, organizers look forward to the National University Women's Invitational Ekiden continuing strong in years to come.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …