Skip to main content

Honda Kicks Off Season With Win at 66th Towada Hachimantai Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Ekiden season got off to an early start with the 66th running of Akita's Towada Hachimantai Ekiden on Aug. 7.  The Honda corporate team, less Moscow World Championships marathoner Masakazu Fujiwara and other A-list members, outran rival Yakult for the win after a slow start.  The Yakult A team led for the first three of the day's five stages thanks in part to a superb stage record of 36:12 on the 13.4 km Second Stage by new Kenyan ace Bernard Kimani, while Honda fell as low as 4th.  On the 16.4 km Fourth Stage new Honda recruit Wataru Ueno, a graduate of Komazawa University and Sendai Ikuei H.S., had a strong corporate ekiden debut as he made up the 30-second gap to leader Yutaro Fukushi of Yakult before opening a lead of nearly two minutes.

With Fukushi having fallen to 3rd behind Komori Corporation, Yakult anchor Soji Ikeda, another Komazawa alum, did his best to run down Honda's Hayato Saito on the tough uphill Fifth Stage, but although he overtook Komori's Tatsunori Hamasaki and closed the gap to Saito to 1:30, Saito was just too far away.  Honda covered the 73.7 km course in 3:48:03 for the win.  Yakult A was next in 3:49:33, Ikeda holding off Hamasaki in the final stretch.  With a Third Stage win by marathoner Keita Akaba, Komori Corporation was 3rd in 3:49:35.

66th Towada Hachimantai Ekiden Top Results
Kazuno, Akita, 8/7/13
5 stages, 73.7 km, 32 teams
click here for complete results

Top Team Results - 73.7 km
1. Honda - 3:48:03
2. Yakult A - 3:49:33
3. Komori Corporation - 3:49:35
4. Fujitsu - 3:50:46
5. JR Higashi Nihon - 3:51:35

Individual Results

First Stage - 13. 6 km
1. Yuki Takamiya (Yakult A) - 40:57
2. Yusuke Sato (Fujitsu) - 41:04
3. Takehiro Yamanaka (Honda) - 41:05
4. Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (JR Higashi Nihon) - 41:15
5. Yasuhito Ikeda (NTT Nishi Nippon) - 41:27

Second Stage - 13. 4 km
1. Bernard Kimani (Kenya/Yakult A) - 36:12 - CR
2. David Njuguna (Kenya/Yakult B) - 37:25
3. Takuya Yokoyama (JR Higashi Nihon) - 38:27
4. Kenta Kitazawa (Yachiyo Kogyo) - 38:43
5. Shogo Matsugaki (NTT Nishi Nippon) - 38:47

Third Stage - 16.2 km
1. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 46:31
2. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Nanyu City Hall) - 47:10
3. Kazuyoshi Shimozato (Komori Corp.) - 47:31
4. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 48:23
5. Tomohito Takenaka (NTT Nishi Nippon) - 48:33

Fourth Stage - 16.4 km
1. Keita Akiba (Komori Corp.) - 50:04
2. Kazuhiro Kuga (Fujitsu) - 50:35
3. Wataru Ueno (Honda) - 50:44
4. Masahiro Kawaguchi (Yakult B) - 51:00
5. Makoto Harada (JR Higashi Nihon) - 51:25

Fifth Stage - 14.1 km, significant uphill
1. Soji Ikeda (Yakult A) - 50:28
2. Hayato Saito (Honda) - 50:44
3. Tatsunori Hamasaki (Komori Corp.) - 50:53
4. Norimasa Nishina (Fujitsu) - 51:26
5. Yasuaki Kojima (East Japan Corp. Select Team) - 51:37

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…