Skip to main content

Ngandu Outkicks Kawauchi for Takashimadaira 20k Title

by Brett Larner
photo by paul

A day after the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai brought world record-setting depth to the 20 km distance, Tokyo played host to another 20 km road race packed with collegiate talent, the Takashimadaira Road Race.  Up front, former Nihon University ace Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Team Monteroza), Aoyama Gakuin University's Shunsuke Ishida and, seven days after running 2:11:40 for 2nd at the Melbourne Marathon, the indefatigable Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) traded the lead not far off course record pace through the first three loops of Takashimadaira's perfectly flat four-corner 5 km course.  Ishida lost on the last loop, leaving Ngandu and Kawauchi to battle it out.  In the last km the bar chain-sponsored Ngandu's kick proved too much as he pulled away for the win in 59:14.  Kawauchi was close behind in 59:17, with Ishida falling back to 59:33 for 3rd.  Kawauchi time, which tied the top Japanese time at the Yosenkai, translates to close to 1:02:30 for the half marathon, a time which would be the second-fastest of his career and which signals his return to peak fitness ahead of next month's ING New York City Marathon.

Five days before Takashimadaira, Ishida's Aoyama Gakuin University team finished 5th at the Izumo Ekiden where it was the defending champion.  Running Takashimadaira with many of its junior and second-string runners, AGU dominated the race with seven men in the top ten, Yuhi Akiyama joining Ishida under the hour mark.  Its ten-man combined time of 10:03:41, run without most of the team's best members, was almost a minute faster than Yosenkai winner Tokyo Nogyo University, spelling good things for the rest of AGU's season.  Next up is the Nov. 3 National University Ekiden Championships.

38th Takashimadaira Road Race
Takashimadaira, Tokyo, 10/20/13

Men's 20 km
1. Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Team Monteroza) - 59:14
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 59:17
3. Shunsuke Ishida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 59:33
4. Yuhi Akiyama (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 59:54
5. Masato Endo (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:05
6. Soshi Takahashi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:25
7. Shun Yamamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:26
8. Ryo Hashimoto (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:35
9. Tomoya Yui (Tokai Univ.) - 1:00:38
10. Ryota Motegi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:38

Women's 20 km
1. Mitsuko Hirose - 1:14:15

Men's 10 km
1. Shun Kurihara - 29:41

Women's 10 km
1. Haruka Yamaguchi - 34:42

text (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2013 paul
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…