Skip to main content

Ritsumeikan University Takes Eighth National University Women's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Defending national champion Ritsumeikan University added an eighth title to its legacy Oct. 27 in Sendai, winning the 31st National University Women's Ekiden Championships after leading start to finish.  First Stage runner Natsuki Omori got things off by winning the 6.4 km opening leg by a second over Ayumi Uehara of Matsuyama University despite a fall midway through the stage, and from there the Ritsumeikan women never looked back.  Ritsumeikan runners won five of the day's six stages, only Juntendo University's Nanaka Izawa spoiling their day with a win on the 9.2 km Fifth Stage.

With the Kansai region typically seen as the center of collegiate women's distance running, four of this year's top ten schools were from the Kanto region, better known for the strength of its men's programs.  Daito Bunka University was the top Kanto school, 2nd overall on the strength of quality runs from its identical twins Eri and Mari Tayama. Coached by Keiichi Murai, the husband of past marathon great Reiko Tosa, Matsuyama University continued its development into one of the country's leading distance schools as it took 3rd just five years after making Nationals for the first time under Murai's leadership.  In a signal of a shift in eras, perpetual Ritsumeikan rivals Meijo University and Bukkyo University missed out on the top five, taking 6th and 7th more than four minutes behind Ritsumeikan.  Last year's 3rd-placer Tsukuba University had a disastrous run, finishing 16th of 26 teams as star twins Haruka and Moe Kyuma were both non-starters.

31st Morinomiyako Ekiden - National University Women's Ekiden Championships
Sendai, Miyagi, 10/27/13
click here for complete results

Overall Results - six stages, 38.0 km, 26 teams
1. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:03:02
2. Daito Bunka Univ. - 2:04:47
3. Matsuyama Univ. - 2:05:40
4. Kanaya Taiiku Univ. - 2:07:09
5. Nittai Univ. - 2:07:19
6. Meijo Univ. - 2:07:31
7. Bukkyo Univ. - 2:07:40
8. Kansai Univ. - 2:08:13
9. Josai Univ. - 2:08:23
10. Juntendo Univ. - 2:08:25

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.4 km) - Natsuki Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 20:22
Second Stage (5.6 km) - Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 17:39
Third Stage (6.8 km) - Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 21:59
Fourth Stage (4.8 km) - Mai Hirota (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:48
Fifth Stage (9.2 km) - Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 29:53
Sixth Stage (5.2 km) - Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 17:12

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…