Skip to main content

Komazawa Wins Third-Straight National University Men's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Komazawa University rode the momentum of its course record win at last month's Izumo Ekiden to score its third-straight and eleventh total national title Nov. 3 at the 45th National University Men's Ekiden Championships.  2013 national university half marathon champion Shogo Nakamura blew things open on the 14.6 km First Stage by opening a gap of over 30 seconds that never closed.  Five of Komazawa's eight runners scored stage bests to seal the deal, anchor and captain Shinobu Kubota falling just short of breaking last year's overall course record of 5:12:43 for the full 106.8 km distance as he crossed the line in 5:13:09.

By far the star of the show was Komazawa junior Kenta Murayama.  Let's say that again. Kenta Murayama.  Remember that name.  Kenta Murayama.  After crushing Japanese domestic 10000 m record holder Tsuyoshi Ugachi's stage record at Izumo last month, Murayama did the inconceivable and ran 39:24 to take 8 seconds off the 14.0 km Fourth Stage record set five years ago by Kenyan Mekubo Mogusu of Yamanashi Gakuin University.  It's worth a paragraph or so to pause and consider how good a mark that is.  In the year prior to setting the old record of 39:32 Mogusu broke 60 minutes for the half marathon three times.  Murayama's time for the 14.0 km stage prorated over the 10 mile distance equates to 45:17, well under the 45:40 national record set 29 years ago by Hisatoshi Shintaku.  That's almost a minute better than the U.S. national record of 46:13. 14 km to 21 km is more of a stretch, but based on Murayama's pacing Atsushi Sato's 1:00:25 half marathon national record also looks in range.  1:01:19 at February's Marugame Half Marathon at age 19 to break into the all-time Japanese top ten followed up by a 1:02:02 for 10th at March's New York City Half Marathon, Murayama may well have run the best-ever performance by a Japanese collegiate today.

2013 Hakone Ekiden and Izumo Ekiden runner-up Toyo University was 2nd yet again, running well but finishing nearly three minutes slower than last year.  Meiji University, with eleven sub-14 men on its roster, overcame the difficulties it experienced in Izumo to take a solid 3rd over 2010 national champion Waseda University.  Yamanashi Gakuin University took 5th after a brilliant run from anchor Enock Omwamba, with 2012 Izumo Ekiden course record setter Aoyama Gakuin University holding off Daito Bunka University by 11 seconds to round out the top six spots seeded for 2014.  2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University was only 8th as anchor Keigo Yano ran into serious dehydration problems.

University ekiden season, the crown jewels of Japan's distance running calendar, continues in two weeks with the Ageo City Half Marathon where Hakone Ekiden-bound universities' coaches will send forth their complete squads to have them duke it out for contention for places on the final roster for the Jan. 2-3 Hakone main event.  Look for exclusive coverage of Ageo from JRN.

45th National University Men's Ekiden Championships
Nagoya-Ise, 11/3/13
26 teams, 8 stages, 106.8 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Results - top six seeded for 2014
1. Komazawa University - 5:13:09
2. Toyo University - 5:16:19
3. Meiji University - 5:18:32
4. Waseda University - 5:19:22
5. Yamanashi Gakuin University - 5:20:07
6. Aoyama Gakuin University - 5:22:09
7. Daito Bunka University - 5:22:20
8. Nittai University - 5:23:26
9. Nihon University - 5:23:40
10. Juntendo University - 5:25:23

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (14.6 km)
Shogo Nakamura (Komazawa Univ.) - 42:38

Second Stage (13.2 km)
Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 38:08
Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 38:08
Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 38:08

Third Stage (9.5 km)
Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:07

Fourth Stage (14.0 km)
Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) - 39:24 - CR

Fifth Stage (11.6 km)
Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 34:18

Sixth Stage (12.3 km)
Shota Baba (Komazawa Univ.) - 36:08

Seventh Stage (11.9 km)
Shin Kimura (Meiji Univ.) - 35:19

Eighth Stage (19.7 km)
Daniel Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 57:14

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Jesús B G said…
amigos y compañeros de este bonito deporte aqui os dejo la dirección de mi blog para que podais disfrutar de algunas de nuestras carreras por Spain, somos de Córdoba. Un saludo

Tenemos traductor en el blog.
TokyoRacer said…
Quite a surprise that Osaka did not win his stage.

Most-Read This Week

1500 m Olympian Assefa Wins Nagoya, 22-Year-Old Sekine 2:23:07 Debut

Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) ran down favorite Valary Jemeli (Kenya) with 4 km to go to win the 2018 Nagoya Women's Marathon, with the home town crowd wowed by the debut of the latest next big thing, 22-year-old Hanami Sekine (Japan Post).

Supported by three pacers, a lead pack of seven including Assefa, Jemeli, Sekine, Ethiopian Bahraini Merima Mohamed, Saitama International Marathon winner Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) and top-ranked Japanese women Reia Iwade (Dome) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) went through halfway in a decent 1:11:32. This proved too hot for a few of the past next big things to have run well in Nagoya the last few years, as Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu), 2:22:48 in Nagoya three years ago, and Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 2:23:47 last year, were off the back of the pack in the first 10 km.

By 25 km Cheyech, Ohara and Iwade joined them off the back, leaving only Sekine in contention with the African trio of Jemeli, Assefa and Mohammed. Sekine, a…

Japan Dominates Asian Cross Country Championships

Japan dominated the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships Thursday in Guiyang, China, winning all four team gold medals to hold the hosts China back to silver in every race.

Japan's only individual gold came in the Junior Women's race, one of its usual areas of strength. Yuna Wada led a Japanese sweep of the top four positions to win the 6 km race in 20:43 with scoring teammates Ririka Hironaka and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu just behind.

Wada Yuna of Japan wins Junior Women’s 6km cross country race of 14th Asian Cross Country Championship . Japan also won Team championship — Asian Athletics (@asianathletics) March 15, 2018
With the meet also serving as China's National Championships Chinese athletes won the individual gold in the other three races, Dan Li, Cairen Suolong and Jianhua Peng all showing better closing speed to beat their Japanese rivals by 3~4 seconds. Li won the Senior Women's 8 km by 3 seconds over Japan's Yukari Abe, leadi…

Japan Names Asian Games Marathon Team

On Mar. 16 the JAAF announced the Japanese marathon team for this August's Jakarta Asian Games. Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) and Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) make up the men's squad, with Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) and Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) named to the women's team.

A member of the Japanese national team for last summer's London World Championships, Inoue ran an all-time Japanese #4 time of 2:06:54 at February's Tokyo Marathon, the 2nd-placing Japnaese man behind national record setter Yuta Shitara (Honda). Sonoda ran a PB of 2:09:34 to finish in the top Japanese position at 2nd overall earlier in February at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.

The silver medalist at November's Asian Championships marathon, Nogami was 5th earlier this month at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in a PB of 2:26:33. Tanaka was next behind her in Nagoya in 6th in 2:27:40, the only member of the Asian Games team not to have yet qualified for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials race. A meda…