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

Comments

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

http://running-cordoba.blogspot.com.es/

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

Most-Read This Week

Daniel and Kawauchi Win Saitama International Marathon

After missing a medal by 3 seconds at August's London World Championships, defending champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) made it two in a row as she won a tight battle against Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) to win the Saitama International Marathon in 2:28:39.

With the onus on Japanese women Reia Iwada (Dome) and Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) to break 2:29:00 in order to qualify for Japan's new-format 2020 Olympic trials race, the pair of them did most of the heavy lifting for the first two-thirds of the race. Yoshida led the early kilometers before Iwade took over, and through strong head and tailwinds, over rolling hills and around sharp turns Iwade kept things moving just under target pace, shaking the pack down to just her, Daniel, Habtegebrel and relative unknown Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) by 15 km.

Little changed up front until after the lead group hit the start of the hilliest 10 km on the course after 25 km. For the first time Iwade slipped to the rear of the pack, and on a …

Breaking Down the Best-Ever Japanese Marathon Times By Country

Japanese marathoners these days have the reputation of rarely racing abroad, and of rarely racing well when they do. Back in the day that wasn't true; Japanese marathoners have won all the World Marathon Majors-to-be except New York, and two of the three Japanese men to have run 2:06 and all three women to have run 2:19 did it outside Japan. Whatever the extent to which things did turn inward along the way, the last few years have seen an uptick in Japanese runners going farther afield and running better there than any others before them.

The lists above and below show the fastest times run by Japanese athletes in different countries to 2:20:00 for men and 2:45:00 for women. Japanese men have run sub-2:20 marathons in 37 countries around the world including Japan, with Japanese women having cleared 2:45 in 33 countries including at home. Breaking it down by IAAF label times, more Japanese men have run label standard times abroad, but women have typically performed at a higher label…

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…