Skip to main content

Maeda and Tanui Lead Kyudenko to Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden Course Record

by Brett Larner

Regional qualification for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships wrapped up Nov. 23 in Fukuoka with the 50th edition of the Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden.  Driven by a mid-race stage win by this year's fastest Japanese marathoner, 2:08:00 man Kazuhiro Maeda, and a new stage record by Moscow World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui, the Kyudenko team covered the seven-stage, 78.8 km ekiden in a course record 3:50:36 to take the win over favorites Asahi Kasei and Toyota Kyushu.

Strong in the early going, the relatively minor Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki and Kurosaki Harima teams led for the first three stages, Kyudenko close behind but Asahi Kasei and Toyota Kyushu, running without its four best men including New York City Marathon 6th-placer Masato Imai, getting off to a slow start.  Down 1 second on Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki and 46 seconds on leader Kurosaki Harima at the handoff, Maeda went to work on the 12.2 km Fourth Stage, running 27 seconds faster than the next-best man to pass both teams and open a 14-second lead.  Further back, Maeda's Moscow World Championships marathon teammate Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) ran 35:26, the fourth-fastest time on the stage.

Picking up the tasuki from Maeda, Tanui lopped a stunning 27 seconds off the record for the 9.2 km Fifth Stage, running 24:52 to give Kyudenko a comfortable lead of 1 minute over Kurosaki Harima.  Toyota Kyushu's Titus Waroru was the next fastest on the stage in 25:32, moving the team into the top three for the first time while Asahi Kasei remained stalled in 4th.

Asahi Kasei got down to business on the 9.1 km Sixth Stage as Komazawa University alum Takuya Fukatsu ran a stage record 26:13 to overtake Toyota Kyushu for 3rd and coming within 20 second of 2nd-place Kurosaki Harima, but despite the advance Kyudenko's lead over 2nd grew to 1:29 after a solid run from Kazuaki Iwami.  Asahi Kasei anchor Yuki Iwai won the 14.2 km Seventh Stage in 41:45, overtaking Kurosaki Harima anchor Junichi Tsubouchi for 2nd and closing the gap to Kyudenko but out of range of the win as Kyudenko's Akiyuki Iwanaga brought the team home to the course record.  Kurosaki Harima held off Toyota Kyushu for 3rd by 10 seconds, both teams over two minutes behind the winners.  Toyota Kyushu's results were strong given the absence of its best men, but the important question is whether its top four were all held in reserve to rest up for New Year's Day and give the younger team members more corporate league experience or whether the team has been hit by a string of injuries among its best men. With Toyota Kyushu a potential winner at the New Year Ekiden the national championships' outcome will be heavily influenced by the answer to that question.

50th Kyushu Jitsugyodan Ekiden
Fukuoka-Kitakyushu, 11/23/13
16 teams, 7 stages, 78.8 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Results - top seven qualify for New Year Ekiden national championships
1. Kyudenko - 3:50:36 - CR
2. Asahi Kasei - 3:51:48
3. Kurosaki Harima - 3:53:05
4. Toyota Kyushu - 3:53:15
5. Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki - 3:54:12
6. Yasukawa Denki - 3:55:19
7. Nishitetsu - 3:56:36
8. Togami Denki - 4:05:35

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (13.4 km) - Ryo Kiname (Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 40:25
Second Stage (10.2 km) - Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) - 31:17
Third Stage (10.5 km) - Takashi Goto (Nishitetsu) - 29:05
Fourth Stage (12.2 km) - Kazuhiro Maeda (Kyudenko) - 34:46
Fifth Stage (9.2 km) - Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 24:52 - CR
Sixth Stage (9.1 km) - Takuya Fukatsu (Asahi Kasei) - 26:13 - CR
Seventh Stage (14.2 km) - Yuki Iwai (Asahi Kasei) - 41:45

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Tokyo Olympics Logo Designer Sano Denies Plagiarism

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150805-00000072-nksports-spo

translated by Brett Larner

Amid controversy surrounding the "strong similarity" of the official 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games logos to the logo of Belgium's Theatre de Liege, art director Kenjiro Sano, 43, the person responsible for the Tokyo design, held a press conference August 5th in Tokyo.  Sano strongly denied the theater's claims of plagiarism, calling them "totally groundless" and saying that his design was "something made starting from zero."  Sano said that he "had never seen" the theater's logo, adding, "As an art director I have never ripped anything off," and "This is the culmination of my career.  As something truly original, I wanted to share it with the rest of the world."

Sano was on a business trip to New York through August 4, learning of the current problems while on the trip.  "It was a shock," he said.  …