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

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…