Skip to main content

Miyazaki Leads Fukuoka Six Days Into Final Grand Tour Kyushu

http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nsp/ekiden/2013/all/kiji/20131101/20131101_0004.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Running on home ground on Nov. 1 the Miyazaki Prefecture team won the sixth day of the 62nd running of the Grand Tour Kyushu ekiden.  Showing the hometown crowd its fire, Miyazaki lead over the six legs and 86.7 km from the Miyazaki Prefectural Government building to Nobeoka City Hall to claim its third individual day win so far in the eight-day ekiden.  Fukuoka Prefecture was close behind in 2nd, with Nagasaki Prefecture a distant 3rd.

Aiming to return to the top for the overall win in the Grand Tour Kyuhsu's final running, Miyazaki overtook Fukuoka early in the day to take over the top position.  Miyazaki runners won the first five of the day's stages, building a commanding lead of over seven minutes by the start of the Sixth Stage.  After his teammates struggled throughout the day, Fukuoka anchor Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) ran with guts and determination, closing the gap by more than two minutes to finish 4:49 behind Miyazaki, his third individual stage win in three starts at this year's Tour.

Behind 3rd-place Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yamaguchi, Saga, Kumamoto and Oita remain in close contention for a podium finish with Okinawa a distant 9th.  Day seven of the Grand Tour Kyushu, at eight stages and 127.3 km the longest of the race, kicks off at the Oita Prefectural Government offices at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 2 and finishes later in the day in front of Kita-Kyushu City Hall.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…