Skip to main content

Women's Ekiden Weekend Roundup

by Brett Larner

Two high-level mid-season women's ekidens held their 29th runnings on Nov. 10.  A dry run for January's National Women's Ekiden and featuring the same format of teams made up of junior high school, high school, university and pro runners from each prefecture, the nine-stage, 42.195 km East Japan Women's Ekiden in Fukushima saw 2010 winner Chiba Prefecture advance in the second half of the race after a strong Fifth Stage run from ace Yurie Doi and a brilliant performance from the Seventh Stage's Asahi Tate to return to the top.  Anchor Mai Shinozuka had a scare from 2013 London Marathon 3rd-placer Yukiko Akaba (Tochigi Pref.), but with a starting margin of almost 45 seconds at her disposal fro the 10 km Ninth Stage she was safe enough to run a steady, conservative leg to bring Chiba home in 2:19:23, 27 seconds ahead of Akaba.  Up front through much of the race, Nagano Prefecture was the only other team to break 2:20:00 in rainy, windy conditions, 3rd in 2:19:59.  Two-time defending champion Kanagawa Prefecture was only 8th in 2:21:00.

Further west, the Fukui Super Ladies Ekiden offered a rare chance to see top university, pro and club teams go head to head over a six-stage, 30.0 km course.  Despite its best member, Yuko Shimizu, running for Nagano at the East Japan Women's Ekiden, Team Sekisui Kagaku had a landslide victory, winning four stages including the first three to lead start to finish to stop the clock in 1:37:46.  Winners of September's Kansai Region University Women's Ekiden before bombing out at last month's National University Women's Ekiden, Osaka Gakuin University ran 2nd through most of the race, Fourth Stage runner Natsuki Hara running 13:30 for 4.0 km to take the stage best title.  On the anchor stage Chieko Kido of defending Fukui champion Canon AC Kyushu ran a stage best 25:58 for 8.0 km to overtake Osaka Gakuin's Minori Goto, picking up the runner-up position in 1:39:08 with the collegiates consigned to 3rd in 1:39:56.

29th East Japan Women's Ekiden
Fukushima, 11/10/13
9 stages, 42.195 km, 18 teams
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Chiba Pref. - 2:19:23
2. Tochigi Pref. - 2:19:50
3. Nagano Pref. - 2:19:59
4. Shizuoka Pref. - 2:20:11
5. Tokyo - 2:20:22
6. Gunma Pref. - 2:20:29
7. Saitama Pref. - 2:20:38
8. Kanagawa Pref. - 2:21:00
9. Niigata Pref. - 2:22:09
10. Fukushima Pref. - 2:22:22

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.0 km) - Rina Yamazaki (Saitama Pref.) - 19:43
Second Stage (4.0 km) - Risa Kikuchi (Ibaraki Pref.) - 12:52
Third Stage (3.0 km) - Akiko Kawashima (Chiba Pref.) - 10:13
Fourth Stage (3.0 km) - Wakana Kabasawa (Gunma Pref.) - 9:41
Fifth Stage (5.0875 m) - Yurie Doi (Chiba Pref.) - 16:48
Sixth Stage (4.1075 m) - Shiori Yano (Tokyo) - 13:18
Seventh Stage (4.0 km) - Asahi Tate (Chiba Pref.) - 12:52
Eighth Stage (3.0 km) - Ema Hayashi (Gunma Pref.) - 9:08 - CR
Ninth Stage (10.0 km) - Mao Kiyota (Shizuoka Pref.) - 32:09

29th Fukui Super Ladies Ekiden
Fukui, 11/10/13
6 stages, 30.0 km, 46 teams
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Team Sekisui Kagaku - 1:37:46
2. Canon AC Kyushu - 1:39:08
3. Osaka Gakuin Univ. A - 1:39:56
4. Meijo Univ. - 1:41:35
5. Bukkyo Univ. B - 1:41:56
6. Team Shiseido - 1:42:03
7. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 1:42:17
8. Bukkyo Univ. A - 1:42:21
9. Fukuoka Univ. A - 1:42:30
10. Team Yutaka Giken - 1:43:03

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.0 km) - Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 19:08
Second Stage (3.0 km) - Tomoyo Yamamoto (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:40
Third Stage (4.0 km) - Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 12:54
Fourth Stage (4.0 km) - Natsuki Hara (Osaka Gakuin Univ. A) - 13:30
Fifth Stage (5.0 km)  - Sayuri Baba (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:29
Sixth Stage (8.0 km) - Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 25:58

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …