Skip to main content

National Women's Ekiden Leads Weekend Road Action

by Brett Larner

National championship ekiden season winds down over the next two weekends with the National Women's Ekiden this Sunday in Kyoto, followed a week later in Hiroshima by the National Men's Ekiden.  Both races feature teams from each of Japan's 47 prefectures made up of top talent all the way from junior high school runners to Olympians competing to determine the true geographic center of Japanese distance running.

Sunday's 32nd running of the National Women's Ekiden features Moscow World Championships marathon bronze medalist Kayoko Fukushi (Aomori) and 4th-placer Ryoko Kizaki (Kyoto), 2013 5000 m national champion Misaki Onishi (Mie), 2013 London Marathon 3rd placer Yukiko Akaba (Tochigi), 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Hyogo), Mutsumi Ikeda (Shiga) and Nanako Kanno (Kyoto) of 2013 National University Women's Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan University, Azusa Sumi (Aichi), Hanami Sekine (Aichi) and three other members of 2013 National High School Girls Ekiden winner Toyokawa H.S., Wakana Kabasawa (Gunma) and Ema Hayashi (Gunma) of 2013 National Junior High School Girls Ekiden champion Fujimi J.H.S. and many more competing over 42.195 km subdivided into 9 stages.  The race will be broadcast nationwide live and commercial-free on NHK beginning at 12:30 p.m. Japan time on Sunday, Jan. 12.  Overseas viewers should be able to watch live on Keyhole TV; upgrade to the premium version results in a significantly more reliable stream.  JRN will also cover the race live via Twitter @JRNLive.

Three decent half marathons also add to the weekend's action, with Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) getting his year moving as usual at the 15th edition of Tokyo's Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon.  Far to the south on Kyushu, Nagasaki hosts the 43rd running of the Unzen Obama Half Marathon, while locals tune up for next month's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon at the 54th Oita City Half Marathon on the Monday public holiday.

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…