Skip to main content

Mwangi Leads Season-Opening Kanaguri Memorial Meet

by Brett Larner
videos by Ekiden News and tuyoshi55244




Japan's outdoor track season got underway on Saturday with the rainy 23rd edition of Kumamoto's Kanaguri Memorial Meet.  Teammates James Mwangi and Edward Waweru of the NTN corporate team got the season off to a good start with a 1-2 finish in Heat 4 of the men's 5000 m, Mwangi leading the way with a 13:25.56 a full ten seconds ahead of Waweru.  Japan-based Kenyans and Ethiopians took 11 of the top 13 places, with the only Japanese runners to get into the middle of things both running PBs to get there.  Second-year Keisuke Nakatani of three-time defending National University Ekiden champion Komazawa University ran a sizable best of 13:48.99 for 8th, a time that ranks him 2nd on the Komazawa squad behind only World Half Marathon Championships team member Kenta Murayama.  Sub-28 and sub-1:02 as a collegiate, Yuta Shitara made a good debut in the Honda uniform by knocking 2 seconds off his best for 9th in 13:49.98.



Two-time world junior 3000 mSC champion Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) led the otherwise all-Japanese Heat 5 in 13:47.55, with Yuki Yagi (Team Asahi Kasei) alternating the lead with him and get just under Nakatani's time for 2nd in 13:48.12.  Past national champions Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) and Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) were close behind.



Yagi's teammate Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) was 5th in 13:54.71 two hours after running a 3:46.84 PB for 2nd in the men's 1500 m.

Heat 2 of the men's 5000 m saw a rare happening as Josai University second-year Kazuki Takahashi was disqualified after false starting twice.  Why or how remains a mystery.



Susan Wairimu (Team Denso) and Pauline Kamulu (Team Toto) completed a Kenyan sweep of the main distance events in Heat 2 of the women's 5000 m, Wairimu winning in 15:50.72 by a comfortable margin.  Miho Shimizu (Team Hokuren) raced Kamulu to the line but lost out by a lean, 3rd in 15:54.47.



Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) took the all-high school women's 3000 m in 9:23.58.



2012 and 2013 national 1500 m champion Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) opened her season with a 4:20.30 win in Heat 2 of the women's 1500 m.

23rd Kanaguri Memorial Meet
Kumamoto, 4/5/14
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 4
1. James Mwangi (Kenya/Team NTN) - 13:25.56
2. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 13:35.63
3. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 13:36.79
4. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 13:40.81
5. Ayele Abayneh (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) - 13:40.93
6. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 13:44.52
7. Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 13:48.92
8. Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:48.99 - PB
9. Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) - 13:49.98 - PB
10. Abera Melaku (Ethiopia/Team Kurosak Harima) - 13:52.90

Men's 5000 m Heat 5
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:47.55
2. Yuki Yagi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:48.12
3. Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) - 13:51.03
4. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:53.63
5. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:54.71

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso) - 15:50.72
2. Pauline Kamulu (Kenay/Team Toto) - 15:54.28
3. Miho Shimizu (Team Hokuren) - 15:54.47
4. Yuka Miyazaki (Team Kyudenko) - 16:03.66
5. Saori Noda (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 16:05.71

Women's 3000 m Heat 3
1. Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 9:23.58
2. Maako Konishi (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:25.02
3. Haruka Tobimatsu (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:25.88
4. Rui Maenohara (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:26.51
5. Yuri Nozoe (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:26.85

Men's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 3:42.45 - PB
2. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 3:46.84 - PB
3. Yasunari Kusu (Team Komori Corp.) - 3:49.13
4. Yusuke Hiratsuka (Josai Univ.) - 3:50.43
5. Shogo Hata (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 3:51.20

Women's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:20.30
2. Mika Nakagawa (Team Hokuren) - 4:22.86
3. Ayano Ikemitsu (Team Kagoshima Ginko) - 4:24.56
4. Misaki Hayashida (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 4:26.42
5. Haruka Mochizuki (Team Yutaka Giken) - 4:26.79

(c) 2014 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
           …