Skip to main content

Nikko to Host New University Women's Ekiden on Tough Uphill Course

http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20140529k0000m050113000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The Nikko municipal government in Tochigi prefecture announced May 28 that women will soon be handing off the tasuki on Nikko's mountain roads at the first running of the Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden on Nov. 30.  The uphill course will feature six stages totalling 23.4 km, zigzagging its way up 700 m of climb.  A city spokesperson commented, "We want to develop this into a race that will make people say, 'The men have Hakone, and the women have Nikko.'"

The new race is being organized by the "'Nikko: The Runner's Paradise' Executive Committee," a joint project of the local tourism board, sports bureau and others.  To help the event grow into a major post-autumn foliage season draw, it will also feature a mass-participation race on Nikko's famous "Nikko Utsunomiya Doro" toll road a day earlier on Nov. 29.

Organizers are aiming for twenty university women's teams in the future, but in a survey sent to member schools of the Inter-University Athletics Union of Japan only nine programs committed to taking part.  By expanding the criteria to allow alumni teams and mixed undergrad/alumni teams they hope to reach their target of twenty for this year's inaugural race.

The course will start at a park in the city, running up the normally one-way downhill Daiichi Irohazaka road to a finish near Chugushi at Futarasan Shrine on the shore of Lake Chuzenji.  With 700 m of climb it will be one of the toughest ekiden courses in the country.  The Hakone Ekiden may have its "God of the Mountain," but a new "Goddess of the Mountain" will be born this autumn on the roads of Nikko.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

2019 Tokyo Marathon Elite Field

Hot on the heels of the London Marathon field announcement, the Tokyo Marathon has put its 2019 elite field into the public sphere. With a new date a week later on March 3rd thanks to the impending Imperial succession Tokyo has at last put together a proper elite women's field at parity with the men's field, one including top-level Japanese women for the first time. Change is slow to come, but with this field it looks like it has arrived. 2:18:34 for 2nd in Berlin last year,

Ethiopian Ruti Aga leads 14 women with times 2:23 or better in the last 3 years. Half are Ethiopian, two Kenyan, two Bahraini and three Japanese, with two high-level first-timers, Kenya's Joan Chelimo Melly and Japan's Mao Ichiyama, tacked on. #2 through #4-ranked women Boru Feyse Tadese, Yebrgual Melese and Ababel Yeshaneh all ran 2:19 to 2:20 last year, making the chances of an Ethiopian sweep definitely greater than zero.

The structure of Japanese national team selection and marketing-related f…

2019 Japanese Distance Rankings - updated 1/21/19

JRN's 2019 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Distances will be added as the season progresses. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2018 ・ 2017 ・ 2016・ 2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved