Skip to main content

Aiming for 2015 New Year Ekiden, Bel'x Supermarkets Adds Hakone Ekiden Stars to Its Team

http://www.ayomi.co.jp/sports/detail.php?eid=02412&sports-kind=00

translated and edited by Brett Larner

During a visit to Adachi Ward mayor Yayoi Kondo, senior managing director Yuki Suzuki and ekiden team head coach Makoto Suzuki of the Adachi-based Sun Bel'x corporation, operators of the Bel'x Supermarkets chain, announced the addition of exciting new athletes to the company's team in April.  Nine athletes accompanied them to the meeting, among them 2014 Hakone Ekiden stars Duncan Muthee (Takushoku Univ., 2nd Stage), Yuya Yamashita (Juntendo Univ., 5th Stage), Takahiro Kato (Asia Univ., 7th Stage), Junpei Miyazawa (Juntendo Univ., 7th Stage) and Shota Takatsudo (Jobu Univ., 7th Stage).  During the chat with the mayor Coach Suzuki introduced each of the promising new athletes while watching video of them on a DVD of this year's Hakone Ekiden and talked enthusiastically about the team's goal of a breakthrough at November's New Year Ekiden regional qualifier.

In just its second year, a total of eleven athletes joined the Bel'x team this season.  The new athletes were formally hired by Sun Bel'x on Mar. 27.  After going through its training program they were each assigned to Bel'x supermarkets, where for the immediate future they will work while doing ekiden training.  The team will have four morning practice sessions and two target workouts a week, making use of Adachi's Toneri Park and other area facilities.  After their target workouts they will refuel with athlete-specific meals prepared for them by Sun Bel'x, the company's commitment to its athletes extending even to supporting their nutritional needs.

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Thanks to Michael Peters for sending me this story.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …