Skip to main content

Aiming for Top 10 at World Championships, Matsumoto Wins Second-Straight Fuji Mountain Race Title

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/07/26/kiji/K20140726008632750.html

translated by Brett Larner

3980 people ran the July 25 Fuji Mountain Race's 67th edition in its Fifth Stage and Summit divisions. The men's Summit division winner was defending champion Dai Matsumoto (30, Salomon), who took his second-straight title in 2:47:45. Ruth Charlotte Croft (25, New Zealand) won the women's Summit division in 3:11:44.  Sho Matsumoto (28, Nikkei Business) was the men's Fifth Stage winner, with Yumiko Oishi (43) joining him on the podium in the women's race.

In his sixth time running the Fuji Mountain Race Dai Matsumoto was delighted to keep his place on top.  "People were gunning for me this year," he said of the pressure that pushed him to beat his own winning time from last year of 2:49:40.  A native of Gunma prefecture, his experience with mountain running dates back to his time at Maebashi H.S. and Gunma University where he competed in the event at the National Sports Festival.  He currently trains at Mt. Asama and competes as a professional mountain runner in "sky running" races.  His next major goal, he said with a smile, is, "to finish in the top ten at the sky race world championships two years from now."

The New Zealand-born Croft beat the runner-up in the women's Summit division by a commanding margin of more than 17 minutes.  "I wasn't very satisfied with last year's result [9th in 3:52:05]," she said of her motivation to give Mt. Fuji another go.  Based in Nepal for her training, Croft came back to the Fuji Mountain Race after running the Everest Ultra Marathon, where she finished 2nd in the foreign athlete division.  Her strategy of picking up the pace after reaching the Fifth Stage paid off well as she ran away from her competitors to snag the win.  "I'm really happy that I ran better than last year," she said with satisfaction.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Saitama International Marathon Elite Field

With just over three weeks to go the Saitama International Marathon has released the elite field for its third running scheduled for Nov. 12, and it's a small one. A problematic event that carries the diminished legacy of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon and Yokohama International Women's Marathon, Saitama occupies a place in the national team selection process that should go to the far superior Tokyo Marathon women's race but remains out in the northwestern suburbs thanks to the sponsor and TV broadcast income it generates for the JAAF. But with a field like this, how much longer will it be able to generate any sponsor interest or income?

The move of the National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships from mid-December to late November, just two weeks after Saitama, means that not a single corporate league woman is entered in Saitama's elite field. Not one. The home crowd is represented by 22-year-old Reia Iwade (Dome), who quit the Noritz corporate t…

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…