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Inoue Leads Kanto 10000 m Time Trials in 28:19.28 PB

by Brett Larner
video by naoki620

With universities in the Kanto Region gearing up for the season-ending Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2-3 the KGRR held its annual 10000 m time trial meet Sunday, moved this year from Tokyo's soon-to-be-demolished National Stadium to one of the most beautiful tracks in Japan, Keio University's Hiyoshi Field in Kanagawa.  Sixteen men's 10000 m heats and one women's 10000 m filled up most of the day until well beyond sunset.



In the fastest men's heat, 2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon Championships team member Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) ran a PB 28:19.28 for the win over last year's top finisher Takuya Fujikawa (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.), whose 28:20.31 was a new AGU school record.  Inoue and Fujikawa ran in a front pack of five that included Kazuma Kubota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.), Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) and Yusuke Osumi (Daito Bunka Univ.), virtually all five men taking turns keeping the pace steady at 2:50/km, 28:20 pace, until 6800 m when Osumi was the first to slip.  Tseutaki was next, followed by Kubota, but both Inoue and Fujikawa held true to the pace all the way to the end, making up for a slightly slower ninth kilometer in their last kicks.  All five of the leaders broke 29 minutes in new PBs, earning scholarship money from the KGRR in the process.  Fujikawa and Kubota's success means AGU now has four men 28:30 or better this season, marking them as a legitimate threat to Hakone favorite Komazawa University.

Two other heats, both incorporating time trials for potential members of the newly-formatted Kanto Region University Student Alliance team for Hakone, saw the winners go sub-29, Inoue's teammate Junya Uemura (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) taking Heat 11 in 28:59.28 and Ryo Yamada and Hayato Yamada (both Meiji University) going 1-2 in 28:56.93 and 28:57.11.

The women's race saw a runner from outside the Kanto Region take the top position as Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) outran Fuyuka Kimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) for the win in 32:56.38 to 33:02.54.  The #1-ranked school in Kanto, the DBU women took six of the top ten places.

text and photos (c) 2014 Brett Larner
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