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16-Year-Old Hyuga Endo Runs 13:58.93 Tenth-Grade Record at Nittai Time Trials (updated)



by Brett Larner
photo by Kazuyuki Sugimatsu 
video by kozai1802

It was an amazing weekend of racing that saw world records fall at the Kumamoto Kosa 10-miler, Patrick Makau return and Japan get its 9th and 10th sub-2:10 men of the year in Fukuoka and Yuki Kawauchi take almost ten minutes off the Naha Marathon course record, but it didn't stop there.

In the 41st and final 5000 m heat of the day well after dark at the last full Nittai University Time Trials meet of 2014, 16-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakko Hojin Ishikawa H.S.) took 36 seconds off his PB to finish 5th in 13:58.93, the first Japanese 10th grader to ever break 14 minutes.  Post-race he tweeted:
The Nittai University Time Trials were today!  My time was 13:58!  I'm really happy to have run the #1 time ever by a 10th grader.  Thanks to everyone who cheered for me I kept my pace all the way to the end without slowing down!  Thank you all very, very much for cheering!
And he wasn't alone.  12th grader Ryuya Kajitani (Hakuo Prep Ashikaga H.S.) was 3rd in 13:57.81 and 11th grader Rei Hasegawa (Toyokawa H.S.) 6th in 13:59.03, a solid showing in the buildup to the National High School Ekiden Championships in two weeks.  With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when Endo will be a senior in university, on their horizons, Japan's young distance runners keep raising the bar for each other.

Nittai University Time Trials Men's 5000 m Heat 41
Yokohama, Kanagawa, 12/7/14
click here for complete results

1. Tatsuro Okazaki (Team Osaka Gas) - 13:53.88
2. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 13:55.64
3. Ryuya Kajitani (Hakuo Prep Ashikaga H.S.) - 13:57.81
4. Ataru Otani (Nanyo City Hall) - 13:58.21
5. Hyuga Endo (Gakko Hojin Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:58.93
6. Rei Hasegawa (Toyokawa H.S.) - 13:59.03
7. Yuki Iwasaki (Team Sekino Reform) - 13:59.05
8. Shun Suzuki (Nanyo City Hall) - 13:59.65
9. Yasunari Kusu (Team Komori Corp.) - 14:00.60
10. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 14:01.03

text (c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
finish photo (c) 2014 Kazuyuki Sugimatsu, all rights reserved

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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.

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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
           …

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.

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