Skip to main content

Denso Sets Course Record for Second-Straight National Corporate Women's Ekiden Title (updated)

translated and edited by Brett Larner

26 teams ran the 34th edition of the 6-stage, 42.195 km National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships in cold and windy conditions Dec. 14 in Sendai, Miyagi.  The Denso team dominated, breaking its own course record in 2:16:12 to score its second-straight win, the first time that a team has defending its national title since Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo completed a hat trick in 2005.

Denso started off slow, 29 seconds down from the lead in 12th after the First Stage.  Second Stage runner Naoko Koizumi celebrated her 22nd birthday by running the second-best time on the stage to move Denso up to 3rd.  Up against each team's best Japanese athlete on the Third Stage, Yuka Takashima, 26, ran down leaders Toyota Jidoshokki and Yamada Denki in stage record time to put Denso into the lead.  Takashima ran 34:40 for the 10.9 km stage to beat multiple national record holder Kayoko Fukushi's stage record by 24 seconds, with Daihatsu rookie Sairi Maeda and Uniqlo's Ayumi Hagiwara also breaking Fukushi's record.  Shaking off the challenge from the Daihatsu team, Denso maintained the lead the rest of the way to the win and the record.

Daihatsu was 2nd, its best-ever placing at Nationals, in 2:16:48.  Yamada Denki was 3rd in 2:17:29, anchor Sakiho Tsutsui running the fastest time on the final stage to overtake 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi of Toyota Jidoshokki.  2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon bronze medalist Sally Chepyego of 6th-placers Kyudenko delivered the day's other stage record, running 11:13 for the 3.6 km Fourth Stage.

In a rare occurrence, the Sysmex team was disqualified after its Fifth Stage runner Mami Onuki stepped across the handoff line to take the tasuki after incoming Fourth Stage runner Misato Okubo fell just before the exchange.

For the first time, the top eight teams received seeded places at next year's National Championships.  As of next year the current East Japan, Central Japan and West Japan regional qualifier ekidens will be discontinued, with other teams qualifying in a new joint qualification race.

34th National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships
Sendai, Miyagi, 12/14/14
26 teams, 6 stages, 42.195 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Results - top 8 qualify for 2015
1. Denso - 2:16:12 - CR
2. Daihatsu - 2:16:48
3. Yamada Denki - 2:17:29
4. Toyota Jidoshokki - 2:17:50
5. Daiichi Seimei - 2:17:54
6. Kyudenko - 2:18:02
7. Uniqlo - 2:18:13
8. Shimamura - 2:18:21
9. Hokuren - 2:18:33
10. Otsuka Seiyaku - 2:18:44
DQ - Sysmex

Top Individual Stage Performances
First Stage (7.0 km)
1. Yuika Mori (Team Yamada Denki) - 22:14
2. Ayumi Sakaida (Team Daihatsu) - 22:25
3. Miyuki Uehara (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 22:29

Second Stage (3.9 km)
1. Yui Fukuda (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 12:13
2. Naoko Koizumi (Team Denso) - 12:19
3. Ai Inoue (Team Noritz) - 12:26

Third Stage (10.9 km)
1. Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 34:40 - CR
2. Sairi Maeda (Team Daihatsu) - 34:45 (CR)
3. Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) - 34:59 (CR)

Fourth Stage (3.6 km)
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 11:13 - CR
2. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Kenya/Team Starts) - 11:31
3. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Univ. Ent.) - 11:35

Fifth Stage (10.0 km)
1. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 32:47
2. Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 32:49
3. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 32:58

Sixth Stage (6.795 km)
1. Sakiho Tsutsui (Team Yamada Denki) - 21:08
2. Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) - 21:19
3. Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 21:25

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…