Skip to main content

Waseda University Ekiden Head Coach Watanabe to Retire in March

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/12/01/kiji/K20141201009384320.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Dec. 1 Waseda University announced that ekiden head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe, 41, will retire at the end of his contract in March next year.  His successor has not yet been determined.



One of Waseda's most famous alumni, Watanabe had spectacular success during his running career there, winning Hakone Ekiden stages three times including a classic Second Stage battle against Kenyan Stephen Mayaka (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.).  In April, 2003 he was named assistant coach of Waseda's ekiden program and a year later in April, 2004 was promoted to head coach.  In that capacity he set about restoring the fallen Waseda to its former glory.  Under his leadership Waseda finished 2nd at the 2008 Hakone Ekiden, and in the 2010-2011 season it scored a rare triple crown, winning the Izumo Ekiden, National University Ekiden and Hakone Ekiden and becoming the first school to set course records at all three in one season.



Through a school spokesperson Watanabe said, "From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone who has supported the team over the last twelve years."

Translator's note:  One of Watanabe's last official appearances as head coach of Waseda, Japan's University of Oregon, will be with Waseda third-year Koki Takada, the 2014 Ageo City Half Marathon and 2014 Hakone Ekiden Second Stage winner, at the March 15 New York City Half Marathon.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kanazawa Marathon to Stop Runners at 21 Locations Due to Election

Due to be held the same day as voting in the upcoming election for the House of Representatives, runners at the Kanazawa Marathon can expect to be stopped at over 20 intersections on the course in order to allow voters on their way to the polls to pass without interference.  Scheduled to be held Oct. 31 after last year's race was canceled, the Kanazawa Marathon will take place while voting polls for the House of Representatives election are open. On race day, road closures for the marathon will be in place for up to 6 hours, but the locations of 14 polling stations on the course mean that voters will need to be able to cross through intersections. 50,000 voters are expected to use these locations, and while city officials are calling for people to utilize early voting or polling stations not affected by road closures then have made the decision to place security personnel at 21 intersections to stop runners when necessary. The Kanazawa Marathon already has this policy in place at

Weekend Overseas Marathon Results

With the Tokyo Marathon having canceled due to guidelines written in the pre-vaccine era some of Japan's top marathoners have had to go overseas this season. Men's national record holder Kengo Suzuki  (Fujitsu) was at Sunday's Chicago Marathon . Suzuki seemed to be staying calm in the lead group, but when the real move came he didn't have the same kind of closing speed he had at March's Lake Biwa Marathon and was left behind by the lead true. Suzuki ended up 4th in 2:08:50, the fastest time by a Japanese outside Japan so far this year. Seifu Tura Abdiwak  (Ethiopia) took 1st in 2:06:12. The next day at the Boston Marathon , Tokyo Paralympics women's gold medalist Misato Michishita  (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) had a quick turnaround to win Boston's first-ever T11/T12 division race. In the elite women's race Shiho Kaneshige  (GRlab Kanto) tailed the lead pack with America Elaina Tabb through the first half of the race according to plan on sub-2:30 pace. But

February's Ome 30 km Road Race Canceled Due to Pandemic

On Oct. 14 the organizers of Tokyo's Ome 30 km Road Race announced that the popular event's 55th running, scheduled for Feb. 20, 2022, will not go ahead and will instead be postponed a year. Organizers said that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic they had concerns about being able to stage the event in a way safe for runners, local residents, race staff and volunteers. The Ome 30 km's 55th running was originally scheduled for February, 2021 but was postponed to 2022, meaning the new decision will in effect be a two-year postponement.  The Ome 30 km Road Race was founded in 1967. Starting in the western Tokyo suburb of Ome, the race follows a mountainous route along the upper Tama River gorge and back. Featuring both 30 km and 10 km races, the race seen wins from Olympic gold medalists like Naoko Takahashi  and Mizuki Noguchi , and is one of Japan's most popular races for amateur runners, with over 12,000 finishers every year. In place of the 2022 event, organizers