Skip to main content

Osaka Kunei Unseats Ritsumeikan Uji at Kita-Kyushu Women's Ekiden

by Brett Larner

A week after the National Women's Ekiden marked the end of the main women's championship ekiden season, 9 pro and university teams and 15 high school teams lined up for the 26th edition of the Kita-Kyushu Women's Ekiden, a 5-stage, 32.8 km race that features an 11.7 km anchor stage split into two for the high school runners.  Last year's winning anchor Misaki Kato got defending open division champion Kyudenko off to a good start with an 18-second lead on the 4.2 km First Stage, and after Kenyan Sally Chepyego was through with the 5.9 km Second Stage Kyudenko's lead was up to well over a minute, a margin they held for the rest of the race to take a second-straight win in 1:45:23.

With a long streak of Kita-Kyushu wins behind it, defending H.S. division champion Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. got off to a slow start, 2nd among H.S. teams on the First Stage and more than 30 seconds behind Kato.  2014 National H.S. Ekiden champion Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. was even further back, but on the Second Stage its runner Kanami Sagayama ran the fastest time on the stage behind Chepyego to move put Osaka Kunei ahead of Ritsumeikan Uji and 3rd overall, just 2 seconds behind 2nd-place pro team Denso.

Ritsumeikan Uji fought back on the 5.1 km Third Stage, Fukiko Ando winning the stage outright in 16:31 to overtake both Osaka Kunei and Denso and opening a 15-second lead.  Another good run from Fourth Stage runner Aki Manabe extended Ritsumeikan Uji's lead over Osaka Kunei to 28 seconds with two stages to go, and although Osaka Kunei's fifth runner Kyoka Mori cut the lead by 4 seconds it needed a big anchor run to catch the dominant Ritsumeikan Uji.  Ena Kagayama, Osaka Kunei's anchor at its first-ever National H.S. Ekiden win last month, delivered again, outrunning Ritsumeikan Uji anchor Sakura Sunda by more than a minute and a half over 6.8 km to take the win in 1:46:39.

26th Kita-Kyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden
Kita-Kyushu, 1/18/15
open division: 9 teams, 5 stages, 32.8 km
H.S. division: 15 teams, 6 stages, 32.8 km
click here for complete results

Open Division Top Team Results
1. Kyudenko - 1:45:23
2. Denso - 1:46:47
3. Toto - 1:48:34
4. Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo - 1:49:12
5. Osaka Gakuin Univ. - 1:49:38

H.S. Division Top Team Results
1. Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuen H.S. - 1:46:39
2. Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. - 1:48:14
3. Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S. - 1:49:20
4. Kamimura Gakuen H.S. - 1:49:23
5. Suma Gakuen H.S. - 1:49:47

Top Stage Performances
First Stage (4.2 km)
1. Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 13:15
2. Satomi Ueda (Toto) - 13:33
3. Nami Hashimoto (Denso) - 13:36

Second Stage (5.9 km)
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 18:19
2. Kanami Sagayama (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 19:05
3. Kureha Seki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 19:09
3. Saori Noda (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 19:09

Third Stage (5.1 km)
1. Fukiko Ando (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 16:31
2. Rino Maeda (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 16:47
3. Miyuki Oka (Denso) - 16:57

Fourth Stage (5.9 km)
1. Sayaka Kurogi (Kyudenko) - 19:19
2. Aki Manabe (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 19:22
3. Misato Kagayama (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 19:35

Open Division Fifth Stage (11.7 km)
1. Yuka Miyazaki (Kyudenko) - 37:07
2. Yuki Mitsunobu (Denso) - 37:13
3. Yukari Ishibashi (Edion) - 37:41

H.S. Division Fifth Stage (4.9 km)
1. Kyoka Mori (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 16:09
2. Ryoka Meno (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 16:17
3. Sakura Wada (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 16:22

H.S. Division Sixth Stage (6.8 km)
1. Haruka Tobimatsu (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 20:58
2. Ena Kagayama (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 21:13
3. Yuki Shibata (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 22:00

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…