Skip to main content

20 Year-Old Kamada Wins Hida Takayama 100 km Ultramarathon

by Brett Larner

Almost 2500 people started the fourth edition of Hida Takayama Ultramarathon on Sunday, both its 71 km and 100 km divisions featuring a tough series of hills peaking out at 1345 m, around 800 m above the start point, on scenic road courses through the mountains of Gifu prefecture.  Good weather meant new men's and women's records in both distances.

A second-year ekiden team member at Ryutsu Keizai University, alma mater of marathon great Daniel Njenga and sub-27 track runner Josphat Ndambiri, 20 year-old Hiroumi Kamada made the news of the day in the 100 km, taking almost 18 minutes off the event record to win in 7:41:25 in his ultramarathon debut.  Kamada was so dominant that runner-up Wataru Iino, also under the course record, was nearly 15 minutes back in 7:55:49, with previous course record holder Kaname Miyagi a distant 3rd in 8:05:41.  Painfully shy during the award ceremony, in response to the MC's questions Kamada said, "It wasn't hard.  It was fun."  He later tweeted, "Stairs are impossible.  My legs are gonna explode." 

In the women's race 2014 winner Makiko Nakamura came back to also take a big chunk off the event record, winning in 8:50:05 more than 8 minutes up on the record.  Her margin of victory was even more commanding than Kamada's, nearly half an hour ahead of Yumiko Sakagami who took 2nd in 9:19.45.

The 71 km division saw a course change that cut the distance from last year's 72 km, but even taking that into account the shorter of the day's two division saw performances far beyond what Hida Takayama has seen to date.  In the men's race Kaoru Higashida led the top four well below the 5:19:22 event record, winning in an outstanding 4:47:30, 4:03 per km on a course with major hills.  2nd-place Kazuhiro Muto was over 10 minutes behind him in 4:58:09, just outrunning previous course record holder Kenichi Tanaka whose 4:58:32 was well beyond his record-setting run last year but only good enough for 3rd.

Likewise in the women's race, the top three all significantly bettered the 6:37:42 event record even taking the shortened distance into account.  Yuko Kanemoto took 1st in 6:12:48, collapsing and disoriented just after finishing, two-time winner and previous course record holder Naoko Matsushita only 2nd despite a major improvement to 6:17:59.  Masako Ogata took 3rd in 6:25:55.

4th Hida Takayama Ultramarathon
Takayama, Gifu, 6/7/15
click here for complete results

Men's 100 km
1. Hiroumi Kamada - 7:41:25 - CR
2. Wataru Iino - 7:55:49
3. Kaname Miyagi - 8:05:41
4. Tetsuya Fukui - 8:13:03
5. Kuniharu Hiyama - 8:15:01
6. Yuichi Sawahara - 8:17:00

Women's 100 km
1. Makiko Nakamura - 8:50:05 - CR
2. Yumiko Sakagami - 9:19:45
3. Mieko Sugiura - 9:58:48
4. Kiyomi Kaji - 10:16:08
5. Haruka Odachi - 10:24:39
6. Ayumi Sano - 10:35:45

Men's 71 km
1. Kaoru Higashida - 4:47:30 - CR
2. Kazuhiro Muto - 4:58:09
3. Kenichi Tanaka - 4:58:32
4. Yoshitaka Taniguchi - 5:07:35
5. Takuya Ikoma - 5:15:18
6. Yuji Oshima - 5:33:45

Women's 71 km
1. Yuko Kanemoto - 6:12:48 - CR
2. Naoko Matsushita - 6:17:59
3. Masako Ogata - 6:25:55
4. Kiyoko Kozawa - 6:44:30
5. Satomi Goto - 6:46:14
6. Mayuka Haruta - 6:50:49

text and photos (c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…