Skip to main content

Third Running of Mt. Fuji Women's Ekiden Slated for Dec. 30

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/shizuoka/news/20150610-OYTNT50188.html

translated by Brett Larner

Skirting the feet of Mt. Fuji, the Mt. Fuji Women's Ekiden national university women's invitational ekiden championship race is set to go off again this year.  Co-organized by the Fuji city government, the race's third edition will be held at the end of the year on Dec. 30.  For the first time, its field will include a select team made up of top Shizuoka talent.

The course is the same as in the first two runnings, starting at Fuji Hongu Sengen Shrine in the city of Fujinomiya and covering 43.4 km in 7 stages on the way to the finish at Fuji Sports Park Field in Fuji.  20 schools will race including top finisher teams from October's Morinomiyako Ekiden national university women's championships.  New this year, the Shizuoka Prefecture Student Select Team will feature university and graduate student athletes who graduated from junior high schools and high schools in Shizuoka Prefecture.  The Select Team will not count in scoring, but, said a Fuji city government official, "Spectators and TV personnel told us, 'Since this race is in Shizuoka we want to see more runners from Shizuoka,' and so we've put this team together."

Last year the Mt. Fuji Women's Ekiden was broadcast on tape delay, but this year it will feature a live nationwide broadcast on Fuji TV.  Mayor Yoshimasa Konagai commented, "Since it's now at the very end of the year I think this race is going to become even more popular.  I hope our Shizuoka athletes bring great runs."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…