Skip to main content

Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Set for October 17

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/tokyotama/news/20150903-OYTNT50314.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The big test for Tokyo-area universities hoping to make the 92nd running of the New Year's classic Hakone Ekiden, the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai qualifier road race is set to take place Oct. 17 in Tachikawa, Tokyo.  Ahead of the Yosenkai, upper-level officials from the KGRR and the SDF Tachikawa Chutonchi Base met Sept. 3 to authorize an agreement of use of the base's runway for the start of the race course. 

Participating in the signing were KGRR chairman Yoshiyuki Aoba, 73, and Tachikawa Chutonchi Base commander Masashi Kido, 52.  Both dignitaries signed the agreement and affixed it with their seals.  Chairman Aoba commented, "The number of schools participating in the Yosenkai is increasing every year.  We hope for fine autumn weather on race day and another safe and successful qualifying race."  Commander Kido concurred, saying, "Together with the students and local residents, we hope to offer our maximum support toward the success of the Yosenkai."

The 20 km Yosenkai course starts on the Tachikawa Chutonchi Base, running one and a half laps of the runway before heading out onto local roads.  Passing by JR Tachikawa Station's North Exit, the course heads into Tachikawa's Showa Kinen Park for the finish.  Schools racing in the Yosenkai are scored on the cumulative time of their top ten finishers.  The top ten placing teams earn places at the 2016 Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2-3 where they will join the ten schools who earned seeded places from the 2015 Hakone Ekiden.  Ten more top-placing individual runners from schools that do not qualify as teams will be named to the Kanto Student Alliance team to participate in Hakone together.

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…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

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 …