Skip to main content

First of the Big Three - Izumo Ekiden Entry Lists

by Brett Larner



The Izumo Ekiden has released the entry lists for this year's race on Monday, Oct. 12. The season-opening race on the Big Three men's university ekiden season calendar, Izumo returns for its 27th year after being canceled just before the race last year when a major typhoon hit the area.  Ten of the best men's university teams from the Tokyo area start their trip to the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden in Izumo alongside six schools from other parts of Japan, four regional select teams, and, from the U.S. an Ivy League Select Team, all racing over six stages totaling 45.1 km.  Click the chart below for complete entry lists and rankings for the top twelve teams in the field.


Five of the top seven teams are missing their best runner, among them 2015 Hakone Ekiden course record setter Aoyama Gakuin University. Despite the absence of 4th-year Daichi Kamino, a 1:01:21 half marathoner, AGU is ranked #1 in the field overall and, with a course record-setting Izumo win in 2012 behind it when Kamino and the other 4th-years were just starting out, it looks like the solid favorite.  2013 winner Komazawa University is almost dead-even with Yamanashi Gakuin University for 2nd, YGU missing its star Kenyan Enock Omwamba but bringing in 1st-year reserve Dominic Nyairo for his university ekiden debut.  2011 winner Toyo University and 2010 course record setter Waseda University are likewise almost even at 4th in the rankings, Waseda missing captain and 2014 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Koki Takada.

Meiji University, Tokai University and Chuo Gakuin University occupy the next tier of contenders for the 8-deep podium, Meiji running without sub-28 man Ken Yokote and Tokai lacking several key seniors.  The Ivy League Select Team, featuring an overwhelming Princeton presence, comes in ranked 9th and will need a better-than-average run to make the podium.  The Ivies aside, Kyoto Sangyo University is the top-ranked school from outside the Tokyo area at 12th but is well within range of Josai University and Daito Bunka University and could pull off a rare top 10 finish.

JRN will be on-site throughout the weekend to cover the race for Meter magazine and the Tracksmith website.  Look for coverage here and at both Meter and Tracksmith, uniform sponsors of the Ivy League Select Team.  Catch the live nationwide broadcast on Fuji TV starting at 12:55 p.m. on the 12th.

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …