Skip to main content

Daito Bunka University Women Break Nikko Irohazaka Ekiden Course Record

by Brett Larner

Last year's runner up Daito Bunka University came back strong to take down defending champion Tokyo Nogyo University in course record time at Sunday's Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden in Nikko, Tochigi.  The most famous ekiden stage in Japan is the Fifth Stage at the university men's Hakone Ekiden, a 23.2 km run up a mountain with roughly 875 km of climb followed by descent and flat in the last few km.  Nikko Irohazaka, the newest addition to the university women's calendar, takes almost identical dimensions and divides it into six stages, the toughest with 400 m of climb in 3.5 km.

Making its Nikko Irohazaka debut, Nittai University took an early lead with a First Stage win by Nanako Yasaku, who put Nittai 8 seconds ahead of Daito Bunka.  Tokyo Nogyo took over on the Second Stage with a new course record run by Moeno Shimizu, Daito Bunka 13 seconds back on total time at the start of the Third Stage.  DBU's Soyoka Segawa broke the course record on the Third Stage, but Tokyo Nogyo's Monaka Kobori was only 1 second slower and the lead remained almost unchanged.

The big change came on the Fourth Stage, where Daito Bunka's Shiho Yahagi was almost two minutes faster than Tokyo Nogyo's Miya Yokoyama, a permanent goodbye as DBU's lead only grew the rest of the way to its 1:29:49 course record win.  Tokyo Nogyo fell almost four minutes behind total for 4th, overtaken by last year's 4th-placer Kansai Gaikokugo University and first-timer Nittai.

Nikko Irohazaka was the second stop on the season's tour for top university women's ekiden teams.  Next up is the season-ending Mount Fuji University Women's Ekiden, now moved to an exciting new date on Dec. 30 that puts it into a block with the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships and the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden season-ender for university men.  Four days of live TV ekiden broadcasts in the course of five.  You couldn't ask for a better way to spend New Year's.

2nd Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden
Niiko, Tochigi, 11/29/15
18 teams, 6 stages, 23.4 km, 875 m climb
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Daito Bunka University - 1:29:49 - CR
2. Kansai Gaikokugo University - 1:32:20
3. Nittai University - 1:33:16
4. Tokyo Nogyo University A - 1:33:27
5. Chuo University - 1:35:15
6. Osaka Geidai University - 1:35:21
7. Tokyo Nogyo University B - 1:35:25
8. Hakuoh University - 1:36:05
9. Nihon Joshi Taiiku University - 1:38:23
10. Shoin University - 1:38:46

Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (4.7 km, ~100 m ascent): Nanako Yasaku (Nittai Univ.) - 16:57
2nd Stage (5.2 km, ~200 m ascent): Moeno Shimizu (Tokyo Nogyo Univ. A) - 18:12 - CR
3rd Stage (3.5 km, ~100 m ascent): Soyoka Segawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 14:51 - CR
4th Stage (3.0 km, ~100 m ascent): Shiho Yahagi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 13:07
5th Stage (3.5 km, ~400 m ascent): Yukine Oguchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 14:17
6th Stage (3.5 km, ~25 m descent): Yumi Motohiro (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 11:56

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

CK said…
Was there any TV coverage (or documentary) about this race ?
Brett Larner said…
Yes, it will be shown on BS-NTV at 16:00 this Sunday after Fukuoka.

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

The Asian Games Marathon Course: An Early Morning Start for Loops of the City's Main Roads

Its skyline punctuated by skyscrapers demonstrating Indonesia's economic ascension. A lush plaza holding a famed tower, the symbol of the metropolis. When Jakarta hosts the Asian Games next week its marathon course will loop around the city's main streets, starting and finishing from the Games' main venue, Gelola Bungarno Stadium. In light of the heat and humidity of the races' summertime dates, Aug. 25 for men and 26 for women, the marathons will get off to early starts at 6:00 a.m. local time, 8:00 a.m. Japan time.

Leaving the stadium for the main streets, the Jakarta course turns to the north before turning back. Each of the two loops is about 20 km, both mostly flat and straight with the only hills coming in the gentle climbs onto and off the waterway bridges that dot the route. At a rotary about 5 km from the start, runners are greeted by a statue of a man and woman built in 1962 the last time Jakarta hosted the Asian Games. Running on amid the highrises, around …