Skip to main content

Hakone Ekiden Considering Plans to Shorten Fifth Stage After 2016 Race

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20151130-OHT1T50148.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Hakone Ekiden organizers KGRR announced on Nov. 30 that they are examining changing the lengths of the 18.5 km Fourth Stage and 23.2 km uphill Fifth Stage.  The race's 92nd edition on Jan. 2 and 3, 2016 will go ahead with the existing stage lengths, with the possibility of changes as early as the 93rd running in 2017.  Changes under discussion would likely involve lengthening the Fourth stage, Hakone's shortest, and reducing the Fifth Stage.

Beginning with the 2006 race the Odawara exchange point between the Fourth and Fifth Stages was moved 2.5 km toward Tokyo due to construction at its former location at Suzuhiro.  As a result the Fourth Stage became shorter and the Fifth Stage longer.  With the challenging uphill Fifth Stage now the longest, the success of its star runners Masato Imai (Juntendo Univ., now Toyota Kyushu), Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ., now Fujitsu) and Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) earned them the title "God of the Mountain" and widely expanded Hakone's popularity.

At the same time, since the Fifth Stage was lengthened every team that won it has gone on to take the overall title, leading to claims that the Fifth Stage has too large an impact on the overall team results.  The KGRR will discuss the issue at upcoming coaches' council meetings.

Translator's note: The 2006 change made the iconic Fifth Stage 23.4 km in length.  Subsequent road construction resulted in its length being cut to 23.2 km in 2015 without its start or finish points being moved.  At the time of the 2006 lengthening organizers cited the hope that the longer stage would become a proving ground for Japan's future top marathoners.  At the 2015 Tokyo Marathon Imai ran 2:07:39 to become Japan's 6th-fastest marathoner ever.  Click here for the KGRR's official press release on the possibility of shortening the Fifth Stage.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…