Skip to main content

Ritsumeikan University Going for Third-Straight Mt. Fuji Women's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

In its third edition in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, the National University Women’s Invitational Ekiden Championships, renamed, appropriately enough, the Mt. Fuji Women’s Ekiden, continues to grow in popularity and stature. This year it moves from the Dec. 23 national holiday to Dec. 30, putting it into a prestigious block alongside the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men’s national championships and the biggest of them all, the university men’s Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2 and 3. Whether Mt. Fuji will reach the same level of popularity remains to be seen, but it’s a sign of faith in the event’s viability, its hilly course offering real racing and not just a handout to the fastest school.

The fastest school is again two-time defending champion Ritsumeikan University of the Kansai region, fresh from a course record win at October’s Morinomiyako Ekiden against the best from the Kanto region and the rest of the country. With wins on all six stages at Morinomiyako including a stage record from second-year Kotona Ota who played a major role in Ritsumeikan’s win last year as a first-year it will be a challenge for anyone to catch them no matter how much the hills level the playing field.

If any school can do it it will be top Kanto region school Daito Bunka University, winner of last month’s all-uphill Nikko Irohazaka Women’s Ekiden in course record time. Daito Bunka won four out of six stages there with one record by Soyoka Segawa and second-place finishes on the other two stages. A lot will depend on fourth-year Sakurako Fukuuchi, in training for her marathon debut at next month’s Osaka International Women’s Marathon.

Last year’s 3rd-placer Osaka Gakuin University was only 6th at Morinomiyako, meaning they will need a step back toward last year’s form to compete with Ritsumeikan and Daito Bunka. Other schools likely to turn up in the chase pack include Matsuyama University, 3rd at Morinomiyako, Nittai University with a 4th at Morinomiyako and 3rd in Nikko, and Morinomiyako 5th-placer Meijo University.

The Mt. Fuji Women’s Ekiden will be broadcast like on Fuji TV starting at 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 30. Follow @JRNLive for live coverage and check back here on JRN for detailed results of the university women’s season-ender post-race.

3rd Mt. Fuji Women’s Ekiden Entry List
National University Women’s Ekiden Championships
Shizuoka, 12/30/15
20 teams, 7 stages, 43.4 km, 50 m net climb
click here for complete field listing

1. Ritsumeikan University (Kansai)
2. Daito Bunka University (Kanto)
3. Matsuyama University (Chugoku-Shikoku)
4. Nittai University (Kanto)
5. Meijo University (Tokai)
6. Osaka Gakuin University (Kansai)
7. Tokyo Nogyo University (Kanto)
8. Kansai University (Kansai)
9. Fukuoka University (Kyushu)
10. Josai University (Kanto)
11. Kyoto Sangyo University (Kansai)
12. Hakuoh University (Kanto)
13. Bukkyo University (Kansai)
14. Kanoya Taiiku University (Kyushu)
15. Kansai Gaikokugo University (Kansai)
16. Tohoku Fukushi University (Tohoku)
17. Tamagawa University (Kanto)
18. Toyo University (Kanto)
19. East Japan Select Team
20. Weat Japan Select Team
21. Shizuoka Select Team

© 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

'Tokyo Unveils 2020 Olympics Logo By Kenjiro Sano'

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…