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High Schools Thrash Corporate League Ekiden Competition

by Brett Larner

Championship ekiden season has come and gone, but Sunday saw high-level action at two popular and long-running ekidens at opposite ends of Japan.  In western Japan, course record-setting 2015 National High School Ekiden champion Sera H.S. of Hiroshima definitively took the win at the 79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden, beating Mazda, Chugoku Denryoku, JFE Steel, Chudenko and other corporate team competition with ease.  Sera third-year Paul Kamais opened a lead of over two minutes with a course record 42:04 for the 15.1 km First Stage, and from there Sera never lost the top position.  Mazda came the closest, closing to within 3 seconds by the end of the Fourth Stage, but a Fifth Stage win by Sera's Taiju Nakashima put them back out front with a margin that Sera's remaining two runners held onto until the end.  Sera covered the seven-stage, 84.4 km course in 4:07:29, the best-ever by a high school team, with Mazda ending up nearly two minutes back in 4:09:24.  Chugoku Denryoku, missing star Takehiro Deki who is in training for the Tokyo Marathon, was 3rd in 4:10:17.

Northwest of Tokyo in Saitama, the local Saitama Sakae H.S. boys ran away from the Police Department corporate team for the win at the 62nd Okumusashi Ekiden.  A pair of stage records from Saitama Sakae's Ryoji Tatezawa and Hidekazu Tsujikata put the school almost two minutes ahead of the Police after four of the race's six stages, but despite a strong finish from the Police Saitama Sakae held on to a lead of almost a minute to take the win in 1:56:16 for 38.5 km.  Running for his employer, the Saitama Prefectural Government, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi was 2nd behind Tatezawa on the hilly 5.4 km Second Stage, running 16:45 to Tatezawa's 16:17 record.

79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden
Ube, Yamaguchi, 1/31/16
47 teams, 7 stages, 84.4 km

Top Team Results
1. Sera H.S. - 4:07:29
2. Mazda - 4:09:24
3. Chugoku Denryoku - 4:10:17
4. JFE Steel - 4:12:11
5. Chudenko - 4:14:26

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (15.1 km) - Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 42:04 - CR
Second Stage (11.3 km) - Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 31:21 - CR
Third Stage (11.9 km) - Teressa Nyakora (Mazda) - 34:48
Fourth Stage (10.4 km) - Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 31:04
Fifth Stage (8.7 km) - Taiju Nakashima (Sera H.S.) - 24:56
Sixth Stage (15.9 km) - Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) - 46:01
Seventh Stage (11.1 km) - Yuji Osuda (Mazda H.S.) - 32:21

62nd Okumusashi Ekiden
Hanno, Saitama, 1/31/16
201 teams, 6 stages, 38.5 km

Top Team Performances
1. Saitama Sakae H.S. - 1:56:16
2. Police Department - 1:57:12
3. Kanto Gakuin Univ. A - 1:58:09
4. Tokyo Kokusai Univ. B - 1:58:19
5. Shindengen Kogyo - 1:58:30

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (9.8 km) - Takashi Hirose (Kanto Gakuin Univ. A) - 29:33
Second Stage (5.4 km) - Ryota Tatezawa (Saitama Sakae H.S. A) - 16:17 - CR
Third Stage (4.3 km) - Takahisa Mitsui (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:45
Fourth Stage (4.5 km) - Hidekazu Tsujikata (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:50 - CR
Fifth Stage (5.2 km) - Shota Umemoto (Tokyo Kokusai Univ. A) - 15:07
Sixth Stage (9.3 km) - Takato Suzuki (Ryutsu Keizai Prep Kashiwa H.S.) - 27:56 - CR

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Here's a comment: Wow!
Looking for women high school track and field runners senior in 2016.To
run track in USA UNIVERSITY. Looking for top 200m, 400m ,800m, 1500 and 3000m runner. long jumper and high jumers 19plus in longjump and high jumper (5"5 to 5-10)
sent information to cbsportsacademy@gmail.com
levin

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …