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Saitama Sakae H.S. Takes Both Saitama Ekiden Titles

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/saitama/news/20160208-OYTNT50000.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

105 teams competed in four different divisions at the 83rd Saitama Ekiden on Feb. 7.  Saitama Sakae H.S., the overall winner at last weekend's Okumusashi Ekiden, ran the six-stage, 42.195 km men's course in 2:10:14, faster than any of the corporate or university teams in the race, to seal a fourth-straight high school division win.  Following up its Hakone Ekiden debut last month, Tokyo International University was close behind in 2:10:20 to win the general division, with the Saitama T&F Assoc. team winning the local team division.  The Saitama Sakae H.S. girls ran 1:12:59 for the five-stage, 20.5 km women's race to win for the third year in a row.

The Saitama Sakae boys' opening runner Takahisa Mitsui and third runner Ryoji Tatezawa both scored overall stage wins, Tatezawa outran marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) by 31 seconds over 12.1 km.  Three of the four other Saitama Sakae boys also ran the fastest high school times on their stages.  On the track in Kumagaya Sports Park Stadium, Saitama Sakae anchor Hidekazu Tsujikata ran down Tokyo Kokusai's Tatsuki Ishii to steal the win.  Post-race Saitama Sakae head coach Yoichi Kamiyama commented, "I figured that the race would be against the universities that had run the Hakone Ekiden, but I knew that if we could show up and be competitive then we'd have the chance to win."

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© 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.

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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
           …