Skip to main content

Weekend Track Highlights

by Brett Larner

Although many events in Kyushu were cancelled as a series of major earthquakes and aftershocks hit the Kumamoto and Oita areas, track season went ahead as usual in the rest of Japan despite high winds and rain that kept times relatively slow.  Some highlights at home and abroad:
  • Former Sera H.S. ace Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) delivered the fastest 5000 m of the weekend, running 13:40.34 to win the Chugoku Corporate Time Trials meet's fastest heat.  High schooler Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) was the only other runner under 14 minutes, running 13:48.20 for 2nd.
  • The lone entrant in the women's 5000 m at the Chugoku meet, Sera's Yuka Mukai ran a solo 15:58.62.
  • Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to break 14 over the weekend, winning Friday's Oregon Relays 5000 m in 13:45.39.
  • Masaru Aoki (Team Kanebo) narrowly missed joining him, running 14:00.47 to win the Challenge Meet in Kumagaya 5000 m A-heat.
  • 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.), Japan's top current high schooler, won the 3000 m in Kumagaya in 8:06.29 over Kenyans Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) and Willy Kipselem (Team Hitachi Butsuryu).
  • Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) delivered Kumagaya's fastest women's 3000 m, running 9:19:12.
  • In nearby Gunma, Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) ran 9:23.50 to win the Gunma Prefecture Championships Women's 3000 m.
  • Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in Kumagaya's 1500 m A-heat, running 3:59.70 for 6th.
© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Marathon Cancels Mass Participation Race, To Go Ahead as Elite-Only Event (updated)

Update: The Mar. 8 Nagoya Women's Marathon, the world's largest women-only marathon, is now also looking at canceling its mass-participation division.

In response to the spread of the coronavirus within Japan, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation has decided to cancel the Mar. 1 Tokyo Marathon's 38,000-runner mass-participation race. Founded in 2007, the Tokyo Marathon is Japan's largest mass-participation marathon, with more than a million spectators along its course every year. A men's Olympic marathon team selection race, this year's Tokyo Marathon will be an unusual spectacle with only 200 elite runners including national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) and previous record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda).

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation is also looking at significantly cutting back the activities of the 11,000 volunteers involved in the event's operations. On Feb. 1 the Foundation already asked roughly 1,800 participants living in China to refrain from taking part…

Urano and Ishizawa Win Senior National Cross-Country Titles, Ishida and Kosakai Win Junior Races

One of the few events to survive the wave of race cancelations currently sweeping Japan as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads, the National Cross-Country Championships took place Feb. 22 in Fukuoka.

The senior men's 10 km was almost a replay of last year's race, with Hakone Ekiden uphill Fifth Stage star Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) replacing Yuta Bando (Hosei Univ.) in the leading role of outrunning brothers Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) and Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima) for the national title. Despite windy conditions times were quicker than in recent years, with Urano winning in 29:18 by 6 seconds over Kazuki Tamura and Yusuke Tamura another 10 seconds back.

In the senior women's 8 km, last year's 5th-place and 2018 national 3000 m steeplechase champion Yukari Ishizawa (Edion) came back from a mid-race dropoff to outrun a group of women more than a decade younger for the win in 26:57, beating 20-year-old Yuna Wada (Meijo Univ.) by 1 second and 19-year-old teamm…

Six People in Close Contact With Person Infected With COVID-19 Ran Kumamoto Castle Marathon

The Kumamoto municipal and prefectural governments have released further information on three new cases of infection with the COVID-19 coronavirus within the prefecture. Prefectural officials have identified the bus an infected person used to travel between Fukuoka and Kumamoto, while city officials revealed that six people who came in contact with one of the infected people ran the Feb. 16 Kumamoto Castle Marathon.

At a press conference this week, city officials explained that prior to the onset of her symptoms, a nurse in her 20s came into close contact with eleven friends and colleagues, saying, "She went to the marathon with six of them to cheer at Kumamoto Castle's Ninomaru plaza, and went out for dinner with the other five." However, that information was corrected to eight people who cheered with her and ten who had dinner.

Six of the woman's colleagues in fact ran the marathon, having ridden to it in a car she was driving. Two others had lunch with her in the…