Skip to main content

Izumo Ekiden Starting Order and Preview

by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 28th Izumo Ekiden have released the starting order for Monday's six stage, 45.1 km race.  Below are the top runners on each stage from the field of twenty university teams and their best times for distances close to what they will be racing.  Click here for JRN's detailed preview.  Complete starting lists are available here in Japanese.  Follow @JRNLive for live coverage throughout the race beginning at 1:00 p.m. Japan time.

Last year's course record-setting winner Aoyama Gakuin University is back as the favorite, but it's due for a serious challenge from last year's runner-up Yamanashi Gakuin University and the ascendant Tokai University.  Going by PB YGU runners lead AGU's on all but the Fifth Stage.  Both schools' anchors return, but last year YGU's Dominic Nyairo was a minute faster than AGU's Tadashi Isshiki over the 10.2 km Sixth Stage.  YGU may build up a lead over the first four stages and lose some ground on the Fifth Stage, or it may just stay with AGU until the last leg.  Either way, Nyairo, sub-28 for 10000 m on the track since last year, is bound to run away with it unless AGU can build a big lead over a strong competitor.  Tokai is just as strong, leading AGU on its runners' PBs for the first five stages and YGU on four of the first five, meaning that the young team could bring a more complicated dynamic to the action if its three starting first-years can handle the pressure on the first three stages of the race.  In any case, AGU and Tokai have to find a way to deal with Nyairo to have a chance of winning.

Last year's 3rd, 4th and 6th-placers Komazawa University, Toyo University and Waseda University, the last three Izumo winners before AGU, aren't far behind but lack the complete arsenal to last the whole way if the three favorites are fully functional.  Waseda in particular should be near the front over the first two stages before dropping back, its leading runner Kazuma Taira the fastest on the stage by 5000 m best at 13:38.64 and second-fastest for 10000 m.  Komazawa and Toyo are both missing one of their best men due to injuries, but while they may make up some ground on the Third Stage, where Toyo will run 2015 national university 5000 m champ Hazuma Hattori and Komazawa its fastest 10000 m runner Naoki Kudo, overall they aren't likely to stay in the front-end action.

The Ivy League Select Team's Will Geoghegan is the fastest man in the entire field over 5000 m with a 13:17.85 best, but rather than putting him on one of the first two stages where he could keep the team in the action during the early going, head coach Jack Fultz has opted to put him on the 6.4 km Fifth Stage.  Typically the weakest stage in the race, Geoghegan's 5000 m best is over 35 seconds faster than the Fifth Stage's next-best man, Waseda's Makoto Mitsunobu.  The Ivy League may just pull off the second individual stage win in its 19-year history at Izumo.  Let's hope they're still far enough up in the field to make the TV broadcast if it happens.

First Stage - 8.0 km
Kazuma Taira (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:38.64 / 28:46.04
Shota Onizuka (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 13:43.61 / 28:55.26
Takumi Komatsu (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 13:49.50 / 29:13.96
Yusuke Nishiyama (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 13:51.19 / 28:58.01
Takumi Yokokawa (1st yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 13:52.45 / 29:52.78
Kenta Ueda (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.04 / 28:48.92
Takato Suzuki (1st yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:58.48 / 30:12.26
Geoffrey Gichia (2nd yr., Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 14:00.15 / 29:17.12
Shun Sakuraoka (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 14:01.58 / 28:22.97
Henry Sterling (Dartmouth / Ivy League) - 14:01.71 / 30:16

Second Stage - 5.8 km
Shogo Hata (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:40.79
Shiki Shinsako (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:47.97
Ryoji Tatezawa (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 13:48.89
Kazuki Tamura (3rd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:50.43
Masaki Takamoto (3rd yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 13:58.19
Yusho Miyazaki (2nd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 13:59.72
Kakeru Nakamura (1st yr., Toyo Univ.) - 14:02.85
John Gregorek (Columbia / Ivy League) - 14:12.48

Third Stage - 8.5 km
Hazuma Hattori (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 13:34.64 / 28:55.31
Hayato Seki (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 13:41.28 / 28:48.63
Naoki Kudo (3rd yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 13:52.97 / 28:23.85
Takaya Sato (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:53.15 / 28:26.70
Yuta Shimoda (3rd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:53.96 / 28:33.77
Kazuya Shiojiri (2nd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 13:55.55 / 28:32.85
Chris Bendtsen (Princeton / Ivy League) - 13:57.46 / 28:49.08
Rintaro Takeda (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:58.83 / 29:04.20
Akira Tomiyasu (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 14:09.94 / 28:49.53

Fourth Stage - 6.2 km
Kazuto Kawabata (3rd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 13:49.33
Ryutaro Ichitani (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:51.46
Ryota Motegi (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:53.46
Yohei Suzuki (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:53.58
Fuminori Shimo (2nd yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 13:54.21
Sota Watanabe (1st yr., Toyo Univ.) - 14:08.63
Steve Mangan (Dartmouth / Ivy League) - 14:19.11

Fifth Stage - 6.4 km
Will Geoghegan (Dartmouth / Ivy League) - 13:17.85
Makoto Mitsunobu (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:53.08
Shuto Mikami (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 13:55.08
Yuya Ando (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:57.75
Yuji Asaishi (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 13:58.19
Sho Nagato (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 14:05.73
Shunya Nomura (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 14:06.07

Sixth Stage - 10.2 km
Dominic Nyairo (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 27:56.47 
Tadashi Isshiki (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:23.40
Shohei Otsuka (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 28:34.31
Haruki Minatoya (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 28:46.59
Koki Ido (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 28:54.84
Toyo Univ. (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 29:10.11
Jake Sienko (Columbia / Ivy League) - 29:38.94

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

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
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …