Skip to main content

Weekend Preview: Five Big Races in 48 Hours

by Brett Larner

A big weekend of racing on the track and roads lies ahead.

Saturday the Tokyo area hosts not one but two massive 10000 m time trial meets.  The Hachioji Long Distance meet at Hosei University has grown to become one of the world's leading races at that distance over the last few years, the site of a 27:29.69 Japanese national record by Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) last year.  The A-heat at this year's race will be targeting 27:45 ahead of next summer's London World Championships with pacing by Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC) and features the tantalizing debut of Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.).

At the same time as Hachioji, many of Japan's best collegiate men who didn't race at last weekend's record-setting Ageo City Half Marathon will be taking on 10000 m at Keio University's Kanto Region University Time Trials. Last year Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University put eight of its men under 29 minutes in one heat at Keio.  This year seven of its best are entered in the A-heat, so expect more.  Unlike Hachioji, Keio also features women's races, with the A-heat set to go for sub-32:30.  Click here for a more detailed preview of both meets.

The next morning a solid field lines up at the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Mile Road Race.  A tuneup for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national corporate men's championships, Kosa is far and away the world's #1 10-miler.  This year's field includes sub-61 half marathoner Keijiro Mogi (Team Asahi Kasei), 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), Rio Olympians Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) and Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda), former Hakone Fifth Stage star Daichi Kamino (Team Konica Minolta) and many more.

Many university women not racing at Keio will instead be running the second of the season's three big university women's ekidens, the Nikko Irohazaka Ekiden.  All uphill, Irohazaka is an interesting event that puts the women's season on almost an equal footing with the three-race university men's ekiden season.  Course record holder and defending champion Daito Bunka University returns as the favorite after taking 5th at last month's National University Women's Ekiden, the top placer there entered in Irohazaka.

Further to the north, corporate women will run the Queens Ekiden, their national championship race.  Moved up several weeks this year from its traditional mid-December date, the Queens Ekiden is now in direct conflict with the Saitama International Marathon, one of the races the JAAF uses to pick its national team.  22 teams will race the six-stage, 42.195 km ekiden where defending champion Denso set a 2:14:22 course record last year.  Japan Post features Rio Olympians Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine, but with the fitness of both a question mark its chances look tough.  Yamada Denki may be a more solid pick for a breakthrough this year.  JRN will cover the race live on @JRNLive starting at 11:50 a.m. Japan time on Sunday.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Additional Cost of Moving Olympic Marathons and Race Walks to Sapporo Expected to Total Almost $100 Million

Multiple officials confirmed on Dec. 6 that the total additional cost of the IOC's decision to move the Tokyo 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks to Sapporo will be under 10 billion yen [~$92 million USD], likely totaling in the 7 to 8 billion yen range [~$65 million to $75 million USD]. The exact amount is still undetermined due to the IOC's rejection of the Organizing Committee's proposed two-lap course earlier this week, but the Organizing Committee intends to go ahead with this budget estimate.

Initially the IOC had decreed that the events should start and finish at Sapporo Dome. But with no access gate capable of handling a marathon, the construction costs necessary to make Sapporo Dome a suitable venue were said to be in the area of several billion yen [tens of millions of USD]. When the IOC made its proclamation that the road events would be relocated to Sapporo, the Citizens First Association group within the Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimated that the cost…

Jepchirchir Wins Saitama, Yugeta Breaks Own 60+ WR, Yamaguchi Breaks Own Nara CR - Weekend Marathon Highlights

Two of Japan's main year-ending marathons celebrated anniversary runnings this year, with the Saitama International Marathon holding its 5th edition and the Nara Marathon marking ten years.

Former half marathon world record holder Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) dropped the competition at 30 km to win in Saitama. Within the first kilometer an all-African lead group had left top Japanese entrants Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) and Kasumi Yoshida (Nitori), and Nina Savina (Belarus) behind. The lead group quickly rounded down to four, Jepchirchir and Ethiopian trio Fatuma Sado, Belaynesh Oljira and Rahma Tusa. #1-ranked Oljira slipped off early in the second half, and when the pacers stopped at 30 km Jepchirchir had no trouble getting rid of Tusa and Sado.

Jepchirchir took 1st in a PB of 2:23:50, with Sado a distant 2nd in 2:26:45. After 35 km Tusa ran into trouble, stopping and stretching out her legs and losing ground first to Oljira, 3rd in 2:27:11, and then Savina, who ran a PB 2:28:44 for …

61-Year-Old Mariko Yugeta Becomes First 60+ Woman to Go Sub-Three

61-year-old Mariko Yugeta of Saitama has become the first 60+ woman in history to run faster than three hours in the marathon. At the Nov. 3 Shimonoseki Kaikyo Marathon Yugeta ran 2:59:15 for 3rd place, smashing the 60+ world record of 3:02:50 by a wide margin. It was her 99th marathon and just shy of her PB of 2:58:05. When reporters visited her for an interview she was in the middle of a track session with a high school track team, doing a menu of 3000/2000/1000 m intervals in 11:23, 7:22 and 3:33. Yugeta said her daily routine includes 3 minutes standing on an inclined board every morning while brushing her teeth, and that she believes she can run 2:57.

source article:
https://runnet.jp/smp/topics/runnerstv/191118.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner