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Weekend Track Roundup

As ekiden season gets into full swing, track time trials continue to be a staple of Japanese and Japan-based athletes from junior high school to the corporate leagues. This weekend's main results from across the country:


  • Just six days after running 8:54.27 to win the National Sports Festival junior women's 3000 m, Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) won again, this time running a PB 15:32.34 to take the 5000 m A-heat at the Shizuoka Time Trials meet. Having led the national champion Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuen H.S. girls to the win at last weekend's Kurayoshi Women's Ekiden, Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu won the 3000 m A-heat in 9:10.53.
  • At Saturday's Chubu Jitsugyodan Autumn Championships, Rodgers Chumo Kemoi (Aisan Kogyo) ran 27:48.30 to win the men's 10000 m, leading James Rungaru (Chuo Hatsujo) and Edward Waweru (NTN) under 28 minutes. Chiharu Nakagawa (Toenec) was the top Japanese man at 4th in 28:21.19.
  • Also Saturday, Yamanashi Gakuin University graduate Enock Omwamba (MHPS) ran 28:03.90 to win the Nagasaki Nighter Time Trials men's 10000 m with London World Championships marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) 2nd in 28:52.16.
  •  In nearby Saga, Abraham Kipyatich (Asahi Kasei) had an easy run to win the Saga Time Trials men's 10000 m in 28:31.92. London 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Kyudenko) was only 4th in 28:48.91.
  • Japan-based Africans also dominated Sunday's Nittai University Time Trials meet A-heats. In the men's 5000 m, the 12 Africans in the race took the top 12 spots, with Ethiopian 17-year-old Yeneblo Biyazen (Yachiyo Kogyo) beating 2016 World U20 Championships 5000 m bronze medalist Wesley Ledama (Subaru) and 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medalist Leonard Barsoton (Nissin Shokuhin) to lead the top 7 under 13:30 in 13:23.51. Grace Kimanzi (Starts) won the women's 5000 m in 15:40.53.
© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

Calendar of Major Races

Race Entries

Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

Launched in September, 2015, Runnet Japan is an English-language branch of Runnet, Japan's dominant online entry service, catering to the international community.  The number of races offered on Runnet Japan is still limited but constantly expanding.

Other entry services like Sports Entry, TecNet and the new Sportsnavi Do still offer only Ja…