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Showing posts from 2018

Marathon Legend Ikangaa Visits With Yamagata Middle Schoolers

Tanzanian marathon legend Juma Ikangaa, 58, visited and talked with students at Kita J.H.S. in Nagai, Yamagata on Oct. 19. In the 1980s and early 1990s Ikangaa was one of the top marathoners in the world, representing Tanzania at three Olympic Games. Ikangaa was part of a Tanzanian delegation visiting Nagai, which will host the Tanzanian national team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The welcome event and exchange with students took place in the school gymnasium, where the visiting delegation sampled local products. After watching students show off their skill at difficult kendama moves Ikangaa tried his hand with the traditional toy. Afterwards while eating lunch he talked to students via an interpreter about various aspects of Tanzanian culture.

"Listening to Mr. Ikangaa made me interested in Tanzania," said one male student. "I'd like to try to learn Swahili." Ikangaa commented, "I was delighted to speak with the students today. I hope …

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier, Amsterdam, Changsha and More - Weekend Preview

It's a busy weekend ahead on the track and the roads at home and abroad. Saturday and Sunday's Nittai University Time Trials feature 10000 m national record holder Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei) in the 5000 m A-heat, where he hopes to run a season best time ahead of a return next month to the track where he set the national record at the Hachioji Long Distance Meet. Half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) is also entered in the 10000 m A-heat along with pretty much the entire Honda roster, in Shitara's case a tuneup for November's Ageo City Half Marathon.

There's also a fast 3000 m on deck Sunday at the Sumitomo Cup meet in Hyogo, where wunderkind Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) is going for time with pacing from Ethiopian Yeneblo Biyazen (Yachiyo Kogyo) and Kenyan John Maina (Fujitsu). One of Japan's top current men on the track, Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) is entered both there and in the Nittai 5000 m. Saturday's Heisei Kokusai University Time …

Buenos Aires Youth Olympics - Japanese Results

Japan's small contingent of fourteen athletes brought home four medals from the 3rd Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Haruto Deguchi led the way with a gold medal in the men's 400 m hurdles. Kazuki Furusawa took silver in the men's pole vault, with Seiryo Ikeda and Koki Wada claiming silver in the men's 100 m and men's long jump. Rintaro Kaiyama had the best non-medaling performance on the boys' half of the team, finishing 5th in the 3000 m.

None of the girls on the team placed among the medals, but Yuki Kanemitsu had a near-miss in the women's 1500 m where she took 4th. Miyaka Sugata also had a strong showing in the women's 3000 m, taking 5th.

The inclusion of 4 km cross-country races on the program was an interesting move, and Kanemitsu again performed well there, placing 8th in the women's race. Now in his first hear of high school, junior high 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m national record holder Kosuke Ishida was 10th in the men's race…

Weekend Road Race Roundup

Saturday's Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon was the main event of the weekend, but between that and early ekiden season track time trials across the country there were a few other notable results at home and abroad.

In Sendai, the second running of the Tohoku Miyagi Fukko Marathon took place, an event launched last year to commemorate those lost in the 2011 tsunami and to show the area's recovery. In its first running organizers brought in then-future 2:06 man Hiroto Inoue to lead the field. This year it was 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winnerTakuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), who took more than 5 minutes off the course record with a workout-effort 2:18:37 for the win. Aki Odagiri (Takemura Seisakusho) won the women's race in 2:46:07.

In Toyama, 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the Namerikawa Hotaruika Half Marathon a week after a disappointing run at the Chicago Marathon. Running completely solo he won in 1:05:18, beating 2nd place b…

Comparing D1 Pre-Nationals and the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier

With both American and Japanese university students well into their fall seasons, two major events took place Saturday. Near Madison, Wisconsin, the D1 Pre-Nationals cross-country meet and in Tachikawa, Tokyo the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon. At Pre-Nats men ran 8 km on a looping XC course with a maximum elevation difference of around 30 m. The field was split into two main races, Cardinal and White, with a total of 69 teams, and an additional Grey race handling some overflow. Teams ran up to seven members, with the top five scoring on cumulative placing. A total of 474 athletes finished the two main races, with five DNF.

At the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier, known as the Yosenkai, the distance was lengthened from 20 km to the half marathon distance this year, on a paved net-uphill course with a maximum elevation difference of about 20 m, most of that in the hilly final 8 km through Showa Kinen Park. 39 second-tier teams fielded up to twelve runners, with the top ten scoring on cu…

28:45 High Schoolers and More - Weekend Track Roundup

The IAAF has unilaterally declared track season over. But in Japan fall track is an integral part of ekiden season training, and it's not unusual to see many athletes drop their best 3000 m, 5000 m and 10000 m times of the year between October and December. Case in point, this weekend.

The biggest news came at Saturday's Nighter Time Trials in Nagasaki, where Keiho H.S. 11th-grader Hiroto Hayashida ran 28:45.75 for 6th in the 10000 m, all-time #8 among Japanese high school boys and #2 among 11th-graders. "Thank you to everyone who supported me!" Hayashida said on Twitter post-race. "I want to take this and apply to it ekiden season now." Geoffrey Gichia (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) won in 28:36.36, with Jakarta Asian Games marathon gold medalist Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) 2nd in 28:37.27.



県高校記録更新おめでとうございます🎉 — manamin (@kinokonoko0916) October 13, 2018
At Niigata's Autumn Time Trials a unique women's 50…

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

Star First-Year Quits Toyo University Alleging Violence by Teammates; Teammates Allege He Had a Bad Attitude

Ryu Hashimoto, at left in headband, at January's Okumusashi Ekiden.

Allegations have surfaced that members of the Toyo University ekiden team, who are targeting their first Hakone Ekiden title in five years this season, committed assault against a first-year student who had just joined the team at the start of the school year in April. The alleged victim, Student X, 18, made the allegations in an interview with gossip tabloid rag Weekly Bunshun.

In junior high school Student X had the fastest JHS 3000 m time in the country. In high school he was ranked near the top nationally, helping lead Saitama prefecture to victory at the National Men's Ekiden in January alongside half marathon national record holder and Toyo alumnus Yuta Shitara. In April he entered Toyo University on an athletic scholarship.

According to Student X, he began receiving "guidance" in the team dormitory and at training camps as soon as he joined the team. "Every night the first-years have to d…

Two Junior National Records and Four Meet Records - National Sports Festival Day Three to Five Highlights

Avoiding the worst of the typhoon that caused the season-opening national-level high school ekidens and other events to be canceled over the weekend, the National Sports Festival continued through Tuesday after day one and day two of athletics competition.

National junior records fell in the women's 5000 m racewalk, where Nanako Fujii (Edion) took 2nd overall in 21:24.40, and the junior men's 110 m hurdles, where Ko Tawada (Ogaki Shogyo H.S.) ran 13.31 (+1.5 m/s) for the win. Tawada also broke the meet record, one of four to be set over the final three days. Along with Tawada's mark, women's 5000 m racewalk winner Kumiko Okada (Bic Camera) set a new meet record of 21:08.97, Takumi Murashima (Fuji Pref. Sports Assoc.) set a senior men's 800 m meet record of 1:47.45, with his teammate Taio Kanai (Fukui Pref. Sports Assoc.) breaking the senior men's 110 m hurdles record in 13.46 (+1.2 m/s).

In distance action the highlight was the junior women's 3000 m, where…

Aoyama Gakuin Back on Top of Izumo Ekiden

Leading start to finish, 2015-2016 Izumo Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University overcame last year's winner Tokai University and a tough challenge from Toyo University to win Izumo's 30th anniversary edition.

In hot and sunny conditions that followed the passing of Typhoon #25 AGU's Taisei Hashizume got things rolling, opening a six-second lead over Toyo's Akira Aizawa on the 8.0 km First Stage. Tokai's Yuichiro Nishikawa was 20 seconds back in 6th.

Takato Suzuki increased AGU's lead on the 5.8 km Second Stage with a 16:26 stage win. Indoor mile national record holder Ryoji Tatezawa was next-fastest in 16:29, running down four teams including Toyo to put the defending champs into 2nd. The lone crack in Toyo's armor, Kazuya Nishiyama ran only 16:54 to drop Toyo back to 3rd some 34 seconds off the lead.

Back in 4th place, Takushoku University captain Workneh Derese ran a 25:17stage best on the 8.5 km Third Stage to overtake both Toyo and Tokai, but with AGU…

Osako Brings Japanese National Record Back to Chicago

Just over seven months since Yuta Shitara broke Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding 2:06:16 national record from the 2002 Chicago Marathon with a 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February, U.S.-based Suguru Osako brought the record back home to Chicago with a 3rd-place finish in 2:05:50.

Running the same pattern as in his first two marathons, Osako sat back in the lead men's pack, never exerting himself as it whittled down to the core members. Just past the turn into Chinatown near 35 km his Nike Oregon Project teammate and 2017 Chicago winner Galen Rupp fell off the front group to leave Osako in contention with former NOP member Mo Farah, 2:04 Ethiopian Mosinet Gemerew, former Asahi Kasei runner Kenneth Kipkemoi and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

As in Boston and Fukuoka last year, when the real move came, this time in the form of a surge by Farah and Gemerew, Osako was left behind to battle it out for 3rd. While Farah kicked away for the win by 13 seconds in a European record 2:05:11,…

30th Izumo Ekiden Preview

Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the start of university men's ekiden season, the first of the Big Three University Ekidens, the Izumo Ekiden. When you think Japanese university distance running the first thing that comes to mind is the Hakone Ekiden and its ten half marathonish stages. Izumo is short and sweet by comparison, with just six stages averaging 7.5 km apiece.

Aoyama Gakuin University has been the king of Hakone for four years straight and looks bound to hang on to its hegemony this season with all the tenacity of the white men of the Republican party. Last year Tokai University shook AGU up with a surprise win at Izumo, and this year it's bound to be a race between the two of them. Tokai has a slight edge, its ten-man entry roster featuring eight men with sub-14 minute bests for 5000 m and four sub-29 for 10000 m with AGU having seven and four respectively. Tokai's top pair of third-years Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki have bests of 13:38.58 and 28:17.52 and…

Yamagata and Seko Win National Sports Festival 100 m Titles - Day Two Highlights

Battered by the winds of the passing Typhoon #25, Jakarta Asian Games 100 m bronze medalist Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) ended a long season with a national title in the senior men's 100 m on the second day of the Fukui National Sports Festival. A 5.2 m/s headwind meant there was no chance of Yamagata achieving his goal of finally breaking 10 seconds on the same track where Yoshihide Kiryu did it last year, but Yamagata duly dispatched rivals Yuki Koike (ANA) and Takumi Kuki (NTN) to take the win in 10.58.

The wind was almost as much of an issue in the senior women's 100 m, where Nodoka Seko (Crane) won in 12.21 (-2.8 m/s), and the junior races. Senior women's discus throw winner Nanaka Kori (Kyushu Kyoritsu  Univ.) doubled back with a win in the shot put, throwing 15.84 m. Junior high schooler Asuka Ishimatsu (Hamanomiya J.H.S.) beat older competition to win the junior women's 1500 m in 4:26.07, while Aaron Clay (Soyo H.S.) took the longest men's event of the day, the …

World U20 Champion Tanaka Wins National Sports Festival 5000 m

3000 m world U20 champion Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC) added another championships win to her resume, outrunning the field in the senior women's 5000 m to take the Fukui National Sports Festival 5000 m title on the opening day of athletics competition.

Off a slow first 1000 m Tanaka and rival Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) , both first-years in university, emerged after 4000 m to contend for the win in a sprint battle over the last lap. As at July's World U20 Championships Tanaka had the superior closing speed, winning in 15:34.22 to Takamatsu's 15:35.47.

Keiko Nogami '(Juhachi Ginko) made a quick turnaround from her silver medal in August's Jakarta Asian Games marathon to take 3rd in 15:37.28. Takamatsu's older sister Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) dropped out midway through the race.
National Sports Festival Athletics Day One Highlights9.98 Stadium, Fukui, 10/5/18
complete results

Senior Women's 5000 m Final
1. Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC) - …

Sapporo Half Marathon and Season-Opening High School Ekidens Canceled Due to Approach of Typhoon #25

An Oct. 5 press release on the Sapporo Half Marathon website.

Due to the approach of Typhoon #25, we have made the difficult and unfortunate decision to cancel the 43rd running of the Sapporo Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 7, 2018, out of concern for the safety of participants, volunteers and spectators in the expected strong winds and rain.

We further regret that because of the expenditures already made in preparation for staging the race we are unable to refund participants' entry fees and ask for their understanding. We will be sending out the participation goods entrants would have received and ask for your patience as we make the necessary arrangements.

We on the organizing committee sincerely apologize for this crushingly disappointing outcome and ask again for your understanding.

Note: Sunday's season-opening national-level high school ekidens Nihonkai Ekiden and Kuroyoshi Joshi Ekiden were likewise canceled due to Typhoon #25.

source article:

Know Your Japanese Runners in Chicago

Motivated in part by the legacy of Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding former national record of 2:06:16 at its 2002 race, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has long been a draw for top-level Japanese athletes male and female. Few men have made much of an impact in Chicago, with none making the top five in the last 14 years and only two, Hiroaki Sano and Koji Kobayashi, breaking 2:11 in the same time period. But they still keep coming, and this year's crew of five looks to have the best chance of bettering the results of the last decade and a half.

10月7日(日)号砲🔥#川内優輝 選手(埼玉県庁)、#大迫傑 選手(Nike)、#木滑良 選手(MHPS)、#鈴木洋平 選手(愛三工業)、#藤本拓 選手(トヨタ自動車)の大会前コメントです🇯🇵🎤🙋‍♂️
▼こちらから▼陸上 — JAAF(日本陸上競技連盟) (@jaaf_official) October 6, 2018
Taku Fujimoto(Toyota)

PB: 2:15:30 (15th, Lake Biwa Marathon, 2018)
Major recent results:
7:59.30 - PB (6th, Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet 3000 m, 2018)

Fujimoto got a flash …

Tokyo Nogyo University Outruns Typhoon to Win Kanto Region University Women's Ekiden

With skies hanging heavy in the hours before the impending arrival of Typhoon #24, Tokyo Nogyo University won the 24th Kanto Region University Women's Ekiden to lead the qualifiers for the Oct. 28 Morinomiyako Ekiden university women's national championships.

Always in the top two, Tokyo Nogyo didn't take a definitive lead until the 3.9 Fourth Stage, when 1st-year Yuki Shibahara scored the team's only stage win of the day to overtake 2017 Morinomiyako runner-up Daito Bunka University. From there to the finish it opened a 1:16 lead over Daito Bunka, easily winning in 1:39:05. Daito Bunka's lead over 2017 winner Toyo University was almost as big, finishing in 1:40:21 to Toyo's 1:41:17.

Including teams which earned seeded spots at last year's national championships the top eight teams qualified for this year's nationals. 7th-placer Takushoku University, whose men's team progressively features Ethiopian Workneh Derese as captain, qualified for National…

Another Amateur Goes Sub-14 - Pre-Typhoon Saturday Night Track Action

A wet and windy Saturday night featured high-level track time trial action all across the country. With the approach of the powerful Typhoon #24 the Saga Long Distance Time Trials meet was canceled, leaving Kyushu's runners home to wait the storm out. To the northeast, Hiroshima's Chugoku Jitsugyodan Long Distance Time Trials meet was far enough away to still be ahead of the worst of the wind and rain. Takuya Fujikawa (Chugoku Denryoku) ran the fastest 5000 m time their in 13:55.73, with up-and-coming marathoner Kohei Futaoka (Kyudenko) leading the 10000 m results in 29:12.00.

Further to the northwest, Yuma Hattori (Toyota) returned from a solid 1:01:40 PB at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon two weeks ago to win the Tokamachi Distance Carnival's 10000 m. Hattori outkicked Kenyan teammate David Muhuhu (Toyota) to win in 28:39.57, the fastest time by a Japanese runner in Tokamachi's 30-year history. His alma mater Toyo University was a major presenc…