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Weekend Preview

It's a busy weekend on and off the roads at home and abroad.

Led by 2018 Hakone Ekiden First Stage winner Kazuya Nishiyama (Toyo Univ.) and 2017 World University Games women's half marathon gold medalist Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.), Japan is fielding quality men's and women's teams for Saturday's World University Cross Country Championships in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

At home, the first big track meet of the season takes place Saturday in Kumamoto at the Kanaguri Memorial Meet where the main focus will be on 5000 m. Livestream to be had here. 3000 m will be the main order of the day at the year's first Setagaya Time Trials meet in Tokyo, while top members of Waseda University and other Hakone teams will square off at the Tokyo Six-University Meet at Keio University.

Sunday the emphasis shifts to the roads, with yet more Hakone talent racing the Yaizu Minato Half Marathon thanks to its unique "pair marathon" team scoring. Overseas, 10000 m Rio Olympian Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) makes an exciting marathon debut at the Paris Marathon, while Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) tries again to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials at the Rotterdam Marathon, her third marathon in less than four months. 2:27:48 is the time she'll need to run to make the grade, a PB by 24 seconds. Club runner Yuki Yagi (Yagi Project) will also run Rotterdam.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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