Skip to main content

Weekend Track Roundup



As regional corporate track meets wound themselves down, the weekend's biggest results came at the Golden Grand Prix meet in Osaka. A quick women's 3000 m saw 10 of the 11 starters go under 9 minutes, six in PB times. Japan-based Ethiopian Shuru Bulo (Toto) led the way in 8:47.24, with the Pre Classic-bound Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) running 8:51.72 to land 4th both overall and on the Japanese all-time rankings. First-year Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) ran 8:58.63 for 8th overall, just missing the 1994-era national collegiate record by 0.31 seconds.

The men's 3000 m was also solid, with seven men breaking 8 minutes, six of them Japanese and five in PB times. Kenyan Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) won in 7:54.05 with Hazuma Hattori (Toenec) just behind in a best of 7:54.73. Shota Onizuka (Tokai Univ.) broke into the all-time Japanese collegiate top ten, running 7:57.56 for 6th. Australian Ryan Gregson won the men's 1500 m in 3:37.72 over American Patrick Casey. Indoor mile Japanese national record holder Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) just missed becoming only the fifth Japanese collegian to ever break 3:40, taking 5th in a PB of 3:40.49.

In corporate league regional action, arguably the best mark came in the men's 10000 m at the Kyushu region meet, where Daniel Kipkemoi (Nishitetsu) won in 27:45.11 by more than 17 seconds over Joel Mwaura (Kurosaki Harima). Already the fastest Japanese man so far this year for 10000 m, Shuho Dairokuno was 3rd in 28:12.19. On a roll this season, marathoner Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) won the 10000 m in a PB of 32:07.70 over the interesting Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), who returned the next day to win the 5000 m in 15:44.31.

Japan based-Kenyans won the major events at the East Japan region corporate meet, where Rosemary Wanjiru (Starts) took the women's 10000 min 31:57.66, lapping top Japanese woman Yuka Hori (Panasonic) who was 4th in 33:24.25. Runner-up in the 10000 m, Wanjiru's teammate Grace Kimanzi (Starts) won the 5000 m in 15:21.84. In the men's 10000 m Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was the  fastest at 28:38.11, top Japanese man Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) running only 29:03.80. Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) had a busy day on the second day of the meet, winning the 3000 m SC in 8:41.80 at 11:35 a.m. and then returning six hours later to take 2nd in the 5000 m in 13:28.89 behind teammate Richard Kimunyan, winner in 13:28.21. The fastest Japanese man of the day, Kazuki Onishi (Kanebo) took 13th in 13:49.39.

At the Chugoku region meet, Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) returned from a DNF at the Boston Marathon to win the men's 10000 m in 28:28.73 over 5000 m winner Yudai Okamoto (JFE Steel). Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) continued her comeback from running 2:23:46 in Osaka in January, winning the women's 10000 m in 32:30.39 by more than 30 seconds over teammate Mizuki Tanimoto. Usually holding its championship events together with Chugoku, the tiny Hokuriku region's only noteworthy result in its separate meet this year was a 28:56.00 winning time in the men's 10000 m by Japan-based Kenyan Alex Mwangi (YKK).

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Meet Ken Nakayama

Chuo University fourth-year Ken Nakayama is running Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the eighth year that the New York Road Runners have invited top Japanese university men from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run their half. You might have seen his training partner Kensuke Horio finish 5th in the Tokyo Marathon in his debut a couple of weeks ago. Nakayama is one of the very top graduating seniors in Japan this year, but his route to that level has been one of the most unconventional.

Japanese distance running is highly systematically organized, with top high schools feeding into top universities where the best runners will run the Hakone Ekiden and get recruited to top corporate teams and then go on to become the country's top marathoners. Scouting at the university level is intense, and for the most part it's pretty clear early on in high school who the cream of the crop are going to be.

Nakayama was nobody in high school. He played soccer in junior…

Suzuki Wins National University Women's Half Marathon, Otsubo and Ando Take Niigata

Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) won a close pack race to take the 2019 National University Women's Half Marathon title, outkicking Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) by 2 seconds for the win in 1:11:27. With a relatively slow start the lead pack of nearly 20 gradually picked up its pace, splitting faster for every successive 5 km until only Suzuki, Kaseda, Yuka Tagawa (Matsuyama Univ.) and Yukina Ueda (Tsukuba Univ.)were left together at 20 km.

With three spots at stake on the Japanese national team for this summer's World University Games one of them had to lose, and as Suzuki and Kaseda pulled away over the last km the third spot came down to another duel. Tagami proved to have the better finish, taking 3rd in 1:11:35 to Ueda's 1:11:38. Defending World University Games half marathon gold medalist Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) was a DNF, dropping out after 10 km as the pace increased.

Run as part of the Matsue Ladies Half Marathon, the race also included corporate league runne…