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Chugoku Denryoku and Mazda Break Hiroshima Corporate Ekiden Course Record

The Chugoku Denryoku and Mazda men's corporate teams raced each other to new heights at the 56th Hiroshima Corporate Ekiden, each taking over two minutes off the course record Mazda set just last year. 5 of the race's 6 stages saw new records with runners from both teams breaking the record on 3 of them.

Mazda's Kenji Yamamoto took an early lead on the opening stage, but on every remaining stage the two teams swapped position, Mazda never more than 13 seconds in front and Chugoku Denryoku never more than 28.  Chugoku Denryoku anchor Kaido Kita was down 13 seconds when he took the tasuki, but with only 5.49 km to work with he managed to turn that around and open 17 seconds on Mazda anchor Shori Arai after catching him.

Mazda's record for the 43.82 km course was 2:08:10. This year Chugoku Denryoku won in 2:05:52 with Mazda running 2:06:09. 3rd-placer Chudenko was also just off the record at 2:08:20, briefly taking the lead on the Second Stage thanks to a stage record run by Amos Kurgat. Likewise for JFE Steel, 4th in 2:08:35. All four teams will face each other again Nov. 11 at the Chugoku Corporate Ekiden to qualify for the New Year Ekiden national championships.

56th Hiroshima Corporate Ekiden

Kasaoka, Okayama, 10/21/18
7 teams, 6 stages, 43.82 km

Top Individual Stage Results
First Stage (7.64 km) - Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda A) - 21:46 - CR
Second Stage (7.09 km) - Amos Kurgat (Chudenko) - 19:35 - CR
Third Stage (7.09 km) - Teressa Nyakola (Mazda A) - 19:40 - CR
Fourth Stage (8.87 km) - Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku A) - 25:01 - CR
Fifth Stage (7.64 km) - Rei Hashimoto (Mazda A) - 22:00 - CR
Sixth Stage (5.49 km) - Kaido Kita (Chugoku Denryoku A) - 15:25

Team Results
1. Chugoku Denryoku A - 2:05:52 - CR
2. Mazda A - 2:06:09 (CR)
3. Chudenko - 2:08:20
4. JFE Steel A - 2:08:35
5. Mazda B - 2:10:17
6. JFE Steel B - 2:10:39
7. Chugoku Denryoku B - 2:15:54

© 2018 Brett Larner

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Naoki Okamotoage: 35
sponsor: Chugoku Denryoku
graduated from: Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S., Meiji University

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