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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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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

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