Skip to main content

Top University Teams Join Okukuma Ekiden Field Following Izumo Cancelation

Ten top men's university ekiden teams centered in the competitive Kanto Region are expected to run the first edition of the Okukuma Ekiden in Tanagi, Kumamoto on Oct. 4. The new event will feature high school, university and corporate league teams racing each other over a 42.195 km course. Starting together, the  university and corporate team divisions will be divided into four stages, with the high school division dividing the longer stages to cover the same total distance in seven stages.

In addition to the ongoing coronavirus crisis the Tanagi area has been battered by severe rain and flooding in recent weeks, but race organizers remain determined to stage the event with measures potentially including barring spectators from the course. "The roads on the course suffered no damage from the flooding," commented a race official. "The determining factor on whether the event can go ahead will be the situation regarding the coronavirus. We will make a series of decisions in that regard one month out, two weeks out, and the week before. If we are able to go ahead, we expect to have ten university teams in the race."

On July 27 it was announced that the Oct. 11 Izumo Ekiden, the first race in the Big Three University Ekiden season, had been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. The decision immediately brought the new Okukuma Ekiden into the spotlight. 2020 Hakone Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University was already planning to take part in Okukuma, but with Izumo's cancelation 2019 Hakone champ Tokai University, 2019 Izumo Ekiden winner Koku Gakuin University, traditional powerhouse Waseda University and others have now also come board.

Top local high school team Kyushu Gakuin will be joined by national-class rivals from Fukuoka, Omuta, Miyazaki and Kobayashi. The corporate league division will feature Kyushu-based teams. Stage lengths in the high school division mirror those in the National High School Ekiden, with a 10 km First Stage, 3 km Second Stage, 8.1 km Third Stage, 8.05 km Fourth Stage, 3 km Fifth Stage, 5 km Sixth Stage and 5.045 km Seventh Stage. The university and corporate division course combines the high school division's Second and Third Stages into a single 11.1 km stage, the Fourth and Fifth into an 11.05 km stage, and the Sixth and Seventh stages into a 10.045 km stage.

Scoring and awards will be divided into two different classes, but both divisions will run together with a single start. AGU head coach Susumu Hara, 53, commented, "High school students may find it challenging to keep up on the long First Stage, so after that they will be chasing. It will be very interesting to see the competition between corporate league, university and high school teams. I'm looking forward to this ekiden."

The organizers of the Okukuma Ekiden announced the new event in late April in the midst of a wave of race cancelations across the country. "I'm impressed with the work the Okukuma Ekiden organizers have put into making this happen," said Hara. "I hope it can go ahead as planned. I hope all the local residents will watch the Aoyama Gakuin University athletes run."

There is still concern over the continued spread of the coronavirus, but with the decision to cancel the Izumo Ekiden the Okukuma Ekiden stands to gain. There's no doubt it'll be an exciting new start to ekiden season.

source article:
https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/e05dcd835a5a8919e976420a2617068ad4ed3b14
translated and edited by Brett Larner

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

World Athletics' Rapid About-Face on Shoe Regulations Leaves Runners in Confusion: "It's Like They're Playing With a Stacked Deck"

On Aug. 10 World Athletics announced that revised regulations on competition footwear that it had released on July 28 had already gone into effect on that date for track events. At the time of the new regulations' announcement WA had initially said that they would take effect on Dec. 1. The regulations effectively ban the use of thick-soled shoes Nike's dominant Vaporfly and Alphafly on the track and disallow any performances run in them.

WA's July 28 announcement of revised regulations was made in preparation for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games. The new regulations specify the thickness of the sole that may be use in shoes for various disciplines, with field events apart from the triple jump and track events up to 400 m limited to 20 mm, the triple jump, track events 800 m and longer, and cross-country up to 22 mm. Nike's current models, which dominate the long distance market, have thicknesses of 36 mm for the Vaporfly and 39.5 mm for the Alphafly.



The revised reg…

Running The Original 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon Course Part Two - Men's Marathon

Pre-corona, today would have been the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, originally in Tokyo, then bumped off to Sapporo. For the sake of completion, for the third year in a row I ran most of the Tokyo course at the time that the race would have happened, starting at 6:00 a.m., taking temperature and humidity measurements every 30 minutes, and finishing back at the Olympic Stadium at 8:15 a.m. around the time that many of the top men would have been coming in.


Like last week's run at the original time of the women's marathon, conditions today wouldn't have been a problem for anyone who had done any kind of preparation to run a summertime marathon. Counter to the forecast, which predicted sunny skies the whole way, right before the schedule start time cloud cover rolled in over the city, helping to keep temperatures down. Humidity was high, but as per the forecast the temperature actually went down over the first 90 minutes. The humidity rose in relation to the cool…

Mizuno Issues Sole Thickness Correction to July 1 Press Release for New Wave Duel Neo Shoe

On Aug. 11 Mizuno issued corrections to  a press release originally dated July 1 announcing that its all-white prototype model containing the new Mizuno Enerzy foam was being released under the name Wave Duel Neo. On its third page the updated press release corrected specifications for the shoes' sole thickness. The company apologized for any inconvenience caused by inaccurate specifications in the previous versions of the release.

On July 28, World Athletics announced new regulations governing the sole thickness of shoes used in track and field competition. The new rules specified the method by which sole thickness was to be measured. Previously, sole thickness was measured from the outsole to the midsole. The new World Athletics regulations specified that in addition to the outsole and midsole, the inner sole and insert were also to be included in measurements of thickness.

In accordance with the new regulations, Mizuno amended the specifications of both the Wave Duel Neo and W…