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Showing posts from October, 2020

'NAZ Elite Team Runs Away With Win in First Michigan Pro Ekiden' Michigan Pro EkidenUtica, Michigan, U.S.A., 21 Oct. 2020 7 teams, 6 stages, 42.2 km complete results
Team Results 1. Northern Arizone Elite - 2:10:11 2. Hansons ODP A - 2:12:08 3. Minnesota Distance Elite - 2:12:51 4. Roots Running Project - 2:13:03 5. TEAM Boulder - 2:14:20 6. Hansons ODP B - 2:15:06 DNF - Atlanta Track Club
Top Individual Stage Performances First Stage (10 km, men) 1. Tyler Day (NAZ) - 28:44 2. Zach Panning (Hansons A) - 28:58 3. Frank Lara (Roots) - 29:26
Sccond Stage(6.1 km, women) 1. Lauren Paquette (NAZ) - 19:35 2. Anne-Marie Blaney (Hansons A) - 19:45 3. Maggie Montoya (Roots) - 19:53
Third Stage(5 km, men) 1. Shadrack Biwott (Hansons B) - 14:41 2. Rory Linkletter (NAZ) - 14:48 3. Ben Kendell (Hansons A) - 14:56
Fourth Stage (10 km, women) 1. Annie Frisbie (MDE) - 32:35 2. Kellyn Taylor (NAZ) - 33:05 3. Amy Davis (Hansons B) - 33:19
Fifth Stage(6.1 km, men) 1. Jake Riley (TEAM) - 17:21 2. Scott Fauble (NAZ) - 17:4…

Ueda and Kinoshita Win Ultra Skyrunning National Titles

by Takuya Fujii
The Shiga Kogen Extreme Trail 2020 race took place in Nagano's Shiga Highlands this weekend. I was there working as the official timing director. The pro trail runner Takuya Yamada organizes this event, which winds through the mountains at around 2000 m above sea level. Over the course of the weekend four different race distances were held, the 54 km long course, the 32 km middle course, the 8 km short course, and a kids' race. The 54 km long course has a total climb of 2850 m.
Under the direction of the Japan Skyrunning Association (JSA), this year's event was held as the National Skyrunning Championships. The 54 km long course served as the "Ultra" skyrunning National Championships, with the 32 km middle course division designated the "Sky" skyrunning National Championships. The start and finish of each race was located at the Mt. Yokote Ski Resort. Timing mats were positioned on the ground there.
The 54 km long course division started be…

New Rules to Stop Struggling Athletes Applied at Princess Ekiden

The qualifying race for the Nov. 22 National Corporate Women's Ekiden took place Oct. 18 in Munakata, Fukuoka, with Sekisui Kagaku winning the six-stage, 42.195 km race for the second year in a row in 2:17:03 and the top fourteen teams qualifying. Two-time national champion Daiichi Seimei's 21-year qualification streak was broken as it finished 15th. As the first national-level road race to take place since the start of the coronavirus crisis, teams were asked not to have their cheering squads along the course and other COVID countermeasures were put in place.
On the ekiden's 7.0 km opening stage, Kako Okada, an athlete with the Kyocera team, collapsed less than 100 m from the first exchange zone and was unable to continue. Okada went into full-body convulsions and on-site medical staff called an ambulance. Hearing the news from the First Stage supervisor, the race's chief referee quickly made the decision to officially stop Okada.
Two years ago another athlete suffered …

Aizawa Goes Sub-28, Suzuki Returns - Weekend Track Review

Elite road racing returned to Japan this weekend with Saturday's Hakone Ekiden qualifier and Sunday's National Corporate Women's Ekiden qualifier, but there was still a load of track action at every level.
Saturday in Miyazaki, one of the stars of this year's Hakone Ekiden, Akira Aizawa made his corporate debut for New Year Ekiden national champ team Asahi Kasei with a 27:55.78 win in the Miyazaki Time Trials 10000 m, his first time going sub-28. His former Toyo University teammate Kazuya Nishiyama was 2nd in 28:03.94, the best time by a Japanese collegiate student so far this year. Asahi Kasei had eleven men in the race under 29 minutes including Rio Olympics marathoner Satoru Sasaki, putting them in good position for another national title defense come Jan. 1. Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University had three men under 29, setting them up as a threat to the Kanto Region's monopoly on the podium at the Nov. 1 National University Men's Ekiden. 

Defending corporate wo…

Sekisui Kagaku Wins Second-Straight Princess Ekiden

In the first major road race held on public roads in Japan since the coronavirus crisis began, the Sekisui Kagaku team won its second-straight Princess Ekiden Sunday in Munakata, Fukuoka to lead the qualifiers for November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships.
25 km national record holder Sayaka Sato took things out with a 22:22 CR for the 7.0 km First Stage, setting up a lead that last year's double 800 m and 1500 m national champ Ran Urabe held onto despite only running the third-fastest time on her 3.6 km leg. Urabe handed off to half marathon NR holder Hitomi Niiya, who took an incredible 1:15 off the record for the 10.7 km Third Stage. Niiya's time of 32:43 equated to 30:35 for 10 km, well under the track 10000 m NR, and singlehandedly took Sekisui Kagaku from a 10 second lead to 1:58 out front. Sekisui Kagaku's last three runners had it relatively easy, none of them in the top 8 on their stages but anchor Chikako Mori bringing them home safely for…

18-Year-Old Miura Breaks Osako's U20 Half Marathon Record to Lead Juntendo University to Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Win

Cold rain couldn't hold back the fast times at Saturday's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai half marathon, the qualifying race for January's Hakone Ekiden university men's championships and the first major elite-level road race held in Japan during the coronavirus era. Held on a 2.6 km loop around an airbase runway in western Tokyo's Tachikawa suburb, 46 university teams from the greater Tokyo area fielded teams of 10 to 12 runners at the Yosenkai, with each team's 10 fast men scoring and the 10 fastest teams joining the top 10 from this year's Hakone Ekiden to make up the field for next year's Hakone.
Temperatures at the start were 12˚C, and with the rain letting up just before the gun conditions were actually pretty good through the first half of the race. Last year's runner-up Vincent Raimoi (Kokushikan Univ.) took an all-Kenyan lead quartet out hard on sub-60 pace, going through 5 km in 14:05 and 10 km in 28:14 before slowing as the rain returned in the sec…

2021 Kagoshima Marathon Canceled

We have studied a variety of options for staging the 2021 Kagoshima Marathon, but with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight we have come to the unfortunate conclusion, in light of the need to ensure the safety of the runners, event staff and local residents, that it would not be possible to hold the race as planned and that it must be canceled for the second year in a row. We sincerely pray for a swift end to the crisis and that we can once again hold the Kagoshima Marathon as a safe event that will delight runners and locals alike. We will be working hard to make that a reality.
With regard to priority entry for those who were entered to run in 2020, we are still studying how we might move forward with improved coronavirus measures in the future, including examining the field size, and do not have a clear answer at this point. We will post that information as soon as it has been determined and thank you for your patience until then. We are planning to hold events including a runn…

Princess Ekiden Preview

National championship ekiden season looks like it's going to mostly happen, and this will be the first full weekend of qualifying action for the winter's main events. Following Saturday's Hakone Ekiden qualifier is Sunday's Princess Ekiden, the qualifying race for the Nov. 22 National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships. This is the first major ekiden to be held on public streets during the coronavirus era, so there is a lot of attention, good and bad, to how it goes and the organizers have banned cheering groups from the different teams in the race and asked fans not to come cheer along the course. It's a test drive to see how the rest of championship season will go to be sure.
Last year's top 8 teams at Nationals are guaranteed the return trip this year, The top 14 teams at the Princess Ekiden will qualify to join them, and with 28 teams entered following scratches from Aichi Denki and Daiso that means a decently competitive race to make it. Last year S…

Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Happening Saturday

One of the questions floating around during the coronavirus crisis is what it meant for Japan's biggest sporting event, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden university men's championships. People have been holding their breath as one major race after another, not least of all the university men's season-opening Izumo Ekiden, has canceled. But they can breathe a little easier now as the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai, its qualifying half marathon, is set to go ahead this Saturday.At the Yosenkai 46 university men's teams field 10 to 12 runners apiece, with each school's first ten finishers scoring and the top ten teams going on to join the top ten from last year's Hakone to make up the back half of the twenty-deep 2021 Hakone field. There's really nothing else like it. The announcement ceremony is the most dramatic moment in the sport. If you've ever been there for it, you know it's true.This year things will be a bit different. The race will have its usual start on t…

2021 Saga Sakura Marathon Canceled

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the 2021 Saga Sakura Marathon scheduled for Mar. 21 next year will not be held as usual and will instead be held as on online event. It will come as a disappointment to those who look forward to the pleasures of Hizenji in the spring that the race has been canceled for the second year in a row, but we ask for your understanding. With our regular race serving as an important stimulus to the local area, we had examined every option for how to go through with the race in the midst of the ravages of the pandemic. Despite the measures we had planned to minimize the risk of spreading the infection, in the end we decided that it was too difficult to ensure that everyone involved in the race, runners, volunteers, medical, rescue and transportation staff, and those cheering along the course, to do so in a safe and secure environment. 
Those who had been given priority entry to the 2021 race as a consequence of the cancelation of the 2020 event will have th…

Karoki Under 27:10 Again - Weekend Track Roundup

A typhoon passing to the south brought rain and wind to most of the country throughout the weekend, but with what's left of ekiden season getting off the ground next weekend there were a million high-level meets across the country.None higher-level than Friday's Chubu Corporate Track and Field Championships, where Bedan Karoki (Toyota) turned in his second sub-27:10 clocking in the last three weeks, winning the men's 10000 m A-heat in 27:08.91. 19-year-old Philemon Kiplagat (Aisan Kogyo) was 2nd in 27:46.67, the first sub-28 by a junior this year. Five other men were under 28 in the same heat, including first-timers Yusuke Nishiyama (Toyota) and Daiji Kawai (Toenec). A total of 44 men were under 29 minutes between all three heats.Victor Korir Kipkirui (GMO) took the top spot in the men's 10000 m A-heat at Saturday's Track Games in Tokorozawa, a quad meet between Waseda University, Meiji University, Toyo University and Soka University with some GMO corporate interl…

Khapilina and Sbaai Win Sofia Marathon, Yamaguchi 4th

With her plans ruined when last week's Kosice Peace Marathon canceled its elite race and most of its mass-participation race in response to a change in government policies a few days before the race, the Ukraine's Viktoriya Khapilina regrouped and headed to Bulgaria's Wizz Air Sofia Marathon. Controlling the race nearly from start to finish with a few mid-race challenges from Kenyan Naom Jebet, Khapilina went through halfway in 1:14:13 before picking it up to drop Jebet. With a 1:13:44 second half she took the win in a PB of 2:27:57, almost five minutes under the old course record and the fastest women's marathon ever run on Bulgarian soil.
Jebet was 2nd in 2:28:41, with 3rd-placer Cynthia Kosgei of Kenya also under the hold course and all-comers' records in 2:32:10. The first elite Japanese woman to race a marathon outside Japan this year and running with support from JRN, Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) was 4th in 2:32:49 off a 1:16:15 first half. Yamaguchi missed join…

'Weekend Road Preview: Maiyo and Yamaguchi Lead Sofia Marathon Fields, Kiprop the Favourite in Bucharest'

2018 Winner Yuma Hattori to Run Fukuoka International Marathon Again

On Oct. 9 it was learned that Tokyo Olympics men's marathon team member Yuma Hattori (26, Toyota) will run the Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon. It will be the first time a member of either the men's or women's Olympic marathon squads will have run a marathon since the teams were finalized. For Hattori himself it will be his first marathon since taking 2nd at the Olympic marathon trials in September last year. His goal is to run 2:05.
According to an involved source, Hattori chose Fukuoka as his pre-Olympic marathon because he is familiar with the course from his victory there two years ago. He has already committed to running Fukuoka and has done multiple 40 km runs in preparation.
On Oct. 9 Hattori ran the 10000 m at the Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships. With a goal of running 28:30 he ran 28:16.28. Hattori was positive about his run saying, "My time was good. So was the way I ran." In the summer he focused on improving his speed, breaking 28…

2021 Tokyo Marathon Officially Moved to October 17
Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:

Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size
Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size


Jan. 10 - Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (10,954) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Katsuta Marathon (10,627) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Osaka International Women's Marathon (423) - TBA
Feb. 7 - Beppu-Oita Marathon (3,141) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Ehime Marathon (9,554) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon (536) - TBA
Feb. 21 - Kyoto Marathon (13,894) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kochi Ryoma Marathon (10,924) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kumamoto Castle Marathon (10,444) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kitakyushu Marathon (9,485) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Okinawa Marathon (7,990) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - rescheduled from Dec. 6
Feb. 28 - Himeji Castle Marathon (6,938) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Iwaki Sunsh…

'Bringing Ekidens to America May Be Just What the Sport Needs'

The seven mixed-gender team Michigan Pro Ekiden will take place Oct. 21. More information on live streaming forthcoming.

January's Osaka Half Marathon Canceled

Scheduled for Jan. 31, the 2021 Osaka Half Marathon has been canceled. In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, after discussion with a variety of involved organizations it was decided that it would not be possible to ensure the safety of the many athletes, staff and others gathered together at the event. The organizers ask for the public's understanding.

Translator's note: The Osaka Half Marathon is the companion event to the Osaka International Women's Marathon, of which no decision about its holding has been made public yet. The half has both male and female fields and is run simultaneously with the marathon with a different starting point and course.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

DeNA Corporate Team Disbanded

Thank you for your support of the Yokohama DeNA Running Club. Founded in 2013, the DeNA corporate team will be disbanded at the end of 2020. Beginning in 2021, DeNA will take a new approach toward supporting the activities of individual athletes who aim to compete at the international level. Despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis upon all our sports business, with its new approach DeNA hopes to continue to support competitive running in the medium to long-term future.

Right now we are in the midst of making new contract offers to our existing athletes under the new model. We will continue to keep you informed about each athlete's plans for the next fiscal year and in every case will respect the athlete's wishes, whatever they may be. Head coach Tomoaki Kunichika and other members of the current team's staff will be retiring. We thank them for their contributions to the team's development.

We hope to have your continued support in the future.

Translator's note…

Tokyo Marathon to be Held in Fall of 2021 With Field of 38,000

On Oct. 4 it was learned from an involved source that the 2021 Tokyo Marathon, currently scheduled for Mar. 7, has made a final decision to move to the fall next year with a full field size of 38,000 rather than as an elite-only race. The postponement is a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but the organizers do not plan to reduce the event's size. The decision has been approved by the board of directors of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and a formal announcement is expected to be made on Oct. 9.

The move puts the 2021 Tokyo Marathon in the aftermath of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to the source, the original Mar. 7 was viewed as simply not feasible given the current status of the coronavirus crisis. The move will allow the race to be held without a reduction in the number of participants, roughly 38,000 people in normal years. The Foundation was keen to avoid a reduction in the number of participants for a second-straight year after this year's mas…

National Track and Field Championships Day Three Highlights

The last day of the 104th National Track and Field Championships saw a short stack of new records across disciplines, mostly on the women's side.

The biggest news came in the women's discus throw, where Maki Saito (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) threw a new national junior record of 55.41 m on her fourth attempt and putting defending champ Minori Tsujikawa (Uchida Yoko AC) into 2nd before coming back on her last to almost equal it.

In the women's 100 m hurdles, it took a PB from Masumi Aoki (77 Ginko) to hold off national record holder Asuka Terada (Pasona Group) for the win, tying the meet record in 13.02 (-0.1). Taio Kanai (Mizuno) likewise held off national record holder Shunya Takayama (Zenrin), tying the meet record in 13.36 (-0.1) to win. Kanai and Takayama have alternated national titles for the last four years, with 13.36 their winning time for the last three.

The women's 200 m saw the top three all drop PBs, Remi Tsuruta (Minami Kyushu Family Mart) unexpectedly ho…

National Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

Friday was day two of Japan's 104th National Track and Field Championships, and whatever else might have been happening in other parts of the world it was a good day at least for defending women's champions. Three scored repeat wins, Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei AC) winning the 400 m final in 53.55, Mariko Morimoto (Uchida Kensetsu AC) taking the triple jump in 13.14 m (-0.2) and Akane Watanabe (Maruwa) the hammer throw at 64.84 m.

As with day one a lot of the 2019 men's champs were missing, leaving Takatoshi Abe (Yamada) the only one to put a back-to-back title next to his name with a 49.73 win in the 400 m hurdles that saw him almost run down by Tatsuhiro Yamamoto (Nihon Univ.) after starting hard. 2017 and 2018 men's 1500 m national champ Ryoji Tatezawa (DeNA) made it back to the top after a bad year last year, winning in 3:41.32 with the top four all under 3:42. Times in the men's 100 m final were nothing special, but in maybe the most emotional performance of th…