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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…

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…

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 …