Skip to main content

Yamanaka Runs Steeplechase World Leader in Hyogo - Weekend Track Roundup


Even as several big races and meets canceled amid new states of emergency being declared across the country, two big two-day meets went off as planned this weekend.

At Kobe's Hyogo Relay Carnival, Yuno Yamanaka (Ehime Ginko) ran a world-leading 6:19.55 to win the women's 2000 m steeplechase. Both Yamanaka and runner-up Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) bettered Yabuta's old national best in the little-raced distance, Yabuta more than 7 seconds under her old mark in 6:20.37. The national best mark also fell in the men's 2000 m steeplechase, with 2019's 3000 mSC national champion Ryohei Sakaguchi (SGH Group) clipping almost 2 seconds off the old mark in 5:29.89.


In the women's 5000 m, 2021 national university half marathon champion Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo Univ.) the only woman to break 16 minutes at 15:57.87. Aoyama Gakuin University runners took the top three spots in the men's 5000 m, new recruits Masaya Tsurekawa and Aoi Ota going 1-2 in 13:55.77 and 13:59.71.

In a windy women's 10000 m with only 8 people on the starting line, Kenyan Joan Kipkemoi (Kyudenko) paced teammate Wakana Itsuki through 8000 m before pulling away to take the top spot in 32:31.19, her debut over the distance. Itsuki was next in 32:48.43, with club runner Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto) just missing out on a sub-33 mark but still managing a PB of 33:02.64 for 3rd. Olympic marathon trials winner Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) was 4th in 33:25.85, far off her pre-race target.


All three men's 10000 m heats saw winning times under 28 minutes. Kiprono Sitonik (Komori Corp.) was the fastest, taking Saturday's B-heat in 27:42.74. Sunday's A-heat winner Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu) was next in 27:52.92. A-heat runner-up Tomoki Ota (Toyota) broke 28 for the first time in 27:56.49, just 0.90 off what his younger brother Naoki Ota (Waseda Univ.) ran at last December's National Championships. C-heat winner Rodgers Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) rounded out the count with a 27:54.03 for the win.


But the fastest men's 10000 m time of the weekend came at Kanagawa's Nittai University Time Trials meet. There Stanley Waithaka (Yakult) soloed a 27:19.16 to take the top spot in Saturday's A-heat. Ryota Natori (Konica Minolta) had the fastest 5000 m mark, winning the A-heat in 13:44.39. In the B-heat three members of Hakone Ekiden champ Komazawa University's new lineup broke 14 minutes, bringing the total number of Komazawa runners this year with sub-14 bests up to 16. Shunsuke Yoshii (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), younger brother of 5000 m U20 NR holder Yamato Yoshii (Chuo Univ.), won the 1500 m A-heat in 3:47.35.

Newcomer Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido) made a splash with an 8:59.58 win in the women's 3000 m A-heat, almost 9 seconds up on runner-up Ai Hosoda (Edion). Another Japan-based Kenyan, Dorphine Nyaboke Omare (U.S.E.), won the 5000 m A-heat in 15:54.05, with club runner Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) 2nd in a season best 16:07.16.

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kanazawa Marathon to Stop Runners at 21 Locations Due to Election

Due to be held the same day as voting in the upcoming election for the House of Representatives, runners at the Kanazawa Marathon can expect to be stopped at over 20 intersections on the course in order to allow voters on their way to the polls to pass without interference.  Scheduled to be held Oct. 31 after last year's race was canceled, the Kanazawa Marathon will take place while voting polls for the House of Representatives election are open. On race day, road closures for the marathon will be in place for up to 6 hours, but the locations of 14 polling stations on the course mean that voters will need to be able to cross through intersections. 50,000 voters are expected to use these locations, and while city officials are calling for people to utilize early voting or polling stations not affected by road closures then have made the decision to place security personnel at 21 intersections to stop runners when necessary. The Kanazawa Marathon already has this policy in place at

Weekend Overseas Marathon Results

With the Tokyo Marathon having canceled due to guidelines written in the pre-vaccine era some of Japan's top marathoners have had to go overseas this season. Men's national record holder Kengo Suzuki  (Fujitsu) was at Sunday's Chicago Marathon . Suzuki seemed to be staying calm in the lead group, but when the real move came he didn't have the same kind of closing speed he had at March's Lake Biwa Marathon and was left behind by the lead true. Suzuki ended up 4th in 2:08:50, the fastest time by a Japanese outside Japan so far this year. Seifu Tura Abdiwak  (Ethiopia) took 1st in 2:06:12. The next day at the Boston Marathon , Tokyo Paralympics women's gold medalist Misato Michishita  (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) had a quick turnaround to win Boston's first-ever T11/T12 division race. In the elite women's race Shiho Kaneshige  (GRlab Kanto) tailed the lead pack with America Elaina Tabb through the first half of the race according to plan on sub-2:30 pace. But

February's Ome 30 km Road Race Canceled Due to Pandemic

On Oct. 14 the organizers of Tokyo's Ome 30 km Road Race announced that the popular event's 55th running, scheduled for Feb. 20, 2022, will not go ahead and will instead be postponed a year. Organizers said that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic they had concerns about being able to stage the event in a way safe for runners, local residents, race staff and volunteers. The Ome 30 km's 55th running was originally scheduled for February, 2021 but was postponed to 2022, meaning the new decision will in effect be a two-year postponement.  The Ome 30 km Road Race was founded in 1967. Starting in the western Tokyo suburb of Ome, the race follows a mountainous route along the upper Tama River gorge and back. Featuring both 30 km and 10 km races, the race seen wins from Olympic gold medalists like Naoko Takahashi  and Mizuki Noguchi , and is one of Japan's most popular races for amateur runners, with over 12,000 finishers every year. In place of the 2022 event, organizers