Skip to main content

Kobayashi Breaks Collegiate Women's 10000 m Record - Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Highlights

Meet 3 of 5 in this year's Hokuren Distance Challenge series happened Saturday in Abashiri, Hokkaido. The biggest news came in the women's 10000 m, where 2021 National University Half Marathon champion Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo Univ.) broke the 11-year-old collegiate women's national record and cleared the qualifying time for next year's World Championships. Running with excellent pacing by Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels), Kobayashi split 15:44 at 5000 m before picking it up in the second half to win in 31:22.34. Ai Hosoda (Edion) hung with Kobayashi as long as she could but ended up 2nd in 31:39.32, with amateur club runner Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) taking 15 seconds off her two month-old PB for 3rd in 32:09.44.

James Muoki (Konica Minolta) won the men's 10000 m A-heat in 27:35.59. Muiru Muthoni (JR Higashi Nihon) was the only other man under 28 minutes at 27:52.93, Kazuya Nishiyama (Toyota) fading to 28:08.36 after Yuki Sato (SGH Group) abruptly dropped out at 8000 m, leaving Nishiyama on his own at the toughest point in the race. Ken Tansho (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) won the B-heat in 28:19.17. Haruki Mori (Hokkaido Sakae H.S.) was 8th in the B-heat in 28:44.97, the fastest-ever by a Hokkaido high schooler.

Like the men's 10000 m, Kenyans went 1-2 in the women's 5000 m A-heat, Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) winning in 15:16.09 and Dolphine Nyaboka Omare (U.S.E. RC) 2nd in 15:21.07. Naruha Sato (Shiseido) took the top Japanese spot at 3rd in 15:41.28.  Visually-impaired marathon world record holder Misato Michishita (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) had a solid tuneup for the Tokyo Paralympics, winning the T11-13 women's 5000 m in 18:54.09.

Muoki's teammate Dominic Langat (Konica Minolta) won the men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:27.10, just outlasting 2021 Hakone Ekiden winner Komazawa Universtiy 2nd-year Mebuki Suzuki, who dropped a 13:27.83 for 2nd, making him all-time #8 on the Japanese collegiate charts. Emmanuel Kipchirchir (Kurashiki H.S.) was 3rd in 13:28.11, with Kenyans also the next two places. Olympic 10000 m team members Katsuhiko Ito  (Honda) was 14th in 13:42.50, proclaiming it on-target post-race and saying his goal in the Olympic 10000 m is to make top 8.

The T11-13 men's 5000 m was also a good preview of where Japan's Paralympians are at, with Shinya Wada (Nagase Sangyo) taking the top spot in 15:28.32 over Tadashi Horikoshi (NTT Nishi Nihon), 2nd in 15:32.66, and Kenya Karasawa (GSWC), 3rd, in 15:34.92.

Taisei Ogino (Asahi Kasei) took the top spot in the men's 3000 mSC in 8:43.95, Yuzu Nishide (Kansai Gaikokugo Univ.) winning the women's 3000 m SC in 10:26.97.  Tuning up for a planned 1500 m and 5000 m double in Tokyo, Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki) shaved a little off her record with a win in 8:40.84 in the women's 3000 m. The top 6 al broke nine minutes, making it an usually fast race by Japanese standards.

Hidenori Sakuma (Meiji Univ.) turned in the fastest time in the two men's 15000 m heats, winning the A-heat in 3:41.62. Mizuki Michishita (Rikkyo Univ.) won the women's 800 m in 2:06.63. 

The Hokuren Distance Challenge series continues Wednesday in Kitami.

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee


Stefan said…
In the womens 3000m, Sayaka Sato smashed her PB which was previously 9:05.75 set in July 2020 and set a time around 8:52.43 which is incredible. Given that she ran the Nagoya marathon last year in a time of 2:23:27 and 2:24:32 this year (in the revised looped course), my hopes are raised very high. If she should be able to translate this short distance speed into her marathon efforts a marathon PB beckons large... perhaps a time of 2:20:00 or thereabouts! From the marathoners, only Mao Ichiyama has this type of short distance speed in recent times and we know what she is capable of in terms of marathon times.

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