Skip to main content

Weekend Track Roundup (updated)


The first meet in this year's Hokuren Distance Challenge in Hokkaido was the main meet of the weekend, but there was more action near Tokyo than in a normal year too as organizers sought to keep the number of people in one location down. At the HDC Shibetsu Meet the men's 3000 m was the highlight, with Yohei Ikeda (Kanebo) winning in 7:56.10 to lead the top eight under eight minutes. Even just five years ago it was rare to see more than one Japanese man break eight in an entire year, a sign of how much things have changed in both shoes and priorities. 

Titus Wambua (SID Group) ran 13:22.49 for 1st in the men's 5000 m A-heat, Kenyans sweeping the top four spots. In 5th Kotaro Kondo set a new school record for ekiden power Aoyama Gakuin University, running 13:34.88.  34-year-old Yuki Sato (SGH Group) was 6th in 13:35.74, bettering the time he ran at Nationals less than two weeks ago by 3 seconds.

Women's results in Shibetsu were low-key, Sakiko Naito (Panasonic) taking the 3000 m A-heat in 9:15.57 and Aoi Nomura (Sekisui Kagaku) the 5000 m in 15:58.89. The Nittai University Time Trials in Kanagawa seemed to be more the meet of choice for women, Despite heavy rain, Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) took the 3000 m A-heat at Nittai in 8:56.50, Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo Univ.) next in 9:02.54 and the top five all bettering Naito's mark in Shibetsu. 

Marathoner Mao Kiyota (Suzuki) won the women's 5000 m in 16:00.50. Taiyo Yasuhara (Komazawa Univ.) won the men's 5000 m A-heat in a PB 13:50.01 with teammate Yuto Akahoshi running 13:57.55 for 6th to give this year's Hakone Ekiden champs 18 men with sub-14 bests for 5000 m. Ethiopian great Imane Merga (Yachioyo Kogyo) continued his comeback with a 13:54.17 for 3rd.

At Chiba's Juntendo University Time Trials Keigo Kurihara turned in the fastest time in the men's 5000 m A-heat at 13:46.96, with eight Juntendo men breaking 14 minutes for 5000 m. Yusaku Nomura led the home team in 13:49.23. Juntendo first-year Mao Kogura won the women's 3000 m in 9:23.03, teammate Ryosuke Harada winning the men's 3000 m in 8:08.46.

© 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