Skip to main content


With Half a Year to Go It’s Time to Figure Out How to Save Hakone

an editorial by Tadasu Imamura

It’s still half a year away, but considering the current state of the coronavirus crisis it’s no sure bet that the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden will happen. The Yosenkai, Hakone’s Oct. 17 qualifying race, won’t be held on its traditional course starting at the Tachikawa SDF Base airfield and finishing inside Showa Kinen Park. To combat the spread of the virus the Yosenkai will instead be held without spectators on a multi-lap course inside the base.

The Kanto Region’s qualifying event for November’s National University Ekiden was scheduled to have been held in June. But again, due to the coronavirus crisis that has changed, with the KGRR now planning to send the seven teams with the fastest combined eight-man 10000 m times to fill the region’s quota of non-seeded teams. The fact that the Hakone Yosenkai is happening probably indicates a hard-edged sense that the Hakone main event simply has to happen.

With many universities still limiting team activities the w…
Recent posts

Golden Grand Prix Meet to Be Rescheduled Aug. 23 at Olympic Stadium

In an interview on July 10, an official confirmed that the JAAF is planning to reschedule the Seiko Golden Grand Prix meet, originally set to have been held in May at Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium, for Aug. 23. To make up for the cancelation of August's National High School Championships the JAAF is also looking at ways to add events in which high school athletes can compete to the meet. The Golden Grand Prix will be the first track and field meet held at the main venue for the Tokyo Olympics. Completed in December last year, in January it was used as the venue for the National Soccer Championships and National University Rugby Championships final matches.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

"If I Could Tell the Younger Me What I've Accomplished He'd Cry" - Okinawa Record Holder Tatsunori Hamasaki

Running through driving cold rain, the pride of Okinawan long distance, Tatsunori Hamasaki, pushed on. The race was the Tokyo Marathon. The date, Mar. 3, 2019, was the culmination of 18 years of competitive life. At 5˚C he was chilled to the core and his eyes blurred. Runners ahead of him dropped out, the second-worst finisher rate in Tokyo history. Hamasaki's legs stiffened and he had trouble moving. "I knew my time would be laughable, but I kept going," he said. "I didn't want it to end in a DNF." That time was far from what he'd hoped, but still he made it to the finish line.

The Tokyo Marathon was his chance to qualify for the Marathon Grand Championship Tokyo Olympic Games marathon trials. He finished 81st in 2:23:57. Telling himself, "I'm not going to give up until it's over," Hamasaki doubled back and ran the Apr. 21 Nagano Marathon, his absolute chance. He finished 9:22 off the time he needed to qualify. With no more chances t…

Dec. 6 Naha Marathon and Dec. 13 Aoshima Taiheiyo Marathon Canceled

In the last day, two of the last six remaining major marathons on Japan's October to December calendar have canceled this year's races. With 14,660 finishers last year, the Dec. 6 Naha Marathon in Okinawa announced on July 8 that its 36th edition will not take place this year and will be bumped to December, 2021, stressing that it was a one-year postponement rather than a cancelation per se. Today the Dec. 13 Aoshima Taiheiyo Marathon in Miyazaki, 8,043 finishers in 2019, followed with its cancelation announcement.

Both races brought up the same concerns as the 23 other large marathons this fall to have already canceled, citing risks to participants, volunteers and others involved in the race, with Aoshima adding that the need to restrict spectators would take away a lot of the fun for the runners.

The announcements mean that just four significant marathons, the Nov. 29 Fujisan Marathon, the Dec. 6 Shonan International Marathon and Fukuoka International Marathon, and the Dec.…

Koech and Maeda Run Year's Best 10000 m Times in Fukagawa

Conditions were on the humid side for the second meet in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido, but that didn't stop the fast times.

In the race of the day, Benard Kibet Koech (Kyudenko) went out front in the men's 10000 m from the gun, opening a lead of more than 5 seconds over a small chase pack led by Bedan Karoki (Toyota) at just over 27:20 pace. Karoki reeled Koech in over the second half, but when he was caught Koech didn't lie down, fighting back and retaking the lead repeatedly. With 200 m to go it looked like Karoki would get away, but in the home straight Koech came back again to win in 27:14.84, a PB and the fastest time in the world so far this year. Karoki was next in a quality 27:15.97, with Cleophas Kandie (MHPS) 3rd in 27:51.19. Tatsuhiko Ito (Honda), one of the stars of the Second Stage at this year's Hakone Ekiden, running a 60-second final lap to clear 28, taking 4th in 27:58.43 in his corporate league debut…

Today's Race - Live Streaming of 2020 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet

Live streaming of today's Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet starting at 15:30 local time. Timetable here. Although the start time for the live streaming is listed as 15:30 the first race begins at 15:00, so the live stream may begin earlier. Start lists here. The main races start at 18:25, with highlights including:

*1:05:34 half marathoner Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Starts) and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) in the women's 5000 m A-heat at 18:25.
Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), Hideyuki Tanaka (Fujitsu), Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) and Masaki Toda (Sunbelx) in the men's 5000 m A-heat at 18:45.
*Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) and 2:06 man Daisuke Uekado (Otsuka Seiyaku) in the men's 10000 m B-heat at 19:15.
*Top-level marathoners Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal), Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) and Yuka Ando (Wacoal) in the women's 10000 m at 19:50.
*3000 m world leader Dan Kiplangat (JFE Steel) in the men's 10000 m A-heat at 20:30 with pacing from B…

JAAF Announces Changes to Lineup for World Half Marathon Championships Team

The JAAF has announced a few changes to the lineup for Japan's team for the rescheduled World Half Marathon Championships Oct. 17 in Gdynia, Poland. Gone but not forgotten are men's Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu), 1:01:40 at January's Takanezawa Half, and second-tier women's team members Rui Aoyama (Universal Entertainment) and Toshika Tamura (Hitachi).

In their places are track star Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin), 1:01:06 in Marugame this February, and marathon heavy hitters Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) and Yuka Ando (Wacoal) with half marathon bests of 1:09:08 and 1:09:38, both from last December's Sanyo Ladies Half. Overall it's a step up in quality for the Japanese team if the World Half happens as planned.

World Half Marathon Championships Japanese TeamGdynia, Poland, 10/17/20
complete listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 1:00:06 (Marugame 2020)
Kiyoshi Koga (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:00:…