Skip to main content

Martin Mathathi 25:55 for 9.8 km at Meigi Ekiden

by Brett Larner

2007 World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist and 10 mile junior world record holder Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Team Suzuki) set a stunning new stage record at the 64th Meigi Ekiden on Feb. 7, the last major ekiden of the season. On a day of ideal conditions Mathathi covered the 9.8 km Fourth Stage, a point-to-point leg with a net elevation loss of 1 m, in 25:55. With a flat conversion to 10 km Mathathi's time would be a stunning 26:27, well ahead of the road 10 km world record of 27:01 set last year by Kenyan Micah Kogo. Mathathi also held the previous Fourth Stage record of 26:19 set in 2007. Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) likewise set a new stage record, running 17:20 for the 6.2 km Fifth Stage.

Despite Mathathi's sensational run, which advanced Team Suzuki to 3rd place, Suzuki finished only 4th. Team Toyota took the win, never lower than 2nd place but battling the entire way against Team Aichi Steel. Kumamoto's stage record run put Toyota into position, and thanks to a stage-best performance by anchor Takashi Uchida the team clipped Aichi Steel by just one second. Uchida started four seconds behind Aichi anchor Norio Kamijo. In a duel which saw Kamijo run the 2nd-best time on the stage, Uchida prevailed in the final sprint finish to give Toyota the win, 2:31:18 for the six-stage, 52.6 km distance over Aichi Steel's 2:31:19. Suzuki remained a considerable distance back in 4th, finishing in 2:33:09 behind Team NTN. Team Suzuki's corporate sponsor is discussing downgrading the team from full jitsugyodan status to a club team, meaning the performance may be one of its last.

In the six-stage, 40.2 km high school boys' race, defending champion Ueno Kogyo H.S. successfully defended its title, holding off the powerful Saku Chosei H.S. by 25 seconds despite taking only one stage best to Saku Chosei's pair of individual titles. Chihiro Miyawaki of 4th placer Chukyo H.S. set a new stage record of 17:15 on the 6.0 km Second Stage to put Chukyo briefly into the lead, the only interruption to Ueno Kogyo's otherwise flawless frontrunning win.

2010 Meigi Ekiden - Top Results
click here for complete results
Men - Stage Best Performances
First Stage - 12.4 km: Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 36:10
Second Stage - 7.3 km: Tomoya Shirayanagi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 21:28
Third Stage - 6.0 km: Masatomo Sugimoto (Team Toyota) - 17:03
Fourth Stage - 9.8 km: Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki) - 25:55 - new stage record
Fifth Stage - 6.2 km: Takeshi Kumamoto (Team Toyota) - 17:20 - new stage record
Sixth Stage - 10.9 km: Takamasa Uchida (Team Toyota) - 31:35

Top Team Results - six stages, 52.6 km
1. Toyota - 2:31:18
2. Aichi Steel - 2:31:19
3. NTN - 2:32:28
4. Suzuki - 2:33:09
5. Toyota Boshoku - 2:33:31

High School Boys - Stage Best Performances
First Stage - 7.3 km: Kenta Matsumoto (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 21:59
Second Stage - 6.0 km: Chihiro Miyawaki (Chukyo H.S.) - 17:15 - new stage record
Third Stage - 9.8 km: Shun Morozumi (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 28:13
Fourth Stage - 6.2 km: Hiroyuki Fujii (Hamamatsu Nittai H.S.) - 18:14
Fifth Stage - 4.3 km: Naoya Nishio (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 12:30
Sixth Stage - 6.6 km: Toshiya Agekura (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 19:45

Top Team Results - six stages, 40.2 km
1. Ueno Kogyo H.S. - 1:59:06
2. Saku Chosei H.S. - 1:59:31
3. Hamamatsu Nittai H.S. - 2:00:08
4. Chukyo H.S. - 2:01:01
5. Toyokawa Kogyo H.S. - 2:01:23

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Is that for real? Running a 26:30 on the roads? Doesn't that put him close to 26 flat on the track?
Brett Larner said…
It's pretty solid. It appears to have been a breezy day so there may be some tailwind factor, but it's still a great performance.

Most-Read This Week

JAAF and NHK Apologize for Camera Crew Interfering With Men's 10000 m National Championships

The JAAF has issued a joint apology with meet broadcaster NHK to the athletes and teams affected by an incident during the May 7 10000 m National Championships at Tokyo's National Stadium. An NHK TV camera entered the track area and stretched out a cable in front of an oncoming athlete, who collided with it. According to the JAAF and NHK, during the men's 10000 m A-heat, a two-person NHK camera crew in the infield area stepped out onto the track surface to get a closer shot of the top finishers. A cable extending back from the camera operator to his assistant caught athlete Shinji Mita of the Sunbelx corporate team in the neck, interfering with his performance. Immediately afterward, as the camera crew moved to get off the track they entered the path of another four oncoming athletes, who had to slow down as they tried to avoid colliding with the camera crew. All five athletes finished the race and were listed in the official results. Mita was taken to a hospital for examin

The Undeath of Historic Japanese Marathons: Lake Biwa Comeback Planned for 2023

After seeing its final edition in Shiga last year and then being absorbed into the Osaka Marathon  in March this year, the legacy of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will continue with a successor race to be held on Mar. 12 next year. Since the previous event wrapped up, the Shiga prefectural government has been examining holding a mass-participation race celebrating the tradition of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and has been looking at potential course and date options. In January they sought suggestions for a name for the event and selected "Lake Biwa Marathon" from among the submissions. The organizing committee came together in April to determine the new event's date and course. The race will begin at Ojiyama Field, historical starting point of the former race, and will cross Omi Bridge before heading north along Lake Biwa's eastern shore. Covering 42.195 km, it will feature a turnaround point in Moriyama before finishing at Lake Biwa Museum located on the Kara

Hironaka and Aizawa Win 10000 m National Titles

A crowd reported at over 6000 filled the lower stands at Tokyo's National Stadium Saturday to see the 10000 m component of this year's National Track and Field Championships . In the women's race, Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) and Rino Goshima (Shiseido) sealed up their places on the Oregon World Championships team by going 1st and 3rd, with NR holder Akira Aizawa (Asahi Kasei) making a comeback for the win in the men's race but falling short of the Worlds standard. The dynamic in the women's race was changed dramatically a few hours before the race when top-ranked Seira Fuwa (Takushoku Univ.) announced she had withdrawn after not making enough progress in her comeback from an injury in January. In her absence Goshima took things out on pace to crack the standard, which only she, Hironaka and top collegian Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo Univ.) held going into the race. Following Goshima's lead were Hironaka, Kaede Hagitani (Edion), Mikuni Yada (Denso), Sayaka Sa