Skip to main content

International Chiba Ekiden Preview

by Brett Larner

Continuing on with its unique and entertaining format of alternating men and women on each stage the Nov. 23 International Chiba Ekiden boasts its strongest overall field since switching from separate men's and women's races, with London Olympics medalists Priscah Jeptoo and Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya and American Galen Rupp crowning the lists.  The race will be broadcast live nationwide on Fuji TV beginning at 1:00 p.m. local time.  Keyhole TV has reportedly not been working recently, leaving limited viewing options for international fans.  JRN will cover the ekiden via Twitter @JRNLive.  Please note that this is not the regular @JRNHeadlines feed, so follow both to be sure to get all updates.  Live results should be available after each stage on the official race website.  Fuji's race website is also worth a check.

Defending Chiba winner and course record holder Kenya is the favorite again this year, with Jeptoo, Longosiwa, Edwin Soi and Philip Mosima the top-ranked athletes on four of Chiba's six stages, but the Russian team holds the other two top individual spots with women Yelena Zadorozhnaya and Elizaveta Grechishnikova and is close behind overall, third woman Svetlana Kireyeva ranked second on her stage and all three men, Egor Nikolaev and twins Evgeny and Anatoliy Rybakov, having been close to winning their Chiba stages in the past.  If both teams run up to ability it could be a close race for the win between them.

The Japan team last won Chiba in 2009, outrun by the Japanese University Select Team the next year and Kenya last year despite breaking the course record.  This year's lineup, featuring Olympians Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) and Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) and top collegiates Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) and Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) and with the home-soil and familiar race format advantages, is a solid bet for 3rd, higher if either Kenya or Russia falters.

The U.S.A. and the 2010 Chiba-winning Japanese University Select Team, featuring Takehiro Deki and Ryotaro Otani of 2012 Izumo Ekiden course record setters Aoyama Gakuin University and 2012 national collegiate 10000 m champion Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.), are not far behind.  The U.S.A. looks likely to spend the first two-thirds of the race around 5th or 6th place; much of its success will depend on how much ground Rupp can make up on the hilly 10 km Fifth Stage.

Look also for Poland, opening with its best athletes Lukasz Parszczynski and Lidia Chojeckaand Canada, leading with the solid trio of Geoff Martinson, Tarah Korir and Reid Coolsaet, to factor into the first half of the race, with hosts Chiba Prefecture coming up in the second half to join Poland and Canada in rounding out the top eight for a podium finish.

2012 International Chiba Ekiden Start List Highlights
Chiba, 11/23/12
six stages, 42.195 km
click here for complete running order

Teams
Australia
Canada
Chiba Prefecture
Czech Republic
Finland
Japan
Japanese University Select Team
Kenya
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Romania
Russia
South Korea
U.S.A.

First Stage - 5.0 km, men
Thomas Longosiwa (Kenya) - 12:49.04
Suguru Osako (Japan) - 13:31.27 / 27:56.94
Egor Nikolaev (Russia) - 13:35.33
Lukasz Parszczynski (Poland) - 13:42.21
Geoff Martinson (Canada) - 13:43.45
James Strang (U.S.A.) - 13:44.18 / 28:12.03
Keisuke Tanaka (Chiba Pref.) - 13:50.15
Zane Robertson (New Zealand) - 13:58.00
Ryotaro Otani (Japanese Univ. Team) - 13:58.75

Second Stage - 5.0 km, women
Yelena Zadorozhnaya (Russia) - 14:40.47
Lidia Chojecka (Poland) - 15:04.88 / 32:55.10
Mika Yoshikawa (Japan) - 15:15.33 / 31:28.71
Ayuko Suzuki (Japanese Univ. Team) - 15:33.47
Kaila McKnight (Australia) - 15:33.77
Chelsea Reilly (U.S.A.) - 32:40.01
Gladys Cherono (Kenya) - 15:39.50 / 32:41.40
Tarah McKay-Korir (Canada) - 15:47.00 / 32:00.07
Son-Un Kim (South Korea) - 15:55.86

Third Stage - 10.0 km, men
Edwin Cheruiyot Soi (Kenya) - 12:52.40 / 27:14.83
Reid Coolsaet (Canada) - 13:21.53 / 27:56.92
Jake Robertson (New Zealand) - 13:22.38
Evgeny Rybakov (Russia) - 13:31.36 / 28:05.75
Jake Riley (U.S.A.) - 13:32.82 / 28:08.36
Seung-Ho Baek (South Korea) - 13:42.98 / 28:25.19
Radoslaw Kleczek (Poland) - 13:43.37
Shota Hiraga (Japanese Univ. Team) - 13:45.83 / 28:41.42
Shinobu Kubota (Japan) - 13:49.53 / 28:07.01
Mitchell Brown (Australia) - 13:55.47 / 28:53.00
Kazuma Ito (Chiba Pref.) - 13:59.01/28:48.02

Fourth Stage - 5.0 km, women
Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:20:14
Svetlana Kireyeva (Russia) - 15:08.36
Misaki Onishi (Japan) - 15:32.88
Victoria Mitchell (Australia) - 15:36.15
Haruka Kyuma (Japanese Univ. Team) - 15:39.86 / 32:59.33
Azusa Kurusu (Chiba Pref.) - 15:47.60
Emma Kertesz (U.S.A.) - 32:51.00
Ho-Sun Park (South Korea) - 15:49.21 / 32:52.96

Fifth Stage - 10.0 km, men
Philip Mosima (Kenya) - 12:53.72
Galen Rupp (U.S.A.) - 12:58.90 / 26:48.00
Yuichiro Ueno (Japan) - 13:21.49 / 28:12.37
Anatoliy Rybakov (Russia) - 13:30.43 / 28:06.54
Jussi Utriainen (Finland) - 13:42.64 / 28:50.20
Arkadiusz Gardzielewski (Poland) - 13:53/56 / 28:44.19
Takehiro Deki (Japanese Univ. Team) - 13:54.09
Makoto Hasegawa (Chiba Pref.) - 13:56.83
Marius Ionescu (Romania) - 28:54.83

Sixth Stage - 7.195 km, women
Elizaveta Grechishnikova (Russia) - 15:02.38 / 31:07.88
Hitomi Niiya (Japan) - 15:10.20 / 30:59.19
Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya) - 31:26.10
Neely Spence (U.S.A.) - 15:27.72 / 32:50.00
Mai Tsuda (Japanese Univ. Team) - 15:48.41
Mai Shinozuka (Chiba Pref.) - 15:57.40

Alternates - men
Vyacheslav Shalamov (Russia) - 13:38.10
Taku Fujimoto (Japan) - 13:38.68 / 28:27.66
Brendan Gregg (U.S.A.) - 13:46.49 / 28:54.41
Hugo Beamish (New Zealand) - 13:51.00
Kazuma Kubota (Japanese Univ. Team) - 13:59.16

Alternates - women
Alfiya Muryasova (Russia) - 15:26.31
Riko Matsuzaki (Japan) - 15:34.69
Mai Shoji (Japanese Univ. Team) - 15:51.25

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Thanks! That's what I wanted. I'll be out there cheering for the 4th and 5th runners - glad that I get to see Galen Rupp.
Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain.
AlbertoStretti said…
Congrats Brett!!Very inspired article!!..already linked it on my blog!!!..))

Most-Read This Week

Kengo Suzuki 2:04:56 National Record to Win Final Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

Set to be absorbed into the mass-participation Osaka Marathon as its elite men's field next year the same way the old Tokyo International Marathon was swallowed whole by the Tokyo Marathon, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon wrapped its 76 years as a freestanding event with a bang, a big one, Sunday in Otsu.  Everything was on. The conditions were good, light clouds, 7˚C, 57% humidity and light breezes at the start. The field was good, 24 men having run sub-2:10 in the last three years and 52 sub-2:12. The pacing was good, the lead trio of pacers hitting almost every split within a couple of seconds of the target 2:58/km and the second group pacers even closer to the 3:00/km target. The shoes were good, across brands. 30 or so people went out on pace to go under the 2:05:29 national record in the first group, with what looked like about a hundred on mid-2:06 pace in the second group. Everything went smoothly and steadily, nature taking its course and whittling down both groups until

Locals Reflect on the End of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

For half a century, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon has been held along the shores of Lake Biwa in Otsu, Shiga. Locals have long given it their full support, turning out as volunteers and to cheer. We talked to them about their memories of the historic race ahead of its final running before moving back to its original home in Osaka. Kikuji Kawamura , 85, a former Otsu municipal employee who has been a part of the race's operational team for decades, is known locally as a living encyclopedia of every aspect of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. In 1965, the year after the Tokyo Olympics, a friend asked him to help accurately measure the course's 42.195 km distance. The winner that year for the second time was two-time Olympic marathon gold medalist and famed barefoot runner Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia. Kawamura has vivid recollections of talking to Bikila there. "Before the race Abebe was warming up in the stadium and I noticed how skinny his legs were," Kawamura says. &q

Weekend Preview - National XC Championships and Lake Biwa

Two big events happen this weekend in western Japan. Saturday in Fukuoka are the National Cross-Country Championships . The list of withdrawals is pretty long, but the four races on the schedule are still set to pull in good talent, especially in the senior races where wins can score people without the qualifying standard places in the National Track and Field Championships 10000 m. Click the race distance for entry lists: Senior Men's 10 km , Senior Women's 8 km , U20 men's 8 km , U20 women's 6 km . TBS will be broadcasting the senior races on delay starting at 3:30 p.m. Japan time. Sunday is the final edition of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon before it moves back to Osaka next year. The entry list  is super deep, with 25 men who've run under 2:10 in the last 3 years and 53 sub-2:12, and at this point the only major withdrawal looks to be Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura . Expect Lake Biwa to go out with a bang. NHK will broadcast the entire race