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Showing posts from September, 2015

Hakone Ekiden's Star Fourth-Years Commit to Nation's Corporate Teams as Final College Ekiden Season Begins translated and edited by Brett Larner As university ekiden season begins with the Oct. 12 Izumo Ekiden , their job hunting in its final stages, fourth-year runners from all the major universities are deciding their future paths one by one.  The biggest star of the 2015 Hakone Ekiden, the "Third God of the Mountain" Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin University) will go on to 2013-14 New Year Ekiden national corporate men's champion Konica Minolta , while 30 km collegiate national record holder Yuma Hattori (Toyo University), targeting the marathon at next year's Rio Olympics, plans to join 2015 New Year Ekiden winner Toyota .  The country's best university runners plot their courses from Hakone beyond to the world stage early. Kamino's super-fast run up the Fifth Stage at this year's Hakone Ekiden powered Aoyama Gakuin on to the win a

Yamamoto's Pole Vault Meet Record Tops Final Day of National Corporate Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner click here for Day One results and report  c lick here for Day Two results and report Seito Yamamoto (Team Toyota) broke one of the oldest standing meet records at the National Corporate Track and Field Championships on this year's final day of competition, clearing 5.70 m to break the 5.62 record set back in 1999 by Fumiaki Kobayashi (Miki House).  Kobayashi passed all the way to 5.30 m, clearing it and 5.50 m on his first try to seal the win.  Going straight to 5.70 m, it took him three attempts to clear it but the record was his.  The women's 4x400 m almost saw another meet record as the Junanaju Ginko team was just 0.03 off the 3:47.38 record it set in 2010 with a lineup including current third runner Mai Yamada . In distance action, Hiram Ngatia (Team Toyota) ran the fastest time in the three evenly-stacked men's 5000 m, 13:23.65, for the Heat Three and overall win.  1500 m champ Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) had the slowest winning time

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner With decent performances in Chicago and Frankfurt and a 2:09:21 PB at this year's Tokyo Marathon behind him, Koji Gokaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon) turned in the fastest marathon of the year by a Japanese man outside Japan, running 2:10:58 for 9th at the Berlin Marathon .  Gokaya, sub-2:10 men Tomoyuki Morita (Team Kanebo) and Masanori Sakai (Team Kyudenko) and track star Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) ran the entire race inside the third pack just under 2:10 pace, Morita and Sakai tending toward the front of the group and Gokaya and Sato relaxing out back.  A late-race move by Reid Coolsaet in a bid for the Canadian national record pulled Sato along, but after 40 km he faded badly and was easily run down by Gokaya.  Sato, in his third marathon, still managed a sizable PB of 2:12:32 for 14th, while Sakai and Morita dropped to 22nd and 33rd in 2:14:52 and 2:15:57. In the women's race, 2014 Asian Games team member Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) started near PB

National University Half Marathon Champion Yamanaka Quits Nittai University Team translated and edited by Brett Larner 2014 Hakone Ekiden First Stage winner Hideto Yamanaka , a fourth-year at 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University , has quit the school's ekiden team.  Left without its star runner, Nittai will shoot for its 68th-straight Hakone Ekiden appearance when it runs the Oct. 17 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai qualifying race. Yamanaka ran the Third Stage at the 2013 Hakone Ekiden as a first-year, playing a key role in Nittai's first overall Hakone win in 30 years .  As a second-year he won the 21.4 km First Stage in 1:01:25, with a 1:02:09 course record win two months later at the National University Half Marathon Championships cementing his position as a top-class collegiate athlete.  Shortly afterward, however, he suffered a long-lasting string of injuries that kept him out of competition throughout his third year until a surprise return at the start of his fourth year to win the

Kwemoi Breaks 1500 m Meet Record on Day Two of National Corporate Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner click here for Day One results and report Men's 1500 m world junior record holder Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) turned in the performance of the day on day two of competition at the 2015 National Corporate Track and Field Championships , running a 3:37.54 meet record to win the 1500 m over rival David Njuguna (Team Yakult) and #1-ranked Japanese man Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei).  The Toho Ginko women's team came up just short of the 44.97 meet record in the women's 4x100 m relay set six years ago by Toho Ginko predecessor Natureal , winning in 45.00.  Toho Ginko's second runner Asami Chiba and anchor Mayumi Watanabe featured on both the record-setting Natureal team and today's lineup.  Another meet record near miss came in the women's javelin, where defending champion Risa Miyashita (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. Staff) came up just 0.20 m short of the record she set last year, winning in 56.47 m. Some disappointment came in t

Tanui and Suzuki Win Corporate 10000 m Titles

by Brett Larner click here for Day Two results and report The last major track meet of the year on the Japanese calendar, the National Corporate Track and Field Championships kicked off in near-secrecy on Sept. 25 at Gifu's Nagaragawa Field with the men's and women's 10000 m races.  Organizers hit back at the increasing number of fans turning up at their meets and sharing pictures and videos on social media with a ban on use of all cameras including phones unless owners registered with them in advance and paid a fee.  Most fans gave the meet a miss as a result, with relatively empty stands and lack of online chatter seeming to indicate success in organizers' attempts to prevent their work from becoming popular among the general public. Beijing World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) outran a solid field of Japan-resident Africans to win the men's A-heat in 27:37.13 six seconds ahead of runner-up James Mwangi (Team NTN).  Bernar

Thugwane and Kawauchi Visit Local Children in South Africa's Kayamandi Township

text and photos by Brett Larner A day after running in South Africa’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and 10 km road race , 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathon gold medalist Josiah Thugwane and Japan’s iconoclastic civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi traveled to the Kayamandi township outside Stellenbosch to speak to local children taking part in the program.  A community with over 100 years of history, the 33,000 residents of Kayamandi live in extreme conditions of poverty in the hills overlooking the wealthy winery town of Stellenbosch.  Thugwane and Kawauchi were taken on a walking tour of the community to see with their own eyes the situation in which the program's children live and the challenges they face. Created in 2008 by Songo Fipaza , a Kayamandi resident who became a national-level cross-country runner through the support of 1992 Barcelona Olympics silver medalist Elana Meyer when as a youth he sought her out in Stellenbosch after watching her i

Takenaka Runs Faster Than 10 Mile National Record, Kitajima, Tsuzaki and Hashira Win in Sydney - Weekend International Road Race Results

by Brett Larner Japanese athletes were in action abroad on three continents over the weekend.  The biggest result came at the Netherlands' Dam tot Damloop 10-Miler, where Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido), winner of July's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ran 52:56 on the point-to-point course to finish 12 seconds ahead of the national record set 8 1/2 years ago by Mai Endo (Team Nihon ChemiCon) in Kasumigaura. 2015 Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon winner Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) won again at the Sydney Marathon, outkicking Nobeoka 3rd-placer Hiroki Yamagishi (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) by three seconds for the win in 2:12:44.  Former Hakone Ekiden uphill superstar Ryuji Kashiwabara (Team Fujitsu) made a surprisingly low-key but distinctly lackluster marathon debut in Sydney, running 2:20:44 for 7th just ahead of independent Saeki Makino , an off-and-on training partner of Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) best-known for his frontrunning at the last two Honolulu

'Kiyeng, Kamais and Kawauchi Headline the Cape Town Marathon' A blog post on Kawauchi by massage therapist Jason Bailey: Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Elite Field Cape Town, South Africa, 9/20/15 Men David Kemboi Kiyeng (Kenya) - 2:06:23 (2009) Abraham Girma Bekele (Ethiopia) - 2:06:46 (2012) Peter Lotogor Kamais (Kenya) - 2:07:37 (2012) Dereje Debele Tulu (Ethiopia) - 2:07:48 (2013) Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:08:14 (2013) Ketema Bekele Negasa (Ethiopia) - 2:11:17 (2014) Million Feyssa Hailu (Ethiopia) - 2:12:14 (2015) Lucky Mohale (South Africa) - 2:13:35 (2010) Sibusiso Nzima (South Africa) - 2:13:42 (2013) Xolisa Tyali (South Africa) - 2:16:03 (2014) Munyaradi Jari (Zimbabwe) - 2:16:54 (2014) Lucas Jani (South Africa) - 2:17:37 (2015) Gladwin Mzazi (South Africa) - 2:17:43 (2014) Africa Mailola (South Africa) - 2:17:57 (2014) Women Renee Metivier-Baillie (U.S.A.) - 2:27:1

Ome 30 km Road Race to Offer 2 Million Yen Bonus for New Course Record By a Japanese Citizen translated by Brett Larner The organizing committee of the Ome 30 km Road Race announced on Sept. 17 that it will offer 2 million yen [~$16,500 USD] bonuses to the top Japanese finishers for new men's and women's course records at the event's 50th running on Feb. 21, 2016.  The current official men's course record is 1:30:21 set by Masaki Ito in 2013, while the women's course record is 1:39:09 set by Mizuki Noguchi in 2004.  Men will receive an additional 1 million yen if they break the fastest time ever run on the Ome course, the 1:29:32 mark set by Toshihiko Seko in 1981 while running as a guest runner.  Course record setters must be Japanese citizens and currently registered with the JAAF to be eligible for the bonuses.

'Marathon Greats Wilson Kipsang and Meb Keflezighi Lead 2015 TCS New York City Marathon Men's Field' Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) will return to the Nov. 1 TCS New York City Marathon with support from JRN for the third time to take one last shot at the world's biggest marathon.

Takamizawa Breaks 3000 mSC University and Junior National Records in Paris

by Brett Larner The favorite to win the women's 3000 mSC at the weekend's National University Track and Field Championships after her runner-up finish last year, 19-year-old Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) instead opted to head to France as part of the Japanese team for the Sept. 13 DécaNation meet at Paris' Stade Charléty.  On June 28 Takamizawa broke the junior national record with a 9:55.79 to win the National Championships in Niigata.  A month later on July 26 she was back in Niigata to break her own junior national record with a 9:54.95 at the Niigata Prefecture Championships.  In Paris Takamizawa did it again, running another junior national record of 9:53.72 for 4th.  Her Paris performance also just broke the 9:53.87 collegiate national record set by Mayuko Nakamura (Tsukuba Univ.) at last year's National Championships, establishing Takamizawa as Japan's leading current steepler.  The 9:33.93 Japanese national record set by the great Minori Hayakari

Weekend International Road Race Results

'Budd and Herron Win the 28th IAU 100 km World Championships' click here for complete results Japanese results Men 11. Tatsuya Itagaki - 6:52:37 35. Yoshikazu Hara - 7:13:33 42. Yoshiki Takada - 7:21:52 63. Tsutomu Nagata - 7:45:57 Women 13. Mikiko Ota - 7:52:39 15. Mai Fujisawa - 7:56:59 DNF - Shiho Katayama DNF - Chiyuki Mochizuki 'Jepchirchir Shatters Course Record at Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon' click here for complete results Japanese Results Men 12. Yuki Matsuoka - 1:04:34 13. Rikinobu Watanabe - 1:04:57 15. Ryuji Okada - 1:06:49 Women 7. Mizuki Matsuda - 1:12:54 8. Ai Inoue - 1:13:32 'Karoki Runs World-Leading 59:14 in Copenhagen' click here for complete results Japanese Results Men 25. Ryotaro Otani - 1:05:20 'Farah and Keitany Successfully Defend Great North Run Titles' click here for complete results Japanese Results Men 9. Masato Kikuchi - 1:03:13 DNS - Suguru Osako Women 6. Reia Iwade - 1:12:41

Matsunaga Breaks 10000 m Race Walk Record on Last Day of National University Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner Following its pair of wins from Hazuma Hattori and Yoshihide Kiryu yesterday , Toyo University again delivered the performance of the day on the third day of the National University Track and Field Championships at Osaka’s Nagai Stadium. Toyo’s men’s 10000 mRW junior national record holder Daisuke Matsunaga , the Kanto Region champion, dueled with Kansai region champ Toshikazu Yamanishi (Kyoto Univ.) in the first race of the day, pushing each other throughout the race and both breaking the meet record in PB time. Matsunaga was first across the line in 39:18.04, the only new record at this year’s Nationals, with Yamanishi falling back but still clearing the old meet record in 39:28.63, more than a minute better than his previous best. Along with the Matsunaga – Yamanishi duel, the women’s 4x400 m relay was another of the day’s highlights. Osaka Seikei University and Shigakkan University overtook each other multiple times on almost every leg and on the anchor

Hattori Outkicks Kenyans Wambui, Omwamba and Kitonyi for 5000 m Title - National University Track and Field Championships Day Two Results

by Brett Larner photos by @tetsujiman Yoshihide Kiryu/Toyo wins men's 100m in 10.19 +0.5 at National Univ Championships. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 12, 2015 Fans and media were mostly plugged in for the first men's final of the second day of the Japanese National University Track and Field Championships Sept. 12 at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai, with sprint sensation Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) returning from injuries that kept him out of June's National Championships and August's World Championships to win the 100 m final in 10.19.  Kiryu claimed to be at only 80% fitness but had no trouble putting away his two strongest competitors, Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) and Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.), who were well back in 10.29 and 10.33.  Hours later Kiryu was back to run second on Toyo's 4x100 m, where he turned in another strong run to put Toyo into the lead before they ultimately fell back to 6th. Toyo a

Kiryu Returns, Wambui Arrives - National University Track and Field Championships Day One Results

by Brett Larner Kiryu/Toyo tops 100m SF times in 10.30. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 11, 2015 Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ) topped the first day of the 2015 National University Track and Field Championships Sept. 11 at Osaka's Nagai Stadium, returning from a summer lost to injury with a 10.40 win in his 100 m opening heat and a 10.30 win in his semifinal to head into tomorrow's final in the top position despite self-reporting at only 80% fitness.  Rivals Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) and Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.) were both less than 0.5 behind in their semifinals, in Oseto's case despite a strong headwind, promising a competitive final.  Kiryu also helped Toyo 4x100 m make the final, a good first step in his pre-Olympics comeback. Nabeshima/Kanoya Taiiku out kicks Izumida for the win in 33:18.69 after very slow 1st half. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 11, 2015 In the women&

National University Track and Field Championships Preview

by Brett Larner Although Japan's regional university and corporate track and field championships take place in May ahead of June's National Championships, it's a quirk of the calendar that the National University Track and Field Championships and National Corporate Track and Field Championships are held in September, for the country's distance runners meaning that they serve as little more than a tuneup for ekiden season after a summer of training in Hokkaido and elsewhere.  This weekend the National University Championships take place in Osaka.  It's another quirk that for the country's university distance men Nationals are less competitive than May's Kanto Region University Championships, but across all events many of the best current collegiate athletes will still be lining up. One of the big question is whether Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) will run.  Injured in the spring, Japan's top sprinter missed both the National Championships and World Ch