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Showing posts from May, 2016

'Bolder Boulder: At Long Last, Gobena a Winner in Women's Elite Race' 2016 Bolder Boulder 10 km Boulder, CO, U.S.A., 5/30/16 click here for complete results Women 1. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 33:40 2. Miyuki Uehara (Japan) - 34:16 3. Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (Kenya) - 34:19 4. Risper Gesabwa (Kenya) - 34:28 5. Margarita Hernandez Flores (Mexico) - 34:36 ----- 6. Sakiko Matsumi (Japan) - 34:39 12. Sayaka Kuwahara (Japan) - 35:12 Men 1. Isaac Mukundi (Kenya) - 29:13 2. Terefe Debela (Ethiopia) - 29:23 3. Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 29:41 4. MacDonald Ondara (Kenya) - 29:49 5. Tsegay Tuemay (Eritrea) - 29:53 ----- 18. Suehiro Ishikawa (Japan) - 30:46 25. Yuki Matsumura (Japan) - 31:29 31. Shohei Tomita (Japan) - 32:39

Kawauchi Wins Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko 30 km translated by Brett Larner The 36th Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko Road Race took place May 29 in Nishiwaga, Iwate, with 2000 runners from across the country joining in.  Never giving up in the face of unseasonable summerlike heat, each of them gave it their best to meet their own personal goals.  Local residents, fans and supporters cheered on 2014 Incehon Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Following his 2014 Kahoku appearance, Kawauchi ran in the 30 km division, beating second place by six minutes to win in 1:35:20.  "It was a pretty hilly course, but I was able to keep pushing without slowing down," he said post-race, giving himself a positive evaluation of his performance.  Temperatures at the start were a very hot 28 degrees.  "That wasn't the kind of weather I was expecting," Kawauchi said, "but it's pretty typical of what the Olympics and Worl

Prefontaine Classic 10000 m - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner Saitama-based William Malel (Team Honda) gave defending Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah (Great Britain) a run for it in Saturday's Prefontaine Classic men's 10000 m, kicking over the last 250 or so meters before Farah caught him in the final 50 m.  Malel finished less than a second behind Farah in 26:54.66, a new PB that, given the injured status of Bedan Karoki (Team DeNA), surely puts Malel into consideration for the Rio team.  Interestingly enough, Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia), who won the 2011 Daegu World Championships 10000 m over Farah with a mighty kick while running for the Honda team, was close behind in a new PB of 26:58.75 for 5th. Japan-based Kenyans Leonard Barsoton (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and James Mwangi (Team NTN) took 12th and 13th, both in the 27:30 range.  Japan's Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) wasn't up to the night's task, losing touch with the leaders after the first 1000 m and dropping out early in the second half.  One

'How Japanese Runners Master Long Distances' Yuki Kawauchi turned up at the Runner's World booth at the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon expo to take a look at their feature article on him.  RW's Bart Yasso , in the background, and the other staff members at the booth didn't recognize him. photo ©2015 Brett Larner all rights reserved

JAAF Bows to Public Pressure With New Selection Policies for 2017 World Championships Marathon Team translated by Brett Larner At a Tokyo-area press conference on May 24 the JAAF announced the selection criteria for the marathon teams for the August, 2017 London World Championships.  The new selection criteria represent a significant change from past policies in which athletes' positions on Olympic and World Championships teams have not been guaranteed until after the completion of the final selection race.  Under the new policy, an athlete who breaks the JAAF's pre-determined selection standard time and finishes as the top Japanese at one of the selection races will be guaranteed a place on the team. The selection standards are 2:07:00 for men and 2:22:30 for women, times that correspond to a 7th-place world ranking in recent results.  Times run in domestic or international races will be counted during a period of time beginning in January this year.  Any athlete with the time standard who takes the top Japanese

Weekend Corporate Track Review

by Brett Larner Hot and windy across the country, it was a busy weekend on the corporate circuit with four regions holding their spring track championships, a high-level time trial meet and one decent result overseas. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Entertainment) turned in the fastest women’s 10000 m of the weekend, running 32:04.11 to win the East Japan corporate region. Hisami Ishii (Team Yamada Denki) was next across the line, just missing the Rio standard in 32:16.60 but scoring the fastest Japanese time in the four corporate meets. Already on the Rio team in the marathon, Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) won the Kansai region women’s 10000 m in 33:02.94. The fastest women’s 5000 m also came in East Japan as Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Team Starts) took the A-heat in 15:23.10. 4th-placer Sayaka Kuwahara (Team Sekisui Kagaku), returning from a solid 2:25:09 marathon debut in Nagoya in March, ran 15:44.99, topping the 15:46.40 time of Kansai region winner Mizuki Matsuda

Hosoda and Wambui Do the Distance Double on Final Day of Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner Hosoda/Nittai wins in 16:12.23 to complete Kanto Regionals 5000/10000 double title. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) May 22, 2016 D1 10000 m champs Ai Hosoda (Nittai Univ.) and Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) came back on a hot and windy final day of the 95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships to score double titles with wins in the 5000 m.  In the women's 5000 m Hosoda ran steady in a lead group of four before holding off a strong charge from first-year Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) to win by half a second in 16:12.18. Monster kick from Wambui/Nihon to complete Kanto Regionals 5/10 double in 13:47.18. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) May 22, 2016 After a 2:42 opening 1000 m Wambui went to the front to shake things down to another group of four.  Like the women's race it came down to a duel over the last lap, fourth-year Kazuma Taira (Waseda Univ.) staying with W

Overseas Half Marathon Japanese Results

Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, 5/22/16 click here for complete results Women 1. Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 1:09:07 2. Ayantu Gemechu (Ethiopia) - 1:11:19 3. Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) - 1:11:42 4. Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 1:11:52 5. Etalemahu Zeleke (Ethiopia) - 1:15:04 Men 1. Abraham Akopesha (Kenya) - 1:02:08 2. Evans Kurui (Kenya) - 1:02:27 3. Wilson Too (Kenya) - 1:02:48 4. Amos Kurgat (Kenya) - 1:03:25 5. Simon Tesfay (Eritrea) - 1:04:01 GoteborgsVarvet Half Marathon Goteborg, Sweden, 5/21/16 click here for complete results Men 1. Richard Mengich (Kenya) - 59:35 2. Geoffrey Yegon (Kenya) - 1:00:12 3. Leonard Langat (Kenya) - 1:01:40 4. Morris Munene (Kenya) - 1:01:40 5. Festus Talam (Kenya) - 1:01:48 ----- 9. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Japan/Toyota) - 1:04:12 11. Keita Baba (Japan/Honda) - 1:04:51 Women 1. Viola Jepchumba (Kenya) - 1:08:01 2. Worknesh Degefa (Ethiopia) - 1:08:54 3. Angela Tanui (Kenya) - 1:09:32

Matsunaga Sets 10000 m Race Walk National University Record at Kanto Regionals Day Three

by Brett Larner Toyo University fourth year Daisuke Matsunaga delivered the biggest result of the third day of competition at the 2016 Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, breaking the men's 10000 m national university record by two seconds to win in 38:16.76.  Meet records also came in the D1 women's hammer throw and D1 men's pole vault, Hitomi Katsuyama (Tsukuba Univ.) breaking her own record by nearly two meters with a throw of 62.61 m and Koki Kuruma (Juntendo Univ.) clearing 5.40 m to tie the existing Kanto Regionals record. Kuruma's Juntendo teammate Kazuya Shiojiri returned from a 3rd-place finish as the top Japanese man in Thursday's D1 10000 m and the fastest time in the 3000 mSC heats on Friday to win the D1 3000 mSC final, just missing the 39-year-old meet record by 2 seconds to take first in 8:37.84.  Soyoka Segawa continued the Daito Bunka University domination of the women's steeple, claiming the title in 10:10.68. Th

Kiryu Back on Top With Kanto Regionals 100 m Win

by Brett Larner After a DNS in the final at last year's Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, 2014 D1 men's 100 m champ Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) was back on top with another title to add to his frosh year success.  With a slow start and relaxed finish Kiryu led the semifinals in 10.27 into a -0.2 m/s headwind.  The wind built to -1.4 m/s for the final, slowing to Kiryu to 10.35, but he was still in another class from the rest of the field as he easily took the win.  His dream of Japan's first sub-10 remains ahead of him. The day's other big star was heptathlon national high school record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.).  After competing in two events yesterday Hemphill won the women's 100 mH final in 13.53 with a -0.4 m/s headwind.  Hemphill gets into her main event on Saturday with the first half of the heptathlon. The lone distance running final, the women's 10000 m, saw the Kanto Region's #1-ranked woman so far this year, thi

Wambui and Nakatani Take 10000 m Titles on First Day of Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner Patrick Wambui/Nihon 28:21.61 to win Kanto Regionals D1 men's 10000m. — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) May 19, 2016 The 95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, the year's toughest meet for university men, kicked off Thursday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.  27-minute Kenyan second-years Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) and Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) went head-to-head in the D1 men's 10000 m, Nyairo pushing it at 28:00 pace through 3000 m to burn off all the Japanese competition except for Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), the fastest Japanese man in the race with a 28:32.85 best and likewise a second-year.  As the pace relaxed Shojiri held on through 8000 m before a small gap opened, but it wasn't until Wambui attacked with two laps to go that he really lost ground.  Wambui and Nyairo came into the home straight side-by-side and with his last kick Wambui proved the stronger, winning

Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Preview

by Brett Larner The Tokyo area’s best springtime meet, the 95th edition of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships run this Thursday through Sunday, banished again by the poorly-conceived demolition of the beloved 1964 Olympic Stadium to Nissan Stadium in the remote wildlands of suburban Yokohama. Kanto being the home of the Hakone Ekiden the men’s distance events make up most of the most exciting action, but there are other highlights on the entry list. It’s hard to believe sprint wunderkind Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) is already in his junior year, but with the Olympics looking he still soldiers on in hopes of scoring Japan’s first legit sub-10 in the 100 m. He is entered in both the 100 m and the 4x100 m, giving the 200 m a miss with bigger things at stake in the next few months. National high school record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) is the favorite in the women’s heptathlon, still well shy of the Rio standard of 6200 with a best of 5730 but still

Eritreans Dominate 250th Nittai University Time Trials

by Brett Larner With the launch of the Sky Project exchange program earlier this year, Kanagawa prefecture will play host to Eritrean athletes between now and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Eritrea scheduled to hold its pre-Olympic and Paralympic training camps in the prefecture along Tokyo's southern side.  The Eritreans made their presences felt at the 250th edition of the Nittai University Time Trials meet in suburban Yokohama over the weekend, winning the A-heats of both the men's 5000 m and 10000 m and a number of women featuring in the 5000 m as well. Four Eritrean women ran the single women's 5000 m heat on Saturday.  With top Japanese track runner Ayuko Suzuki and teammate Hanami Sekine (both Team Japan Post) going 1-2 in 15:26.28 and 15:28.88, Kokob Tesfagaber Solomon and Merhawit Ghide Medhin led the Eritrean contingent in 6th and 7th in 16:18.68 and 16:18.79.  Kokob Ghebru Abraha and Berhane Tesfay Berhe made more of an impact in the men's 10000 m

Kirwa and Mwaka Win Gifu Seiryu Half

by Brett Larner Bahraini national record holder Eunice Kirwa did it again, easily breaking the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon women's course record in 1:08:55 to win by over two minutes.  Kenyan Rebecca Kangogo Chesir was the only one to put up some competition, running with Kirwa through 5 km in 15:49 before dropping back to take 2nd in 1:11:09.  Formerly Japan-based Ethiopian Betelhem Moges started much more conservatively, over 30 seconds behind the lead pair at 5 km but closing to take 3rd close enough to record the same 1:11:09 finish time as Chesir.  Japan's Rio Olympics marathon medal hopeful Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) started in the 2nd pack with Moges but fell far off pace in the second half, taking 6th overall in 1:12:04 and just holding off Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) for top Japanese honors. In the men's race Kenyan Kenneth Keter pushed a lead group of nine, eight Africans plus Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) through a f

Rio Olympics Marathoner Ishikawa Visits City Hall: "I Want to Prove You Can Still Do It At My Age" translated by Brett Larner On May 11 Rio Olympics men's marathon team member Suehiro Ishikawa (36, Team Honda) visited city hall in Sayama, Saitama, home ground of the Honda corporate team.  "My goal is to make top eight," he said with determination.  "I'm overjoyed and utterly thrilled.  Making the Olympics is a dream come true and I hope that I can enjoy it at least a little."  Mayor Tsuyoshi Koyano offered Ishikawa words of support, saying, "On behalf of the city, I offer you our congratulations and best wishes.  We are all looking forward to cheering you on on race day." Ishikawa turns 37 in September.  In Rio he will become the oldest-ever Japanese man to make an Olympic marathon team, surpassing the record set at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics by Hiromi Taniguchi ,  recently turned 36 at the time.  "I want to prove that you can still do it even at this age," Ishikaw

The 2016 Harmony Geneva Marathon in Review

by Brett Larner click any photo to enlarge videos by Athletics Weekly In the eleven years since its inception the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF has quickly grown to become one of Switzerland’s premier road races, bringing 16,000 runners together in eight different divisions, the fastest marathon on Swiss soil in 2015 and this year earning recognition from the IAAF with a bronze label for its twelfth running, the country’s first IAAF label race. With a solid elite field thanks to the bronze label and changes to the course cutting out some of the hillier sections race director Benjamin Chandelier was optimistic of seeing Geneva’s first sub-2:10 and sub-2:30 clockings, but although warm and sunny conditions kept that from happening Julius Chepkwony of Kenya ran just 11 seconds off the event record to win the men’s race in 2:11:11, surpassing the 2:12:04 winning time by Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi two weeks ago in Zurich . Jane Kiptoo of Kenya won for the second year in a row,

Imai Over Kawauchi at Sendai International Half Marathon translated and edited by Brett Larner  The Sendai International Half Marathon took place May 8 in Sendai, Miyagi, starting and finishing at Sendai Municipal Field.  Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), a DNS with illness in last summer's Beijing World Championships marathon, won in 1:03:06, the first Japanese male to win in 12 years.  2014 Asian Games marathon silver medalist and two-time World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 5th in 1:04:35. Kenyan Felista Wanjugu (Team Universal Entertainment) won the women's race in 1:12:05, the first non-Japanese women's champion since 2005.  Honami Maeda (Team Tenmaya) was 2nd. 26th Sendai International Half Marathon Sendai, Miyagi, 5/816 click here for complete results Men 1. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:06 2. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) - 1:03:11 3. Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:34 4. Ezekiel C

Kamais, Bulo and Ichida Twins Top Golden Games in Nobeoka

by Brett Larner Japan's best spring distance meet, the Golden Games in Nobeoka came up short on Rio qualifying marks but still delivered some fast times with the winners of all the major races running PBs to get to the top. Ethiopian newcomer Shuru Bulo (Team Toto) was the only woman to clear the 15:24.00 women's 5000 m Rio standard, winning the women's A-heat in a PB 15:18.54.  Top Japanese woman Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) was far short of the mark in 15:42.29 for 4th.  After having helped Sera H.S. break the legendary Samuel Wanjiru -era National High School Boys Ekiden course record last December, Kenyan Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku) continued to dominate in the 5th week of his pro career, leading four Japan-based Africans under the 13:25.00 men's Rio standard to win the 5000 m C-heat in a PB 13:17.50.  Hopes of another Japanese man getting the standard went unrequited, but top Japanese man Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) still delivered a solid 13:34

Korir and Kiptoo Lead Geneva Marathon Elite Field

JRN is back in Switzerland this weekend to cover Sunday's Harmony Geneva Marathon .  An IAAF bronze label race, Geneva features quality men's and women's fields led by 2:07:29 man Ronald Korir (Kenya) and defending women's champion Jane Kiptoo (Kenya).  With good weather in the forecast the course records of 2:11:00 and 2:32:34 should be on for updating.  Look for coverage throughout race weekend. 12th Harmony Geneva Marathon Elite Fields Geneva, Switzerland, 5/8/16 times listed are 2013-16 bests except where noted Men Ronald Korir (Kenya) - 2:07:29 (Frankfurt 2014) Julius Chepkwony (Kenya) - 2:09:00 (Daegu 2014) Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Nice-Cannes 2014) Nixon Machichim (Kenya) - 2:10:14 (Lyon 2015) Emmanuel Sikuku (Kenya) - 2:11:20 (Zurich 2014) Daniel Songok (Kenya) - 2:11:46 (Brescia 2013) Ronny Kiboos (Kenya) - 2:12:08 (Hefei 2014) Petro Mamu (Eritrea) - 2:15:54 (Zheng Kai 2015) Tariku Kinfu (Ethiopia) - debut - 1:03:35 (Remich Half 201

Golden Games in Nobeoka Preview

by Brett Larner Held in Athlete Town Nobeoka , Japan's Eugene, Saturday's Golden Games in Nobeoka are one of the highlights of outdoor track season.  Fans line the outer lane of the track, banging on metallic sponsor boards to create a rhythmic roar that follows athletes all the way through the race and the great Soh twins working the field, calling to each athlete by name over loudspeakers to urge them on and welcoming them to the finish.  Every year it produces some of the fastest Japanese times of the year, and in an Olympic year that's going to be more true than ever. Last year the men's 10000 m was little more than a time trial for Kenta Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) with pacing from double World Championships bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko), both breaking 27:45.  This year it's big, arguably the main race of the day as Olympic team hopefuls look to join the eleven Japanese men already under the 28:00.00 Rio stan

'Ex-No. 2 Women's Marathoner of All Time Retires After Doping Ban Ends' Ex-#2 all-time, Liliya Shobukhova of Russia remains #1 on the athlete roster of agent Andrey Baranov 's now-deleted Spartanik RS Inc International Sport Management website .  JRN is glad to help make that website and its roster available again thanks to Internet Archive 's public Wayback Machine utility.  At least 12 of the female athletes on that roster, 2/3 of those to have broken 2:26 in the marathon, have been suspended for positive drug tests or biological passport violations along with other subsequently Baranov-managed athletes such as Belarus' Alexsandra Duliba .

Suzuki Impresses at Payton Jordan

by Brett Larner 鈴木亜由子 Ayuko Suzuki 約11分14秒点 10km #日本郵政公社 Japan Post @jaaf_official #IAAF #陸上競技 #PaytonJordan 2016年5月1日 — T&F Snaps here (@TaFphoto) May 3, 2016 Virtually the only bright spot on the Japanese team at last year's Beijing World Championships, Ayuko Suzuki (Team Japan Post) delivered again with the best Japanese performance of this year's Payton Jordan Invitational.  With her 15:08.29 in the Beijing 5000 m final having put her at #5 on the all-time Japanese lists, Suzuki ran a 30-second PB of 31:18.16 for 3rd at Payton Jordan, landing at #8 all-time among Japanese women.  Four other Japanese women went under the 32:15.00 Olympic standard, three of them breaking 32.  Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to clear the 28:00.00 men's Olympic standard, easily outdistancing Japanese year leader Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) for 2nd in 27:50.27. Last year's 5000 m national champion Misaki Onishi (

Takenaka Breaks 12 km National Record

Lilac Bloomsday Run Spokane, WA, U.S.A., 5/1/16 click here for complete results Women 1. Cynthia Cherotich Limo (Kenya) - 38:03 - NR 2. Alphine Tuliamuk Bolton (Kenya) - 39:42 3. Jane Kibii Cheruto (Kenya) - 39:59 4. Lineth Chepkurui (Kenya) - 40:22 5. Abnet Ysehanbel Simegne (Ethiopia) - 40:36 6. Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 40:38 - NR 7. Etalemahu Habtewold (Ethiopia) - 40:57 8. Lindsey Scherf (U.S.A.) - 40:59 9. Monicah Wanjuhi Ngige (Kenya) - 41:14 10. Allison Morgan (U.S.A.) - 41:36

Kawauchi Wins Inaugural Kawauchi Half Marathon translated by Brett Larner 川内優輝ロード — みとっぽ (黒) (@mitoppo_tmyk) April 30, 2016 Yuki Kawauchi Road in Kawauchi, Fukushima Held to inspire former residents to return to the area after the nearby TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident five years ago, the village of Kawauchi held the first " Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon - From Reconstruction to Creation " on April 30.  The course started and finished at the village heliport.  1188 runners from across the country gathered to celebrate the village's revival as they ran through its springtime streets. The event's organizing committee was made up of local government and board of education members with support from the Fukushima Minyu Newspaper and other sponsors.  The race's purpose was to transmit the vitality and charm of the reconstructing Kawauchi village to the rest of the nation in hopes of helpin