Skip to main content

Kajitani Wins National University Men's Half Marathon, Mwaka Takes Tamana

Sunday morning featured two big half marathons in Tokyo and Kyushu, both impacted by an unseasonal heat wave that swept the country over the weekend. At the National University Men's Half Marathon in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park, Ryuya Kajitani (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) timed a break perfectly to win his first national title in 1:03:20. Hanging back in a secondary pack as rivals Takeshi Nishida (Tokai Univ.) and Shogo Ise (Komazawa Univ.) duked it out up front through most of the race, Kajitani went to the front with 5 km to go. Ise tried to match him but fell behind and ended up 2nd in 1:03:31, Nishida another 5 seconds back in 1:03:36 for 3rd. Four-time Hakone champ Aoyama Gakuin placed three runners in the top ten without running any of its A-list men, a sign that depth was down overall from some of the record-breaking mass finishes in recent years.


Far to the south, Japan-based Kenyan Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Aisan Kogyo) soloed a 1:02:52 win at the Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon near Kumamoto. Out alone from the early phase, Mwaka's main competition came from Toyo University grad Yuma Hattori (Toyota) who closed late in the race but couldn't catch Mwaka up. Hattori took 2nd in 1:03:06, nearly caught in a sprint finish by Shin Kimura (Honda), a training partner of new marathon NR holder Yuta Shitara. Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) struggled in the heat and finished 12th in 1:04:49.


National University Men's Half Marathon

Showa Kinen Park, Tachikawa, Tokyo, 3/4/18
click here for complete results

1. Ryuya Kajitani (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:20
2. Shogo Ise (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:31
3. Takeshi Nishida (Tokai Univ.) - 1:03:36
4. Kazuki Noda (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:03:43
5. Kosuke Yamada (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:45
6. Yusuke Baba (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:03:45
7. Ryuichi Hashimoto (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:03:46
8. Atsuto Shimanuki (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:03:53
9. Yohei Komatsu (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:05
10. Yuya Yoshida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:09

Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon

Tamana, Kumamoto, 3/4/18
click here for complete results

1. Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:52
2. Yuma Hattori (Toyota) - 1:03:06
3. Shin Kimura (Honda) - 1:03:07
4. Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:19
5. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:20
6. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 1:03:21
7. Ryo Saito (Asahi Kasei0 - 1:04:07
8. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:04:08
9. Daiki Kubota (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:04:39
10. Takayuki Hamaguchi (Kyudenko) - 1:04:42
11. Ryosuke Maki (Subaru) - 1:04:45
12. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:49

text, photo and video © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…