Skip to main content

Ekiden Weekend Roundup


This weekend saw four major ekidens across the country, with Kansai region university men wrapping their seasons in Kyoto and New Year Ekiden qualification coming to a close for corporate men.

At Saturday's Tango University Ekiden, the Kansai region university championships, two-time defending champ Ritsumeikan University got off to a slow start, only 3rd on the lead stage but getting back on track thanks to a 24:29 CR on the 7.7 km Second Stage by Kohei Okada to take the top spot. Ritsumeikan never looked back from there, taking four of the remaining five stages to make it three in a row in 3:34:32. Kwansei Gakuin University, Biwako University, Kyoto University and Kyoto Sangyo University battled it out for 2nd, Kwansei Gakuin ultimately coming out on top in 3:38:14 and Biwako Gakuin, which made its National University Ekiden debut earlier this month, 3rd in 3:40:25.


Sunday saw the last four corporate regions run their New Year Ekiden national championship qualifiers, three on the roads and one on the track. The Chubu Region Corporate Ekiden played out almost exactly the same way as Tango, with defending champ Toyota starting off in 3rd before taking the top spot thanks to a Second Stage CR of 22:36 for 8.3 km by Bedan Karoki, leading the rest of the way with wins on four out of the five remaining stages, and taking 1st in a CR 3:51:19. Again as at Tango, Toyota Boshoku, Aisan Kogyo and Toenec fought a distant duel for 2nd, Toyota Boshoku taking it in 3:54:42 with Aisan Kogyo 9 seconds back. 

Toyota's Karoki, a new recruit to the team season after leaving the disbanding DeNA, took 25 seconds off his stage record and looked like he could be the deciding factor in Toyota knocking Asahi Kasei off the top spot at the New Year Ekiden. Also of note was that Toyota's marathoners Yuma Hattori and Taku Fujimoto both sat Chubu out as they get ready for Fukuoka next month.


The Kansai Region Corporate Ekiden saw winner NTT Nishi Nihon lead start to finish, but unlike Tango and Chubu it was a much closer race, only 54 seconds separating NTT from runner-up Sumitomo Denko at race's end, 3:57:01 to 3:57:55. 3rd place SGH Group was another 28 seconds behind. Likewise at the Chugoku Region Corporate Ekiden, Mazda led the entire way but ended up with only a 25-second margin of victory over Chugoku Denryoku and JFE Steel another 6 seconds back in 3rd. Further back, Nihon Seitetsu Setouchi qualified for the New Year Ekiden for the first time in over 20 years.

With only three teams competing, in place of a road ekiden the Hokuriku region opted to do its New Year Ekiden qualifier as a single track 10000 m race this year, with each team scored by the combined times of its seven men. YKK took the qualifying spot, team members Daisuke Hosomori and Vincent Kipkemoi leading the way in 28:44.68 and 28:47.57.

© 2020 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morii Surprises With Second-Ever Japanese Sub-2:10 at Boston

With three sub-2:09 Japanese men in the race and good weather conditions by Boston standards the chances were decent that somebody was going to follow 1981 winner Toshihiko Seko 's 2:09:26 and score a sub-2:10 at the Boston Marathon . But nobody thought it was going to be by a 2:14 amateur. Paris Olympic team member Suguru Osako had taken 3rd in Boston in 2:10:28 in his debut seven years ago, and both he and 2:08 runners Kento Otsu and Ryoma Takeuchi were aiming for spots in the top 10, Otsu after having run a 1:01:43 half marathon PB in February and Takeuchi of a 2:08:40 marathon PB at Hofu last December. A high-level amateur with a 2:14:15 PB who scored a trip to Boston after winning a local race in Japan, Yuma Morii told JRN minutes before the start of the race, "I'm not thinking about time at all. I'm going to make top 10, whatever time it takes." Running Boston for the first time Morii took off with a 4:32 on the downhill opening mile, but after that  Sis

The Ivy League at the Izumo Ekiden in Review

Last week I was contacted by Will Geiken , who I'd met years ago when he was a part of the Ivy League Select Team at the Izumo Ekiden . He was looking for historical results from Izumo and lists of past team members, and I was able to put together a pretty much complete history, only missing the alternates from 1998 to 2010 and a little shaky on the reverse transliterations of some of the names from katakana back into the Western alphabet for the same years. Feel free to send corrections or additions to alternate lists. It's interesting to go back and see some names that went on to be familiar, to see the people who made an impact like Princeton's Paul Morrison , Cornell's Max King , Stanford's Brendan Gregg in one of the years the team opened up beyond the Ivy League, Cornell's Ben de Haan , Princeton's Matt McDonald , and Harvard's Hugo Milner last year, and some of the people who struggled with the format. 1998 Team: 15th of 21 overall, 2:14:10 (43

Police Arrest 20-Year-Old Man Charged With Assaulting Female Runner at Popular Tokyo Running Spot

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a female runner along the banks of the Tama River in Ota Ward, Tokyo. "I've been stuck at home because of the coronavirus, so I wanted to go for a walk and move my body a bit," the man told police. Local resident Hirai Muroyama , 20, of no known occupation, was arrested on charges of sexual assault. He is accused of acts including grabbing the breasts of a woman in her 20s at around 10 p.m. on May 31 along the banks of the Tama River. According to police, the woman was taking a break in her run when Muroyama approached her silently from behind and grabbed her breasts before running away. Under police interrogation Muroyama told investigators, "I've been stuck at home because of the coronavirus, so I wanted to go out for a walk and move my body. I'd had a few drinks and was feeling pretty hype. She was totally my type." source article: https://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newsey