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Showing posts from February, 2022

Mizumoto, Yoshioka, Kobayashi and Matsueda Win National XC Titles

The 2022 National Cross Country Championships took place Saturday, Feb. 26 at Fukuoka's Uminonakamichi Kaihin Park. In the U20 women's 6 km , 9:10.50 runner Kana Mizumoto (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) ran 19:55 to take the junior title by 8 seconds over Akari Matsumoto (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.), holder of a 9:11.96 best for 3000 m. Yoshino Namiki (Tokiwa H.S.) was 3rd in 20:08. In the U20 men's 8 km , favorite Hiroto Yoshioka (Saku Chosei H.S.) waited until the last lap to break from the pack along with rival Yuta Minamisaka (Kurashiki H.S.). On the course's rolling hills he applied pressure to drop Minamisaka, pulling away for the win by 3 seconds in 23:36. Sonata Nagashima (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) was 3rd in 23:46 to make it a clean sweep of the top 3 by 2nd-years. 2021 National University Half Marathon winner Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo) went one-on-one with corporate leaguer Yuka Sarumida (Univ. Ent.) in the senior women's 8 km . Still together with 1 km

Hoshi Breaks Debut NR to Win Osaka Marathon in 2:07:31

Cut back from being a part of the return to mass-participation racing with less than two weeks to go, the Osaka Marathon celebrated its 10th edition with the domestic elite-only field it picked up from the defunct Lake Biwa Marathon with the addition of two dozen female entrants. 2016 Gold Coast Marathon winner Misato Horie (Sysmex) scored another win in the women's race, running her best time since 2019, 2:32:10, to outrun debuting duo Nami Aoki (Iwatani Sangyo) and Rui Aoyama (Univ. Ent.) by over 4 minutes for the top spot on the new Osaka course. First-timers also played a major role in the men's race, taking 3 of the top 8 places. The pacing team held things relatively steady around low-to-mid 2:07 territory through multiple 180˚ turns and strong winds from the west until just before their departure at 30 km. On the first main climb near 30 km the debuting Yuhei Urano (Fujitsu), CR breaker on the Hakone Ekiden's legendary uphill Fifth Stage, and Kenta Murayama (As

National XC Championships and Osaka Marathon - Weekend Preview (updated)

This has been updated to reflect withdrawals announced late Friday. This weekend kicks off three in a row with major races across Japan. First up Saturday is the National Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka. The senior women's 8 km lost its biggest draw, 18-year-old 30:45.12 10000 m runner Seira Fuwa (Takushoku Univ.), earlier this month when she pulled out to focus on prep for May's 10000 m national championships. In her absence, some of the bigger names include National Corporate Half Marathon winner Dolphine Nyaboke Omare (U.S.E.), 3000 m steeplechase Olympian Yuno Yamanaka  (Ehime Ginko), last year's 5th-placer  Momoka Kawaguchi (Toyota Jidoshokki), and 31:16.48 10000 m runner Minami Yamanouchi (Raffine). Despite losing 10000 m NR holder  Akira Aizawa  (Asahi Kasei) and 3000 m SC NR holder  Ryuji Miura (Juntendo University) to last-minute withdrawals, the senior men's 10 km is thicker on top-level talent, including 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m high school NR ho

Akasaki and Onodera To Run United Airlines NYC Half After Two-Year Wait

Akira Akasaki , left, and Haruka Onodera , right, earned invitations to the 2020 United Airlines NYC Half by placing as t he top two Japanese university men at the 2019  Ageo City Half Marathon  in the 9th year of a partnership between the two races set up and maintained by JRN. Just as they were leaving school for Narita Airport that race was canceled. Now, two years later, they're set to run the 2022 edition of the United Airlines NYC Half as corporate league athletes, Akasaki having run a 2:09:17 marathon debut at the Feb. 6 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon and Onodera off a 1:02:21 at the Feb. 13 National Corporate Half Marathon, his best since Ageo 2019. Below is a NYRR press release on this year's elite field. A complete field listing is here . New York, February 22, 2022 – The 2022 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 20 will feature the best professional athlete field in event history, with 24 Olympians, eight Paralympians, and six open division athletes who hold h

Juntendo Wins 2nd-Straight National Mixed Team University Ekiden

The 2nd annual National Mixed Team University Ekiden took place Sunday the 20th in Osaka on a six-stage, 20 km course around Nagai Park. Counting two Hakone Ekiden runners in its lineup, Juntendo University finished in the top spot again in 1:01:19, 34 seconds faster than its winning time last year. Chuo University was 2nd in 1:01:30, with Kansai University 3rd in 1:01:50. Juntendo Hakone runner Kazuki Ishii was 5th on the 3.0 km opening leg, just 6 seconds behind leader Kazuto Iizawa (Tokai Univ.). Second runner Shion Ono ran the fastest time on her leg to put Juntendo into 1st. Having played a key role in Juntendo's 2nd-place finish at Hakone in January where he was 3rd on the competitive Third Stage, 3rd-year Tatsuya Iyoda won the 5 km Third Stage for the second year in a row, running a strong 14:18 to add a big chunk to Juntendo's lead. Anchor Mao Kogure was almost caught by Chuo's Ayuka Kazama , but with 600 m to go she kicked hard to bring Juntendo in to th

World Record Holders Kosgei and Kipchoge Lead Tokyo Marathon Elite Field

With prime minister Fumio Kishida  having publicly confirmed yesterday that Japan will begin relaxing its rigid border restrictions as of Mar. 1, the Mar. 6  Tokyo Marathon  followed up its earlier announcement of the domestic elite field for this year's twice-rescheduled race with the full list of international athletes scheduled to compete. Women's and men's world record holders Brigid Kosgei and Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya are set to return to Japan after winning the Olympic marathon silver and gold medals in Sapporo last summer, with backing from small but high-quality international fields, the Japanese women-only and men's marathon NR holders and half marathon NR holders, and more. Kosgei will face a solid list of proven winners, including last year's Amsterdam winner Angela Tanui (Kenya), 2019 Berlin winner Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia), 2021 Milan winner Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia), 2021 Berlin winner Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia), 2020 Marathon Project winner S

Tokyo Police Practice Drill Ahead of Tokyo Marathon Involving Man With Gun on Course

In preparation for the Mar. 6 Tokyo Marathon, the Tokyo Police Department held a drill involving the scenario of a man driving onto the course and taking a runner hostage with a gun. The training session took place Feb. 18 near Asakusa on the Tokyo course. The police department's ERT emergency rapid response unit engaged the man, shot the gun out of his hand, and overpowered him. A canine unit dog then discovered an explosive device, which was removed by the police bomb squad.  The drill was part of the police department's policy of increasing surveillance and response at sporting events involving public roads. Police officials ask members of the public to immediately call 110 if they see any suspicious people or objects. source article: translated by Brett Larner

Chasing $250,000 - Nagoya Women's Marathon Elite Field

Last year the Nagoya Women's Marathon was the first major Japanese race to take a step toward trying to restart the domestic industry, going ahead with its elite race , a limited mass-participation field of 5000, and an accompanying mass-participation half marathon with thousands more. In the fall it announced a massive $250,000 USD payday for 1st place in its 2022 race. Even as other races announce cancelations amid Japan's ongoing omicron wave and the final fate of the Osaka and Tokyo Marathons remains to be seen , Nagoya today announced the elite field for its Mar. 13 race. The international component is very small, but at least there is one, not an easy thing to put together given Japan's still in-place border restrictions even if the government is making noises that it'll relax them a bit come Mar. 1. At the top of the list are Kenyan-born 2020 Tokyo Marathon course record breaker Lonah Chemtai Salpeter running under the Israeli flag, and 2019 world champion Ru

Feb. 27 Osaka Marathon Set to Cut Mass-Participation Field of 20,000

On Feb. 15, Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura  indicated that the mass-participation field of 20,000 for the Osaka Marathon 's 10th running on Feb. 27 is to be cut and that the race will go ahead with only its elite field of 300. The race is jointly organized by the Osaka metropolitan and prefectural governments.  In response to a question from a reporter, Governor Yoshimura stated, "The final decision is to be made by the organizing committee, but I believe that the mass-participation component of the Osaka Marathon will be canceled. I'd like to express my regret to all the amateur runners who had prepared for this race with anticipation, but given the current reality of the pandemic numbers, from the perspective of combatting further spread of the virus I ask for your understanding of the decision to cancel." With regard to refunding entry fees, the governor said, "That is a decision to be made by the organizers, but I think refunds should be given to those who

Collegiate Record Holder Fuwa Withdraws from National XC Champs and Mixed Ekiden

10000 m collegiate record holder and all-time Japanese #2 at 30:45.21, 18-year-old Seira Fuwa  (Takushoku Univ.) has withdrawn from plans to run this Sunday's National University Mixed Team Invitational Ekiden in Osaka and next weekend's National Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka. The Takushoku University women's team made the announcement on its official Twitter feed on Feb. 14. At the Jan. 16 National Women's Ekiden Fuwa broke 5000 m national record holder Ririka Hironaka 's course record for the 4.0 km Fourth Stage, running 12:29 and passing 13 people en route. Post-race she was excited about running the Mixed Ekiden, saying, "There aren't that many chances for men and women to run on the same team, and I'm really looking forward to running in a new ekiden!"  But in the team's announcement it said, "Everything going forward is for one thing: winning the May 7 National Championships 10000 m and competing at Worlds!" The announ

Omare and Hayashida Win Deepest-Ever National Corporate Half Marathon, Goshima Breaks Women-Only NR

The 50th anniversary National Corporate Half Marathon and 10 km Championships went off with a bang Sunday in Yamaguchi with historic results in both the women's and men's races despite cold and rainy conditions. In the women's half marathon, debut marathon NR holder Yuka Ando (Wacoal) and Rino Goshima (Shiseido), course record breaker on November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden 10.0 km Fifth Stage and 2019 World University Games 10000 m silver medalist, went out relatively conservatively on track for just over 69 minutes at 5 km in 16:24. Kenyan Dolphine Nyaboke Omare (U.S.E.) caught up shortly after that and really got things moving, taking them through 10 km in 32:33 and 15 km in 48:29. That was too much for Goshima, who dropped 9 seconds behind by 15 km, and a bit later for Ando. Omare hammered on to go through 20 km in 1:04:19 en route to a 1:07:56 course record for the win, 15 seconds under the old record set by Yukiko Akaba in 2008. Goshima caught An

Kamino Suffers Fractured Rib

Former Hakone Ekiden uphill specialist and 2024 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Daichi Kamino , 28, revealed on his Youtube channel on Feb. 8 that he has suffered a stress fracture of his ribs. Kamino said that during training on Feb. 5 he felt sudden pain in his back. When the pain didn't go away after taking a day off, he went to the hospital on the 7th and was found to have sustained a fractured rib. "It's not a major fracture, so it should take too long to heal," Kamino said, indicating that he will take two weeks fully off and may not be able to run for up to a month. He said that doctors told him that his characteristic arm swing may have caused the fracture by repetitively compressing his chest cavity. "My first priority is to get healed," he said. "It's important to keep doing what training I can while injured, but to keep it to what I can do safely without overdoing it." Translator's note: Kamino was 2nd at the Dec. 19 Hofu Yomi

Runners and Locals Disappointed at Himeji Castle Marathon Cancelation Less Than 3 Weeks Before Race

On Feb. 7 the Himeji Castle Marathon announced that it has been canceled for the third year in a row. A total of 6200 people had been entered to run in the full marathon and accompanying fun runs on Feb. 27, but with no end in sight to the rise of new cases in the coronavirus' 6th wave organizers were forced to cancel. Runners who had already done almost all of their training and local residents who had been excited about the race's return could only shrug their disappointment off with a sigh. "Up until a few weeks ago I really thought I was going to get to run this time," said a 54-year-old local resident who had been entered. "The course is mostly flat and very easy to run, so this was a very popular race. I might do the virtual race instead, but I want to see if my friends are going to do it too first." Another entrant, a 42-year-old who owns a specialty shop making shoe insoles, has been training hard since December in the belief that the race would ha

31 Men Sub-2:10, 112 Sub-2:20 -- Tokyo Marathon Domestic Elite Field

A few days ago the Tokyo Marathon announced the domestic elite field for its 2021 edition being held Mar. 6, 2022, with the caveat that final decisions on whether it would go ahead and whether it would have an international field, originally slated to feature men's world record holder Eliud Kipchoge , would have to wait until Feb. 18. Yesterday the Osaka Marathon announced its field for this year's race on Feb. 27, and like Osaka, Tokyo's field gives away its history as a men-only race. The men's field is even more massive than Osaka's, and the women's field only slightly deeper. Overall Tokyo is solid, with the men's NR holder, the women-only NR holder, both half marathon NR holders, the last three Fukuoka International Marathon winners, seven men with recent times under 2:07, 31 under 2:10, 112 under 2:20, and two debuting sub-61 half marathoners. Only three women on the list including women-only NR holder Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) have gone sub-2:30 vs. th

22 Men Sub-2:10, 102 Sub-2:20 -- Osaka Marathon Elite Field (updated)

The list of entries has been updated with withdrawals announced Feb. 25. So it looks like the Osaka Marathon is going to happen. The Osaka International Women's Marathon and mass-participation Osaka Half Marathon just happened the weekend before last, and even as most of the spring's Japanese road races continue to cancel, with less than three weeks to go they've announced the elite fields for the mass-participation Osaka Marathon on Feb. 27.  On the men's side, Osaka is taking the place of the historic Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon on the calendar. There are a few Japan-based internationals, but with the borders still mostly closed it's another super-deep domestic field. Beppu-Oita just happened yesterday and Tokyo looks like it's also likely to happen, but even so the entry list has ten current 2:07 guys, eight at the 2:08 level, four at 2:09, eight at 2:10, and seven at 2:11. And one guy debuting with a 1:30:38 best for 30km, two debuting sub-61 half marat

Nishiyama Runs World-Leading 2:07:47 CR to Win Debut at Beppu-Oita Marathon

A few years back the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon reworked its course to try to minimize the headwinds for which it's famous. In its 70th running today that paid off more than ever before, with 25~30 kph winds from the northwest keeping things controlled in the first 10 km and then giving enough of a boost to the pace from there to 35 km to help put the top two under the course record of 2:08:01. Straight into the wind over the first 10 km the race went out reasonably, 2:08:16 pace through 5 km and 2:08:37 pace through 10 km. But after rounding the 10 km turnaround and picking up the tailwind things got faster, a sub-15 split over the next 5 km taking the projected finish time to mid-2:07 and going down as far as 2:07:12 before the last pacers stepped off at 30 km. At that point there were still over a dozen people left in the lead group, most of them debuting or doing a first serious marathon and only a few experienced athletes like #1-ranked Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) and H