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Showing posts from November, 2022

Dec. 18 National Junior High School Ekiden to be Broadcast Live on TV for First Time

The organizers of the Dec. 18 30th anniversary National Junior High School Ekiden Championships have announced that the race will be broadcast live by BS NTV for the first time in the event's history. First held in Kumamoto in 1993, the National JHS Ekiden has been staged in Shiga, Yamaguchi and Chiba. But despite changes in its venue it has always hosted some of Japan's best future talent in the earliest years of their careers, including Olympians Yuriko Kobayashi and Ran Urabe , 4-time World Championships team member Kazuhiro Maeda , former half marathon and marathon NR holder Yuta Shitara and his twin brother Keita Shitara . NHK and commercial broadcasters have recorded the race for later showing, and last year it was broadcast live on Youtube. But thanks to the efforts of the Shiga T&F Association and sponsor companies this will be its first live TV broadcast. source article: translated by Brett Larner

Toyo University Men Run Koedo Kawagoe Half Marathon in Thin Shoes in Prep for Hakone Ekiden

9th at the season-opening Izumo Ekiden and 8th earlier this month at the National University Ekiden Championships , Toyo University ran Sunday's Koedo Kawagoe Half Marathon as a workout in prep for the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, where they hope to place among the top teams. 4th-year Yusuke Kodama took 1st in 1:03:52. Former H.S. 5000 m NR holder Kosuke Ishida was 2nd in 1:04:00 in his debut, with Takaya Kumazaki making it a Toyo sweep of the top 3 in 1:04:03. Toyo runners took 9 of the top 10 places. All of them ran in thin shoes instead of Nike's thick carbon plate racing shoes. Despite that, the course's countless undulations, and windy conditions, all of the top placers finished within their target time range. Head coach Toshiyuki Sakai explained, "As part of the process for adapting to using thick shoes, today we didn't use them. In comparison to the thick shoes, this this impacted their level of fatigue." Winner Kodama understood what Sakai was after

Margaret Akidor Breaks 3000 m JPN All Comers Record at Nittai

Two weeks after running 14:44.83 at Kanagawa's Nittai University Time Trials , 22-year-old Margaret Akidor (Comodi Iida) continued her rise up the ranks to global relevance with another stellar run at Nittai on Sunday. Running in the fastest 3000 m heat with support from 19-year-old Agnes Mwikali (Kyocera), Akidor took nearly 20 seconds off her best with an 8:32.53 for the win. That was the fastest ever run in Japan by 3 seconds and enough to put her #8 in the world this year. Mwikali was solid too at 8:37.17, almost 10 seconds under her previous best and the next-best ever run in Japan apart from two dodgy early '90s marks by Soviet athletes. 3rd-placer Mizuki Michishita (Rikkyo Univ.) was in another league at 9:13.68. Kazuna Kanetomo (Kyocera) won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:56.42, the only woman under 15 minutes. In the men's 5000 m Kenyan Richard Etir won the A-heat in 13:16.20, a time beaten this weekend only by Benard Koech (Kyudenko) at Fukuoka's

Shiseido Wins First National Corporate Women's Ekiden Title Since 2006

2nd last year, the Shiseido team won today's Queens Ekiden , its first victory at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden  since 2006. First the entire way except for a brief drop to 3rd after a mediocre run from new recruit and women-only marathon NR holder Mao Ichiyama on the race's longest stage, Shiseido was more than 2 minutes ahead of last year's winner Sekisui Kagaku in a course record 2:12:28 for the complete 6-stage, 42.195 km course. Sekisui Kagaku was never better than 2nd, where it finished in 2:14:29. 2021 champ Japan Post was the only team to get into the lead ahead of Shiseido thanks to a brilliant run from Olympian Ririka Hironaka on the 10.9 km Third Stage, ultimately finishing 3rd in 2:15:15. 5th last year, Daihatsu was the only other team from last year's 8-deep podium to make it there again, 5th once more in 2:15:49. Edion , Toyota Jidoshokki , and Daiichi Seimei all moved up from double-digit placings last year onto the podium, with Panaso

Kiplagat 27:07.59 MR to Win Deepest-Ever 10000 m in Hachioji

2019 African U18 3000 m champ Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) led a 3-way sprint finish to break the meet record at the Hachioji Long Distance meet at Kanagawa's Gion Stadium Saturday, going under the 2023 Budapest World Championships standard for the first time in 27:07.59. 2nd-placer Benson Kiplangat (Subaru) also cleared the 27:10.00 Worlds standard in 27:09.83, 3rd-placer Samwel Masai (Kao) just missing in 27:10.06. With the WaveLight pacing system making its Japanese debut the Hachioji A-heat produced the deepest-ever 10000 m. The first 24 finishers cleared 28 minutes, breaking the previous world record of 21 set at last year's Hachioji meet. 12th-placer Takuya Hanyu (Toyota Boshoku) ran 27:27.49 to come in at all-time Japanese #4 and knock former NR holder Toshinari Takaoka out of the all-time top 10. Led by Takashi Nanba (Toenec) in 27:48.27, another 10 men were sub-28 in the B-heat including 2:06:35 marathoner Kyohei Hosoya (Kurosaki Harima), 9th in a PB 27:

'Ad Giant Dentsu Raided Over Alleged Tokyo Olympic Bid Rigging' The Asahi Newspaper is reporting in its JPN-language edition that one of the specific people under investigation whose home was raided was a former JAAF executive who was named as an executive member of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.

Hachioji Long Distance, Akidor Back at Nittai, and National Corporate Women's Ekiden - Weekend Preview and Streaming

This weekend's main event is Saturday's Hachioji Long Distance meet at western Tokyo's Gion Stadium. The main program features seven heats of men's 10000 m, finely graded as top corporate and collegiate runners tune up for January's New Year Ekiden and Hakone Ekiden. The whole meet will be streamed live above starting at 14:00 local time, with the fastest heat kicking off at 18:20. 29 top Japan-based Kenyans are on the list including Gideon Rono (GMO) and Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), both sub-27:15 this season. 10 Japanese men are also in the fast heat in hopes of getting as close to the 27:10.00 World Championships qualifying standard as they can, notably featuring national champion Komazawa University power duo Ren Tazawa and Mebuki Suzuki and Hakone Ekiden First Stage CR holder Yamato Yoshii (Chuo Univ.) Tazawa's all-time JPN #2 27:23.44 is still a long way from the standard, but with #4 Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko), 27:28.92, and #8 Tomoki Ot

Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage Legends Kamino and Kashiwabara Say Thin Shoes Better for Uphill Running

Pro runner Daichi Kamino (Cell Source) has an opinion on today's generation of thick-soled shoes that is getting attention. On Nov. 19 Kamino ran a 13.5 km uphill race on the Hakone turnpike as part of his training, finishing 7th in 54:18. Now 29, Kamino is famous for winning the Hakone Ekiden's legendary uphill Fifth Stage in 2015, earning him the nickname "God of the Mountain III." He has run professionally since 2018. After the Nov. 19 race Kamino tweeted, "I knew I was going to be running up a steep hill, and for that kind of uphill running thin shoes are better than thick ones." In recent years the long distance running world has been caught up in a whirlwind by the new style of thick shoes containing a carbon plate. Since the technology's introduction the Japanese men's marathon national record has been broken four times, and all ten individual stage records at the Hakone Ekiden have been broken at least once. Everyone knows the thick shoes p

Hakone Ekiden's Kanto Region Select Team Members Allowed to Choose Own Stage

On Nov. 20 Yuji Kawasaki , head coach at Chuo Gakuin University and acting coach of the Kanto Region Student Alliance team for the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, announced that team members would be allowed to choose which stage they will run, with first pick given to the highest-placing finisher at October's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai qualifier half marathon and going down the team's roster in finishing order. "They made this team by running the Yosenkai, so they'll get to pick their stage in the order in which they finished there," he said. "Whatever stage the top finisher wants to run, that's what he'll run." Top placer Hayate Nitta , a 4th-year at Ikuei University and 33rd at the Yosenkai in 1:03:28, chose the First Stage. Ryutsu Keizai University 2nd-year Ryu Hasegawa , 34th in 1:03:32, opted for either the Second or Third Stage. Akio Hashimoto , a 3rd-year at Shibaura Kogyo University and 36th in 1:03:37, picked the famous uphill Fifth Stage. &q

Tango, Kobe, and A Night at the Olympic Stadium - Weekend Racing in Review

The return of the legendary Ageo City Half Marathon was the biggest news this weekend, but high-level races were happening on the road and track across the country. On the roads, this season's top non-Kanto Region program Kwansei Gakuin University toppled four-time winner Ritsumeikan University to take the top spot at the 84th Tango University Ekiden Saturday in Kyoto. The season ender for Kansai Region schools, Tango saw 22 teams racing 84.5 km in 8 stages. Ritsumeikan led early with a stage win by first runner Yuta Nagasawa before being overtaken by Kansai University on the second leg. Kwansei Gakuin hovered in the top 3 until the 12.3 km Fifth Stage, where 4th-year Sota Ueda wrapped his college career by breaking his own stage record with a new mark of 35:18 to put KGU into the lead. That's where they stayed for the rest of the race, winning in 4:16:01. The battle for 2nd was intense over the 11.7 km anchor stage. Kyoto Sangyo University overtook Kansai for 2nd, but

Mulwa Breaks Ageo City Half Marathon Record, Tsubura and Akahoshi NYC-Bound, Wong Cracks Hong Kong NR

The world's deepest half marathon returned after a 3-year absence Sunday in Ageo, Saitama. In its 35th anniversary year the Ageo City Half Marathon debuted a tweaked new World Athletics-certified course that moved its starting point onto the road outside the stadium traditionally used for its start and finish.  Boniface Mulwa (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) took off from the massive main pack after a leisurely 14:48 opening 5 km, pursued at first by national record holder Yusuke Ogura and Kensuke Tsubura of this season's Izumo and National University Ekiden course record breaker Komazawa University . But Mulwa's sub-14 split from there to 10 km was too much for them, and he ran the rest of the way complete alone out front. Ageo's first sub-61 clocking looked to be in the works, but after a short stretch of undulations leading to 15 km Mulwa slowed just enough to miss that and let the chase group start to come back into sight of him. With a kick on the last lap of the track

Ageo and Kobe Return, and More - Weekend Preview

The world's deepest half marathon returns Sunday in Ageo, Saitama for the first time since 2019 as Hakone Ekiden-bound universities line up at the Ageo City Half Marathon . Coaches of the teams set to run Hakone use Ageo to narrow down their rosters of contenders for their 16-member Hakone entry list, and the result of that is hundreds of people turning in times that would win most other races. Since 2012 the top two Japanese collegiate finishers have also earned invitations to the United Airlines NYC Half. People like former national record holder Yuta Shitara and the top placer in the marathon at this summer's Oregon World Championships Yusuke Nishiyama have gone from Ageo to NYC and on to bigger things, and with big names like 2019 winner Joseph Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.), 1:00:40 half marathoner Chikara Yamano (Komazawa Univ.) and former 5000 m H.S. NR holder Kosuke Ishida (Toyo Univ.) on the entry list this time the front end of the race should be fast and com

Weekend Road Race Roundup

There was too much going on this weekend to cover everything, but out of the major road race results the final regional qualifiers for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships led the way. In the Kansai region , new transfer Hazuma Hattori got things rolling for the NTT Nishi Nihon team with the top spot on the 12.6 km opening leg, and the rest of the team never looked back. NTT won in 3:56:46 for the full 80.45 km distance, 4th man Ayumu Kobayashi getting special recognition for the only new stage record of the day, 26:21 for the 9.5 km 4th leg. SGH , Otsuka Seiyaku , Sumitomo Denko and Osaka Gas picked up the remaining qualifying spots, with the Osaka Police Department missing out by 1:08 in 6th. The Chubu and Hokuriku regions ran their qualifying races together, with the top 7 Chubu teams and winning Hokuriku team scoring New Year places. Like NTT, Toyota led start to finish to lead the qualifiers, first runner Tatsuya Maruyama getting things m

Akidor 14:44.83, Yoshioka 13:22.99 High School 5000 m NR at Nittai University Time Trials

This weekend's 300th edition of the Nittai University Time Trials series in Yokohama turned out some of the fastest times in its history as athletes across the country build toward peaking for championship ekiden season. On Saturday Margaret Akidor (Comodi Iida) and Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) ran two of the fastest women's 5000 m marks ever on Japanese soil, Akidor taking 11 seconds off her PB to win in 14:44.83 and Kamau 6 seconds off hers for 2nd in 14:48.26. 3rd-place Yui Komatsu (Matsuyama Univ.) was almost lapped, running 15:47.79. Steeplechase champ Reimi Yoshimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) dropped out mid-race. The men's 10000 m was fast too. Richard Etir (CJAC) outkicked Obirin University 1st-year Nelson Mandela Mbithi and Josphat Ledama Kisaisa (Kao) for the win in 27:27.51, Mbithi 2nd in 27:29.92, one of the fastest-ever Japanese collegiate times, and Kisaisa 3rd in 27:30.45. 4th-placer Boniface Murua (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) got under 28 min

Mid-Ekiden Season Weekend Preview

It wouldn't be ekiden season without another busy weekend on the roads and track. On the track, Yokohama's Nittai University celebrates the 300th edition of its famous time trials series by banning spectators again as corona numbers climb back upward across Japan. Saturday features 5 heats of men's 10000 m and 4 heats of women's 3000 m and 5000 m, with marathoners Reia Iwade (Denso) and Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Yamaguchi) matching up against Kenyans Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Sumitomo Denko), Jecinta Nyokabi (Hakuoh Joshi H.S.), Margaret Akidor (Comodi Iida) and Elizabeth Njeri (Josai Kokusai Univ.). Sunday features 27 heats of men's 5000 m, with the A-heat including sub-27 10000 m man Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), steeplechase great Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), and 27:28.92 runner Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) on the next phase of his trip back from a long injury. Sunday's Setagaya 246 Half Marathon in suburban Tokyo is the main non-ekiden roa

12th-Grader Sonata Nagashima 28:31 CR for 10 km at Hyogo High School Ekiden

Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. won its second-straight Hyogo Prefecture High School Ekiden Sunday in Tamba Sasayama, Hyogo to qualify for December's National High School Ekiden Championships . 3rd-year Sonata Nagashima , 3:44.87 for 1500 m in July, 2021 and 13:37.46 for 5000 m in May this year, led things off with a new 28:31 course record for the 10.0 km First Leg. The rest of the Nishiwaki Kogyo team road Nagashima's momentum to a 2:03:31 overall CR for the full 7-stage, 42.195 km course, its 28th time scoring Hyogo representation for Nationals. Runner-up Suma Gakuen H.S. was a kilometer back in 2:06:33, with 3rd-placer Hotoku Gakuen H.S. the only other team under 2:10 in 2:08:40. Nishiwaki Kogyo placed 7th at last year's National High School Ekiden Championships. Its last national title came in 2002, but its overall win record of eight titles still ranks it 2nd-best behind Hiroshima's Sera H.S. 's eleven wins. © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Marathon Weekend Roundup

Japan's mass participation world took another step back toward pre-pandemic normality with at least 30,000 finishers in four big marathons over the long weekend. On Thursday's national holiday, course record holder Tomomi Sawahata added another Gunma Marathon win to her resume in 2:47:13, 10 minutes slower than her CR but enough to better 2nd-placer Mai Arizuka by 1:12. Yuji Shibukawa led the 9,747 finishers with a 2:22:12 win in the men's race. In her first marathon since winning August's Hokkaido Marathon and qualifying for Japan's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials next year, Haruka Yamaguchi broke her own course record at the Chiba Aqualine Marathon with a 2:39:26 for the win, her 3rd-straight win in Chiba Aqualine's four runnings to date. Takashi Mino won the men's race in 2:25:07, with a total of 14,994 people starting the race. Yamaguchi will run next weekend's East Japan Women's Ekiden. The Toyama Marathon had 12,068 finishers, two-tim

New York City Marathon Japanese Results

Three Japanese athletes ran as part of Sunday's TCS New York City Marathon elite field. In the women's race, Mao Uesugi (Starts), 2nd in January's Osaka International Women's Marathon in 2:22:29, struggled with the quick turnaround from running the Princess Ekiden two weeks ago , finishing 17th in 2:32:56. Despite being over 10 minutes off her best, Uesugi's time was still the 5th-best ever by a Japanese woman in New York. Uesugi will run in the National Corporate Women's Ekiden in 3 weeks. 5000 m national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) managed the 3rd-fastest Japanese men's time in New York history, running 2:11:32 for 5th. Close behind, in his first U.S. marathon since his winning 2:43:22 debut at the 2017 Maui Marathon Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) ran 2:12:12 for 6th, equalling Uesugi as the 5th-fastest Japanese man ever in New York. The debuting Sharon Lokedi (Kenya) won the women's race in 2:23:23. This year's Boston Marathon winner

Komazawa University Breaks Own CR by Over 4 Minutes to Win 3rd-Straight National University Ekiden Title

Two-time national champion Komazawa University rode the momentum of its course record win at last month's Izumo Ekiden to score a third-straight National University Men's Ekiden win Sunday in Nagoya and Mie, its 15th national title in 29 starts under head coach Hiroaki Oyagi . Komazawa's leading runner Kensuke Tsubura was 4th on the opening leg, star 1st-year Keita Sato broke the 2nd leg course record to move into 2nd, 60:40 half marathoner Chikara Yamano took the lead on the 3rd leg, and from there it was only a question of whether Komazawa could keep it together and how much they would win by. Komazawa runners won three of the remaining five stages after Yamano and took top 2 on another, with 4th-year Ren Tazawa running an incredible 49:38 course record on the 17.6 km 7th leg, 43 seconds under the old record. Anchor Kyosuke Hanao had a lead of over a kilometer for the 19.7 km 8th leg and could have jogged it in, but he soloed a 57:30 stage win to bring Komazawa h

Fukuoka International Marathon and Hofu Marathon Elite Fields

Things are in kind of a strange situation this December when it comes to Japanese marathons. When the Fukuoka International Marathon announced it was shutting down after last year's 75th race the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon two weeks later was quick to move to Fukuoka's traditional first-Sunday-of-December date for 2022. When the announcement came of Fukuoka's return it was like a game of musical chairs, with both races trying to cram into the same day. As a result you've got a pretty serious split when it comes to domestic entries. Fukuoka has its traditional small international field to justify its name, veteran Abel Kirui (Kenya) facing off against a trio of 2:06 men, past winners Yemane Tsegaye (Ethiopia) and Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki), Marugame Half winner Brett Robinson (Australia), the debuting sub-60 half marathoner Vincent Raimoi (Kenya/Suzuki) and more. The domestic field has three men at 2:08 and six at 2:09, Daiji Kawai (Toenec) leading the way with a

National University Men's Ekiden Preview

Sunday is part two in the Big Three University Men's Ekiden series, the 8-stage, 106.8 km National University Men's Ekiden from Nagoya to Mie. TV Asahi has a 6-hour live broadcast, with English coverage on @JRNLive starting at 7:45 a.m. local time Sunday. Two-time national champ Komazawa University is riding high in its prep for a third-straight title, winning last month's season-opening Izumo Ekiden with a new course record to set itself up for a shot at a rare Big Three triple crown. Each of the three races has a different focus, Izumo's 7.51 km average stage length prioritizing 5000 m and 10000 m credentials, Nationals' 13.35 km average length shifting the balance toward the 10000 m to half marathon range, and Hakone's 21.7 km average pushing half marathon ability up front. Komazawa has it covered. The 8 fastest people on its Nationals roster have average PBs of 13:35.90 for 5000 m and 28:19.32 for 10000 m. None of the 26 other teams in the race are any