Skip to main content

Ekiden Weekend Roundup

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201301280004.html
http://www.komaspo.com/4210
http://mainichi.jp/area/saitama/news/20130128ddlk11050143000c.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20130127-1077441.html
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130127-OHT1T00214.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Three late-season ekidens took place this weekend.  Amid light snow in Yamaguchi, 48 teams took part in the 76th running of the Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden on a 7-stage, 84.4 km course from Ube City Hall to Shunan City Hall.  In the elite division, after an exciting Sixth Stage that saw 2012 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) cover the 15.9 km stage in 46:11 to move his team up into 1st, Team Chugoku Denryoku retook the lead on the anchor stage and claimed its eleventh Chugoku Yamaguchi title and first in two years in a time of 4:06:44.  Saikyo High School's A team won the high school division in 4:18:58 after leading all the way from the Second Stage, also claiming its eleventh win and first in two years.  Defending local division winner Hiroshima T&F Association picked up a second-straight division win in 4:23:18.  The Chugoku Denryoku team received a banner of victory at the award ceremony, with each of the division winners receiving a trophy from sponsor Chugoku Newspaper Co.

At the 59th Atsugi Ekiden, 2013 Hakone Ekiden 3rd-place Komazawa University took its fourth-straight win, just of its own record from last year as it covered the six-stage, 42.195 km course in 2:05:28.  Up to Fourth Stage there was some turnover in the lead, but when Shota Baba took over from Kenya Sonota Komazawa got into its rhythm.  Fifth Stage man Koki Takahashi started well but faded over the second half of his stage to lose ground, leaving it up to anchor Koji Someya to hold on to the overall win.  Despite running conservatively Someya clocked the fastest time on the anchor stage, joining Baba and First Stage runner Yoshihiro Nishizawa in picking up stage wins.

At the 59th Okumusashi Ekiden, Tokai University beat defending champion Chuo University, winning the open division in 1:56:20 for the six-stage, 38.792 km course. Tokyo Nogyo Prep #3 H.S. won the high school division in 1:58:46, putting an end to Saitama Sakae H.S.'s hopes of an eleventh-straight Okumusashi win.  205 teams altogether ran Okumusashi, where the biggest news came via Saitama Prefectural Government team Fourth Stage runner Yuki Kawauchi who clipped 1 second off the existing record to set a new mark of 13:00 for the 4.679 km stage.  It was Kawauchi's fourth race, third win and second-straight ekiden run of 2013.  "Including high schoolers, I passed about twenty people today," said Kawauchi.  He will next race the Feb. 3 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, one of the domestic selection races for August's Moscow World Championships.  "Everything's going smoothly so far," he said.  "I just have to be careful about fatigue and losing my edge."  At the first domestic selection race, December's Fukuoka International Marathon, Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) ran 2:08:24. That time is Kawauchi's target in Beppu-Oita.  "If I run faster than Horibata did then I might not do Lake Biwa in March," he revealed, hoping to get the job done in one take.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Nakamoto and Kawauchi to Run Boston

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) will run the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Kawauchi holds world records for everything from most career sub-2:12 marathons to most sub-2:20, while Nakamoto is Japan's best championships marathoner of modern times with four top 10 finishes at the Olympics and World Championships.

Longtime rivals, their duel at the 2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was one of the classics of Japanese marathoning, both running sub-2:09 PBs as Kawauchi set a still-standing course record of 2:08:15. The pair has a 3-3 record in the marathon so far, their most recent meeting coming at last summer's London World Championships where Kawauchi ran Nakamoto down in the last kilometer to take 9th. Boston will be their 7th and likely final face-off.

Our 2018 #BostonMarathon International Elite Field includes 46 of the world’s best marathoners from 13 countries. Watch to see the …