Skip to main content

Zewdie Leads 11 Under 28:00, World Half Medalist Chepyego Runs 5000 m Best - Weekend Track Results (updated)



by Brett Larner
video and photos by Ekiden News

Second only to May's Prefontaine Classic, one of the world's few remaining ultra-deep 10000 m races went down Saturday in the misty mountains of Tokyo's western suburb of Hachioji at the Hachioji Long Distance Time Trials meet.  Japan-based Million Zewdie (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) ran a PB 27:36.35, the fastest time by an Ethiopian man in 2014, to lead 11 men sub-28 in one of the big tuneups for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships.  Right with him was Kenyan Bernard Kimani (Team Yakult) with a 27:36.60 PB for 2nd, while a few strides back Zewdie's teammate Kassa Mekashaw (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) added to the PB haul in 3rd in 27:38.93.

The biggest news from the Japanese point of view came in 4th, where Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei), already the fastest Japanese collegiate ever with a 27:44.30 in the U.K. in 2011, ran 27:38.99 for 4th, all-time #5 in the Japanese record books and the fastest time ever run by a Japanese man inside Japan.  Sitting in the second pack paced by his former Sera H.S. teammate Bedan Karoki, Yoroizaka ran dead on pace for the 2015 Beijing World Championships qualifying time of 27:45 before closing with a 62-second final 400 m to become Japan's first man to pick up the Beijing standard.  Post-race he tweeted, "4 seconds to the Japanese national record, 1:20 to the world record...Still lots of work to do!!"

Behind him, three-time National University Men's Ekiden champion Komazawa University anchor Shinobu Kubota (Team Toyota) broke 28 for the first time, 8th in 27:54.25, while former Toyo University wonder twins Keita Shitara (Team Konica Minolta) and Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) replicated their 2013 senior year feat of both running 27 in the same race, Keita 10th in 27:56.60 and Yuta 11th in 27:58.91.  2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University's then-captain Shota Hattori (Team Honda) led Heat 2 in 28:29.30.  5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) won Heat 4 in 28:48.84.  In Heat 6, 38-year-old Daniel Njenga (Team Yakult), a 2:06:16 marathoner way back in 2002, showed that he is still going strong with a 29:01.01 for 3rd.

The four additions bring Japan's sub-28 total for the year to 6 men.  With minor additions still possible at the Dec. 11 Zatopek: 10 in Australia and, more distantly, the Dec. 6 Nittai University Time Trials meet, 46 men worldwide have broken 28 minutes in 2014 so far:
Kenya: 20
Ethiopia: 6
Japan: 6
Uganda: 3
Eritrea: 2
U.S.A.: 2
other (1/country): 7
Of these 46 men 21 are based in Japan, 11 from Kenya, 4 from Ethiopia and all 6 Japanese.  5 of the other 6 heats in Hachioji also saw winning times under 29 minutes.  The 10000 m may be fading away in Europe and elsewhere in the money marathon era, but Japan is definitely the land where it lives on.


Hachioji was not the only big track meet of the weekend.  On the western island of Kyushu, 2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon bronze medalist Sally Kaptich Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) soloed a 15:08.31 PB at the Time Trial in Nagasaki meet, 2 seconds better than her previous best with 2nd-place Sakiho Tsutsui (Team Yamada Denki) running 15:48.35.  Northwest of Tokyo, Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) scored a rare win over his twin brother Takashi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) at the Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials meet in Saitama, running a PB 28:51.43 for the win with Takashi, 2nd at the Ageo City Half Marathon in 1:02:03 two weeks ago, just over a second behind.  In Kyoto, Kotona Ota of 2014 National University Women's Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan University won the 10000 m in 33:24.73.  Aya Kuwabara (Bukkyo University) outran a large contingent from the Noritz corporate women's team to win the 5000 m in 16:10.99.  Sunday also saw its share of track action, with Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) running a PB 32:27.36 at home at the Chukyo University Time Trials meet to break into the all-time Japanese collegiate top ten.  Her teammate Yurika Kubo finished over a kilometer behind Shoji, 2nd in 35:54.69.

Hachioji Long Distance Time Trials
Hachioji, Tokyo, 11/29/14
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Million Zewdie (Ethiopia/Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 27:36.35 - PB
2. Bernard Kimani (Kenya/Team Yakult) - 27:36.60 - PB
3. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - 27:38.93 - PB
4. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 27:38.99 - PB
5. James Mwangi (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:40.95
6. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 27:48.08
7. Patrick Muendo Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 27:53.03
8. Shinobu Kubota (Team Toyota) - 27:54.25 - PB
9. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:55.27
10. Keita Shitara (Team Konica Minolta) - 27:56.60
11. Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) - 27:58.91
12. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 28:00.05
13. Ayele Abanyeh (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) - 28:04.16
14. Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:04.25 - PB
15. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Team Toyota) - 28:15.36 - PB

Time Trial in Nagasaki
Nagasaki, 11/29/14
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Sally Kaptich Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 15:08.31 - PB
2. Sakiho Tsutsui (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:48.35
3. Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) - 15:48.85
4. Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:49.10
5. Sayaka Kurogi (Team Kyudenko) - 15:50.03 - PB

Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials
Heisei Kokusai University, Saitama, 11/29/14
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 3
1. Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 28:51.43 - PB
2. Takashi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 28:52.78
3. Kazuki Uemura (Toyo Univ.) - 29:25.89
4. Noriyasu Ikeda (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:26.92 - PB
5. Kazuma Kitamura (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:28.24 - PB

Kyoto Sangyo University Long Distance Meet
Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, 11/29/14
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Kotona Ota (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:24.73
2. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 33:27.26
3. Kanae Imai (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:31:13
4. Natsumi Saito (Meijo Univ.) - 33:34.07
5. Yukako Ueno (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 33:35.75

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Aya Kuwabara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 16:10.99
2. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 16:14.14
3. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 16:15.72
4. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Team Noritz) - 16:15.86
5. Junko Katsuki (Bukkyo Univ.) - 16:15.96

Chukyo University Saturday Time Trials
Chukyo University, Nagoya, 11/30/14
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) - 32:27.36 - PB
2. Yurika Kubo (Chukyo Univ.) - 35:54.69
3. Yuno Tomimatsu (Chukyo Univ.) - 36:11.34

text (c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos (c) 2014 Ekiden News, all rights reserved

Comments

Mike Peters said…
That was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had with track and field. To be in a track way out in the suburbs, in the magical mist surrounded by mountains and foliage, standing as close as Lane 3 on the curve watching some of the top runners in the world, free of admission duke it out on the tartan track was incredible. That A heat gave me the chills. Watching the two Ethiopian runners run a really patient and smart race moving up gradually and going 1-3 was awesome. Watching Bedan Karoki run an "easy" 10,000 for himself to help out all the guys...wow. 15th place was 28:15?!? We got the best running competition right here in our backyard in Japan!

Most-Read This Week

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…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…