Skip to main content

Daito Bunka University Women Break Nikko Irohazaka Ekiden Course Record

by Brett Larner

Last year's runner up Daito Bunka University came back strong to take down defending champion Tokyo Nogyo University in course record time at Sunday's Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden in Nikko, Tochigi.  The most famous ekiden stage in Japan is the Fifth Stage at the university men's Hakone Ekiden, a 23.2 km run up a mountain with roughly 875 km of climb followed by descent and flat in the last few km.  Nikko Irohazaka, the newest addition to the university women's calendar, takes almost identical dimensions and divides it into six stages, the toughest with 400 m of climb in 3.5 km.

Making its Nikko Irohazaka debut, Nittai University took an early lead with a First Stage win by Nanako Yasaku, who put Nittai 8 seconds ahead of Daito Bunka.  Tokyo Nogyo took over on the Second Stage with a new course record run by Moeno Shimizu, Daito Bunka 13 seconds back on total time at the start of the Third Stage.  DBU's Soyoka Segawa broke the course record on the Third Stage, but Tokyo Nogyo's Monaka Kobori was only 1 second slower and the lead remained almost unchanged.

The big change came on the Fourth Stage, where Daito Bunka's Shiho Yahagi was almost two minutes faster than Tokyo Nogyo's Miya Yokoyama, a permanent goodbye as DBU's lead only grew the rest of the way to its 1:29:49 course record win.  Tokyo Nogyo fell almost four minutes behind total for 4th, overtaken by last year's 4th-placer Kansai Gaikokugo University and first-timer Nittai.

Nikko Irohazaka was the second stop on the season's tour for top university women's ekiden teams.  Next up is the season-ending Mount Fuji University Women's Ekiden, now moved to an exciting new date on Dec. 30 that puts it into a block with the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships and the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden season-ender for university men.  Four days of live TV ekiden broadcasts in the course of five.  You couldn't ask for a better way to spend New Year's.

2nd Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden
Niiko, Tochigi, 11/29/15
18 teams, 6 stages, 23.4 km, 875 m climb
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Daito Bunka University - 1:29:49 - CR
2. Kansai Gaikokugo University - 1:32:20
3. Nittai University - 1:33:16
4. Tokyo Nogyo University A - 1:33:27
5. Chuo University - 1:35:15
6. Osaka Geidai University - 1:35:21
7. Tokyo Nogyo University B - 1:35:25
8. Hakuoh University - 1:36:05
9. Nihon Joshi Taiiku University - 1:38:23
10. Shoin University - 1:38:46

Stage Best Performances
1st Stage (4.7 km, ~100 m ascent): Nanako Yasaku (Nittai Univ.) - 16:57
2nd Stage (5.2 km, ~200 m ascent): Moeno Shimizu (Tokyo Nogyo Univ. A) - 18:12 - CR
3rd Stage (3.5 km, ~100 m ascent): Soyoka Segawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 14:51 - CR
4th Stage (3.0 km, ~100 m ascent): Shiho Yahagi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 13:07
5th Stage (3.5 km, ~400 m ascent): Yukine Oguchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 14:17
6th Stage (3.5 km, ~25 m descent): Yumi Motohiro (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 11:56

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

CK said…
Was there any TV coverage (or documentary) about this race ?
Brett Larner said…
Yes, it will be shown on BS-NTV at 16:00 this Sunday after Fukuoka.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…