Skip to main content

Weekend Track Highlights

by Brett Larner

Although many events in Kyushu were cancelled as a series of major earthquakes and aftershocks hit the Kumamoto and Oita areas, track season went ahead as usual in the rest of Japan despite high winds and rain that kept times relatively slow.  Some highlights at home and abroad:
  • Former Sera H.S. ace Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) delivered the fastest 5000 m of the weekend, running 13:40.34 to win the Chugoku Corporate Time Trials meet's fastest heat.  High schooler Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) was the only other runner under 14 minutes, running 13:48.20 for 2nd.
  • The lone entrant in the women's 5000 m at the Chugoku meet, Sera's Yuka Mukai ran a solo 15:58.62.
  • Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to break 14 over the weekend, winning Friday's Oregon Relays 5000 m in 13:45.39.
  • Masaru Aoki (Team Kanebo) narrowly missed joining him, running 14:00.47 to win the Challenge Meet in Kumagaya 5000 m A-heat.
  • 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.), Japan's top current high schooler, won the 3000 m in Kumagaya in 8:06.29 over Kenyans Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) and Willy Kipselem (Team Hitachi Butsuryu).
  • Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) delivered Kumagaya's fastest women's 3000 m, running 9:19:12.
  • In nearby Gunma, Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) ran 9:23.50 to win the Gunma Prefecture Championships Women's 3000 m.
  • Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in Kumagaya's 1500 m A-heat, running 3:59.70 for 6th.
© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …