Skip to main content

Honjo Higashi H.S. and Nihon Yakka University Win Saitama Ekiden

translated and edited by Brett Larner

111 men's and women's teams took part in the 84th edition of the Saitama Ekiden on Feb. 5, running from Saitama Shintoshin to Kumagaya Sports Park Field.  Fresh from representing Saitama for the first time at December's National High School Ekiden, the Honjo Higashi H.S. girls scored their first-ever Saitama Ekiden win, covering the five-stage, 20.5 km women's course in 1:12:14.  Honjo Higashi's third, fourth and fifth runners Mayuko Saito, Nanami Ishihara and Tomomi Miyasaki each won their stages to move up their team up place by place into 1st after a slow start.

In the six-stage, 42.195 km men's race, Nihon Yakka University took the top position for the first time in 2:08:13 thanks in part to a 36:07 course record on the 12.1 km Third Stage by Kenyan Simon Kariuki.  The Musashino Ogoshi H.S. boys were the top-finishing high school position for the first time in five years, taking 5th overall in 2:11:07.  Running for the Saitama Prefecture Government team, London World Championships men's marathon team hopeful Yuki Kawauchi was 3rd on the Third Stage behind Kariuki and Titus Mumo (Musashino Gakuin Univ. A) in 36:59.

84th Saitama Ekiden
Saitama Shintoshin, Saitama, 2/5/17
men: 85 teams, six stages, 42.195 km
women: 26 teams, five stages, 20.5 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Performances
1. Nihon Yakka Univ. - 2:08:13
2. Musashino Gakuin Univ. A - 2:10:23
3. Josai Univ. - 2:10:28
4. SDF Academy - 2:10:57
5. Musashi Ogose H.S. - 2:11:07

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.595 km) - Yuta Tameike (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 19:37
Second Stage (3.1 km) - Kentaro Miyahira (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 9:08
Third Stage (12.1 km) - Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 36:07 - CR
Fourth Stage (3.9 km) - Kaito Komayama (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 11:52
Fifth Stage (10.5 km) - Ryo Ishita (SDF Academy) - 32:56
Sixth Stage (6.0 km) - Hiromitsu Sakuraba (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 17:56

Top Team Performances
1. Honjo Higashi H.S. - 1:12:14
2. Shohei H.S. - 1:12:50
3. Sakado Nishi H.S. - 1:14:11

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (4.0 km) - Minami Takano (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 13:54
Second Stage (3.7 km) - Rika Kaneda (Shohei H.S.) - 12:47
Third Stage (1.4 km) - Mayuko Saito (Honjo Higashi H.S.) - 4:54
Fourth Stage (5.4 km) - Nanami Ishihara (Honjo Higashi H.S.) - 19:14
Fifth Stage (6.0 km) - Tomomi Miyasaka (Honjo Higashi H.S.) - 21:19


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…

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 …

1500 m Olympian Assefa Wins Nagoya, 22-Year-Old Sekine 2:23:07 Debut

Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) ran down favorite Valary Jemeli (Kenya) with 4 km to go to win the 2018 Nagoya Women's Marathon, with the home town crowd wowed by the debut of the latest next big thing, 22-year-old Hanami Sekine (Japan Post).

Supported by three pacers, a lead pack of seven including Assefa, Jemeli, Sekine, Ethiopian Bahraini Merima Mohamed, Saitama International Marathon winner Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) and top-ranked Japanese women Reia Iwade (Dome) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) went through halfway in a decent 1:11:32. This proved too hot for a few of the past next big things to have run well in Nagoya the last few years, as Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu), 2:22:48 in Nagoya three years ago, and Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 2:23:47 last year, were off the back of the pack in the first 10 km.

By 25 km Cheyech, Ohara and Iwade joined them off the back, leaving only Sekine in contention with the African trio of Jemeli, Assefa and Mohammed. Sekine, a…