Skip to main content

Last-Place Finisher Named Winner After Entire Rest of Field Disqualified

http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news_society/articles/000094362.html
http://www.j-cast.com/2017/02/15290700.html?in=news.yahoo.co.jp

translated and edited by Brett Larner

262 out of 263 participants in a road race were disqualified after they were misdirected, with only one person running the correct course.  The mishap occurred at a race in Kasaoka, Okayama on Feb. 5.  According to city officials, in the children's 3 km division the field of 263 elementary school students from 3rd grade through 6th grade was misdirected.  262 of them ran the wrong way, with the first child to finish covering what was estimated to be less than 2 km in 6:51. Followed by a staff member on a bicycle, only the last-place child ran the correct course to complete the full 3 km distance.  All the other children were disqualified, and city officials decided to honor the lone finisher as the winner.

The race, the 20th Bayfarm Kasaoka Road Race, featured 30 different divisions including a half marathon, 10 km and separate 3 km races for junior high school and elementary school students.  Both the junior high and elementary school races followed the same course, the junior high school students starting first and the elementary school students five minutes later. In the past the elementary school students have chased after the junior high students and there has never been a problem with them getting lost on the course, but with only 40 people in the junior high division this year the lead group of elementary school runners lost sight of them.  Although there were guidance signs on the course they were described as "hard to understand," and volunteer staff along the route were mainly focused on safety and security and didn't notice the elementary school runners had gone the wrong way.

As a result, although all the junior high school division runners ran the correct 3 km course, 262 of the 263 elementary school runners were estimated to have run only 1.8 km.  Staff members surprised at their early arrival at the finish line confirmed that they had gone off-course.  The race could not be run again, so in addition to the official winner the first six finishers were still recognized at the award ceremony.  "They tried," commented race officials.

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Like its anonymous primary school protagonist, this is now JRN's all-time #1 most-read story.

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…

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…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…