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Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.

This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winner Ronald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 

Right up the alley of the top Japanese man in the field, newly-crowned half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda). Over three successive weekends in September Shitara ran a 28:56 road 10k PB, a 1:00:17 national record for the half marathon, and a 2:09:03 marathon PB. Afterwards he said he wanted to run one more marathon before the end of the year, and like clockwork his announced schedule now includes a 10000 m in Hachioji, the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler next weekend, and a window the following two weekends in which he could run either Honolulu or Hofu if he were serious about another marathon. But first things first, Shitara will need to be back to peak shape to chop 13 seconds off his 27:42.71 best to take the 10000 m national record in Hachioji. From there, it may well be a shot at the ancient 45:40 national record for 10 miles set back in 1984 long before Shitara was born.

Along with most of the best Japan-based Africans and a few ambitious Japanese record-seekers, Hachioji has started to attract others from abroad looking for off-season qualifying marks. Last year Americans Chris Derrick and Andrew Bumbalough made the trip over, Derrick delivering one of the best track 10000 m of his career. This year it's Australia's Harry Summers, a familiar face at the now-defunct International Chiba Ekiden, the Gifu Seiryu Half and other Japanese road races. Summer's 28:13.23 best is long past him and his recent best of 28:42.97 only ranks him in the bottom eighth of the A-heat field, but with plenty of company ahead at whatever pace he chooses to tackle, like Derrick he may deliver his best track performance in many a year.

Hachioji Long Distance Entries

Hosei University, Hachioji, Tokyo, 11/26/17
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men’s 10000 m A-Heat 
Nicholas Kosimbei (Kenya/Toyota) – 27:02.59 (Eugene 2016)
Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Hitachi Butsuryu) – 27:11.23 (Yokohama 2016)
John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) – 27:21.97 (Yokohama 2016)
Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) – 27:25.23 (Bydgoszcz 2016)
Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) – 27:30.75 (Tajimi 2016)
James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) – 27:33.04 (Kobe 2016)
Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) – 27:33.94 (Hachioji 2016)
Bernard Kimani (Kenya/Yakult) – 27:36.60 (Hachioji 2014)
Teressa Nyakora (Ethiopia/Mazda) – 27:38.93 (Hachioji 2015)
Patrick Mwaka Muendo (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) – 27:41.28 (Hachioji 2016)
Yuta Shitara (Japan/Honda) – 27:42.71 (Nobeoka 2015)
Abiyot Abinet (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) – 27:45.04 (Abashiri 2016)
Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) – 27:45.27 (Hachioji 2016)
Minato Oishi (Japan/Toyota) – 27:48.56 (Hachioji 2016)
David Njuguna (Kenya/Yakult) – 27:49.57 (Hachioji 2016)
Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) – 27:54.98 (Abashiri 2015)
Mitsunori Asaoka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) – 27:59.72 (Abashiri 2016)
Cyrus Kingori (Kenya/SGH Group) – 28:01.76 (Kobe 2016)
Tsubasa Hayakawa (Japan/Toyota) – 28:06.10 (Hachioji 2015)
Bekele Shiferaw (Ethiopia/Macda) – 28:10.54 (Hachioji 2016)
Muthoni Muiru (Kenya/Soka Univ.) – 28:19.24 (Kobe 2017)
Josphat Ledama Kisaisa (Kenya/Obirin Univ.) – 28:21.61 (Yokohama 2017)
Bernard Muia (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) – 28:21.71 (Tajimi 2017)
Titus Mogusu (Kenya/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) – 28:28.40 (Yokohama 2016)
Stanley Siteki (Kenya/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) – 28:31.12 (Yokohama 2014)
Elijah Kositany (Kenya/Honda) – 28:32.40 (Konosu 2017)
Kazuya Shiojiri (Japan/Juntendo Univ.) – 28:32.85 (Hiyoshi 2015)
Hideto Yamanaka (Japan/Honda) – 28:37.72 (Konosu 2017)
Harry Summers (Australia) – 28:42.97 (Melbourne 2015)
Andrew Lorot (Kenya/Subaru) – 28:55.14 (Nairobi 2016)
Richard Kimunyan (Kenya/Hitachi Butsuryu) – 28:57.27 (Nairobi 2016)
Yeneblo Biyazen (Ethiopia/Yachio Kogyo) – debut – 13:23.51 for 5000 m (Yokohama 2017)

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved


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