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Showing posts from January, 2018

Kawauchi Outruns 103 Teams to Win Yashio Isshu Ekiden

2017 London World Championships marathon 9th-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) gave local club and high school runners something to remember when he ran Sunday's Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden solo against 103 six-runner teams. Kawauchi spent most of the 20.0 km race in 2nd, briefly taking the lead at the end of the 3.9 km Second Stage before falling behind after a Third Stage course record run by Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.).

Down 13 seconds, Kawauchi came back to split a time 14 seconds faster for the 2.7 km Fifth Stage than its fastest ekiden runner, Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A). Now ahead of Matsudo and out front alone, Kawauchi saved his biggest running for last, dropping a 2:40 final km to split 14 seconds under the 12:34 course record for the 4.0 km anchor stage. Desperate to catch him, Matsudo anchor Shunsuke Matsui went 6 seconds under the old record to become its official new holder but couldn't match Kawauchi's closing speed.

Kawauchi's…

Shitara Runs Down Defending Champ Nagano to Give Saitama 2018 National Men's Ekiden Title

Half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara lived up to his pre-race words, running down everyone who stood between him and the finish line to bring Saitama Prefecture its second-ever national title at the 2018 National Men's Ekiden.

Defending champ Nagano, whose win last year gave it a record seven wins in the National Men's Ekiden's 21-year history, was the favorite for the win, its roster packed with members of 2017 National High School Ekiden winner Saku Chosei H.S. and 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University. Shitara was unfazed, saying pre-race that he'd run down anyone within 50 seconds of him on the 13.0 km anchor stage.

Nagano started strong, taking 2nd on the opening leg behind a nearly record-setting run from Ryuto Igawa (Kumamoto). Hoping for its first-ever top-three finish Ibaraki was unexpectedly strong, 5th on the leadoff leg, overtaking Nagano on the Second Stage and then advancing to 1st on the Third Stage thanks to a strong run from 2018 Hako…

The Alfee to End 31-Year Run of Osaka International Women's Marathon Theme Songs

At a Jan. 19 press conference in Osaka, Kansai Television CEO Sumio Fukui announced that rock band The Alfee, who for over 30 years have written and recorded a theme song for each edition of the Osaka International Women's Marathon, will sing for the final time at this year's 37th running on Jan. 28.



The Alfee began their string of marathon anthems with Osaka's 6th edition in 1987, producing memorable hits like "You Get to Run," "One Step," and the classic "Shining Run." Fukui expressed his gratitude to the band, commenting, "We cannot thank all the members of The Alfee enough for the 31 songs they have written for us."



At the same, Fukui looked to the future, saying, "In the marathon as well, as the Tokyo Olympics approach the selection process has changed and we have entered the days of a new generation. I hope to change our broadcast step by step as well and explore new ways to bring its excitement to the public. This step m…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men

Rio Olympian Ito Heads Elite Field of 21 at Kumanichi 30 km

On Jan. 16 the organizers of the Feb. 18 Kumamoto-jo Marathon announced the elite field of 21 women and men for the 62nd running of the accompanying Kanaguri Kinen Kumanichi 30 km Road Race. Rio de Janeiro Olympics women's marathoner Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku), 2012 Kumanichi men's champion Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) 2018 Hakone Ekiden MVP Keisuke Hayashi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) top the entry lists.

Seven corporate league men are on the entry list, which features Ugachi's teammate Gen Hachisuka (Konica Minolta), 28:15 10000 m runner Masato Terauchi (Aichi Seiko) and 2012 runner-up Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu). Along with eight university men will also be in the race including two of the runners responsible for Toyo Univesity's 2018 Hakone Ekiden Day One win, Shuji Yamamoto and Akira Aizawa, and local Kyushu Gakuin H.S. graduate Shota Nakagawa (Nittai Univ.).

The women's field consists of six athletes including Ito. 2016 runner-up Mami Onuki (Sysmex), twins Yoko

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Iwade and Ishii Withdraw From Osaka International Women's Marathon

On Jan. 16 the organizers of the Osaka International Women's Marathon announced that invited elites Reia Iwade (Dome) and Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) have withdrawn from the Jan. 28 race with injuries. Iwade has developed discomfort in the rear of her right thigh, while Ishii has sustained a stress fracture in the left side of her pelvis.

source article:https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2018011600538&g=spo
translated by Brett Larner

2018 Japanese Distance Rankings

JRN's 2018 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2017 ・ 2016 ・2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Karemi Breaks Okukuma Half Marathon Course Record

As championship ekiden season wraps up Japan’s athletes have started the transition to the winter road season, with four decently competitive half marathons highlighting the first half of January.

At the hilly Okukuma Half Marathon, locally-based Africans Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) and Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) duked it out one-on-one, Karemi through in a series of surges in the last 5 km before breaking away decisively with 1 km to go. Crossing the finish line in 1:01:48, Karemi took nearly two minutes off the course record with Abera just under 62 for 2nd.

2nd on the Hakone Ekiden’s Seventh Stage less than two weeks ago, Masanori Sumida (Nittai Univ.) outran corporate league competition Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) and Shohei Kurata (GMO) to take the top Japanese spot at 4th in 1:03:11. Spending most of the race behind a pack led by 2015 National Univeristy Half Marathon champion Tadashi Isshiki (GMO) and 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu), Yuki Kawauchi (Sai…

Hyogo Scores First National Women's Ekiden Title in Fourteen Years

HyogoPrefecture dominated the second half of Sunday’s National Women’s Ekiden, moving up through the field with three straight stage wins to take its first national title in 14 years.

In a repeat of her performance at last month’s National High School Ekiden, Hyogo’s Nozomi Tanaka went out front early before getting run down late in the opening stage, leading Hyogo off in 5th. Over the first half of the race the perpetually strong Osaka and Nagano emerged as the frontrunners before a brilliant Fourth Stage course record by Ririka Hironaka brought Nagasaki into the picture.

Nagasaki’s fifth runner Chikako Mori extended the lead Hironaka built to 37 seconds with a stage win, but behind her Hyogo’s Mai Ota brought a big run to pass Osaka and Nagano and move into 2nd. A stage win from sixth runner Yume Goto put Hyogo just 2 seconds behind Nagasaki, and with another pair of stage wins from its next two runners Chinatsu Tarumoto and Asuka Ishimatsu Nagasaki was over a minute up going into t…

Nakamoto and Kawauchi to Run Boston

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) will run the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Kawauchi holds world records for everything from most career sub-2:12 marathons to most sub-2:20, while Nakamoto is Japan's best championships marathoner of modern times with four top 10 finishes at the Olympics and World Championships.

Longtime rivals, their duel at the 2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was one of the classics of Japanese marathoning, both running sub-2:09 PBs as Kawauchi set a still-standing course record of 2:08:15. The pair has a 3-3 record in the marathon so far, their most recent meeting coming at last summer's London World Championships where Kawauchi ran Nakamoto down in the last kilometer to take 9th. Boston will be their 7th and likely final face-off.

Our 2018 #BostonMarathon International Elite Field includes 46 of the world’s best marathoners from 13 countries. Watch to see the …

'Top Canoeist Suspended for Framing Rival for Doping'

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004170392

A splash of reality in the face of state media reporting romantic nonsense like this: https://japanrunningnews.blogspot.jp/2016/02/japanese-state-media-research-shows.html

Other athletes including marathoner Suguru Osako (NOP) have tweeted their concerns about the implications of this scandal and the need for greater security for athletes' in-competition nutrition.

National University Half Marathon Champ Suzuki Leaves for JAAF Marathon Training Camp in New Zealand

After finishing 4th on the competitive Second Stage on Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden, Kanagawa University star 4th-year Kengo Suzuki departed Japan to take part in the JAAF's New Zealand marathon training camp for the second year in a row. "I want to conquer my fears about the distance and get as close as I can come to the feeling of being in the race," he said.

After winning November's National University Men's Ekiden for the first time in 20 years, Kanagawa ended up only 13th overall at Hakone. Following his graduation in March Suzuki, the 2017 National University Half Marathon champion, will join the Fujitsu corporate team. In order the reap the greatest return on investment from his marathon debut, in Tokyo next month Suzuki will focus on overall place rather than time. "I want to show that disappointment can be a spark for growth," he said.

source article:
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20180108-OHT1T50010.html
translated and edited by Brett L…

Marathoner Takenouchi Hoping for Tokyo 2020 Team

After finishing among the top three Japanese men at last month's Fukuoka International Marathon to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials race, NTT Nishi Nihon corporate men's team member Yoshiki Takenouchi, 25, appeared at an event at Kyotanabe city hall in Kyoto where the NTT team is based. "I want to do everything I can to make that Olympic dream come even just one step closer," he said with determination.

Takenouchi is originally from Osaka. After graduating from Kandai Daiichi H.S. he attended Nihon University before joining NTT Nishi Nihon in 2015. In Fukuoka he ran a dramatic 2:10:01 PB to finish 7th overall as the 3rd Japanese man, earning a place at the Marathon Grand Championship race to be held in or after September, 2019.

Takenouchi lives in a company dormitory in the Kyotanabe and often runs along Yamate Kansen Strett during morning practice. "There's a lot of greenery and the air is clear, so it feels good to run there, "he said with a smile…

A Day After 2nd-Place Hakone Ekiden Finish, Toyo University Back to Training in Pre-Dawn Light

With a mix of confidence and regret in their hearts a day after their third-straight runner-up finish and tenth-straight top 3 placing at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, the members of the Toyo University men's ekiden team assembled early in the morning on Jan. 4 for their first training session of the new year. The session began with a 6:30 a.m. team meeting at its dormitory in Kawagoe, Saitama. Head coach Toshiyuki Sakai, 41, was passionate as he told the team members, "The way we finished 2nd this year was different from last year. This time we won Day One and led for the first 15 km of the Sixth Stage on Day Two. This was the first step in our counterattack."



The 2014 Hakone champion, Toyo's margin of loss behind four-time winner Aoyama Gakuin University has shrunk from 11:55 in 2015 to 7:11 in 2016 to 7:21 in 2017 and finally to 4:53 this year. Its Day One winning lineup of First Stage winner Kazuya Nishiyama (1st yr.), Second Stage 3rd-placer Akira Aizawa (2nd yr.…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Asahi Kasei Defends New Year Ekiden National Title

With the addition of Kenyan Abraham Kipyatich making them almost unbeatable, 2017 national champions Asahi Kasei defended their title in the first major race of 2018, the New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships.

遠藤日向区間賞!!!!
34分55!!!#ニューイヤー駅伝#遠藤日向pic.twitter.com/JkN3m15bly — わたる (@wYCzgTTlEB00gsB) January 1, 2018
1:00:54 half marathoner Keijiro Mogi led Asahi Kasei off, doing much of the work up front on the first of the day's seven stages but losing out to 19-year-old rookie Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) and a handful of others in the last sprint to the first exchange. Kapyatich was quick to make up the 10-second deficit he inherited, going straight to the front on the Second Stage and opening a 6-second lead. Farther back, Bedan Karoki (DeNA) passed 18 people, most of them fellow Kenyans, to win the  8.3 km stage in 22:25 just four weeks after running the Fukuoka International Marathon.

The winner on the New Year Ekiden's longest stage last year, Asahi Kasei…