Skip to main content

National High School Ekiden Championships Preview - Watch Online

by Brett Larner

The 2009 National High School Ekiden Championships take place this Sunday, Dec. 20. The day begins with the girls' race, five stages totalling 21.0975 km, and continues with the seven-stage, 42.195 km boys' race.

On the girls' side, last year's winner Toyokawa H.S. returns with an almost identical squad now a year stronger, the main exception being the replacement of anchor Kenyan Wysela Wylim, who disappeared from the school under unknown circumstances earlier this year, with another strong Kenyan, Wainaina Murgi.

In taking its first-ever national title last year Toyokawa won by four seconds over Kojokan H.S., with Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. also within just twelve seconds. Both schools return strong this year, but perhaps the biggest threat is last year's 4th-placer Suma Gakuen H.S. which comes to the race this year ranked #1 on average 3000 m time.

In the boys' race it is a time of change. Defending champion Saku Chosei H.S. returns only one key member of last year's squad, anchor Sugeru Osaku, having lost the rest of its team including the phenomenal Akinobu Murasawa to graduation. It must be viewed as being in a rebuilding period and is unlikely to be a factor. Likewise for Samuel Wanjiru's alma mater Sendai Ikuei H.S., which last year lost head coach Takao Watanabe and this year saw the graduation of aces Paul Kuira and Wataru Ueno.

Into the gap steps Sera H.S., despite a 4th-place finish last year the odds-on favorite thanks to the fastest average 5000 m time in the field and the presence of Kenyan ace Bitan Karoki, who holds a 5000 m PB of 13:32.79. Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. has also been strong throughout the season, while last year's 3rd-place team Saitama Sakae H.S. could also threaten Sera again this year.

Both races will be broadcast live nationwide and commerical-free on NHK, the girls' race starting at 10:05 a.m. and the boys' race at 12:15 p.m. International viewers may be able to watch live online using the Keyhole TV software, but NHK's availability on Keyhole has been spotty in the past. In either case, JRN will offer live English-language commentary on its Twitter feed JRNLive. Complete entry lists are available here.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

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 winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…