Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2010

Discovering the Legend - Tsutomu Akiyama on Finding Wanjiru

It's been a long time coming but here at the end of the month we are proud to present at last a three-part interview with Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the men responsible for the discovery of Samuel Wanjiru, Mekubo Mogusu, Gideon Ngatuny and more. Akiyama speaks freely on controversial topics, naming names and telling it as he sees it. Our best interview yet, and one available only to JRNPremium subscribers.

Subscribers click here to log on.

Newcomers click here to subscribe and receive access to the entire 2010 series of JRNPremium exclusives.

Athens Classic Marathon - Top Results

2010 Athens Classic Marathon - Top Results
click here for complete results
Women
1. Rasa Drazdaukaite (Lithuania) - 2:31:06
2. Olga Glok (Russia) - 2:33:51
3. Svitlana Stanko (Ukraine) - 2:38:59
4. Eri Hayakawa (Amino Vital AC) - 2:40:25

Men
1. Raymond Bett (Kenya) - 2:12:40
2. Jonathan Kipkorir (Kenya) - 2:14:05
3. Edwin Kimutai (Kenya) - 2:15:21
-----
20. Hiroyuki Kamiguchi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:22:16

Tomoya Onishi Stage Record on Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden Day Three

by Brett Larner

With the top Japanese men's 10000 m and half marathon times of the year and a 9th-place finish at the World Half Marathon Championships under his belt within the last month, Miyazaki Prefecture's Tomoya Onishi, 23, delivered another big run with a 43:55 stage record for the 15.3 km Fourth Stage on Day Three of the 2010 Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, Oct. 31 on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu. Onishi's time broke the existing stage record by 1:12, 5 seconds per km, and was equivalent to a solid 46:11 10-miler. Stage runner-up Ryuji Watanabe of Fukuoka Prefecture also broke the old Fourth Stage record with a 44:16 clocking.

As with the first two days of the ten-day Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, the Miyazaki Prefecture team dominated the early stages of Day Three. A weak run from Third Stage runner Noritaka Yokoyama put Miyazaki 59 seconds behind rivals Fukuoka prefecture at the start of the Fourth Stage, and the team spent the next four stage edging bac…

Haile Gebrselassie to Run Tokyo Marathon

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/TKY201010300131.html
http://yamagata-np.jp/news_core/index_pr.php?kate=Sports&no=2010102901000569
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20101029-OHT1T00317.htm
http://mainichi.jp/select/today/news/20101030k0000m050034000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On October 29 the organizing committee of the Tokyo Marathon announced that world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (37, Ethiopia) has committed to running the 2011 Tokyo Marathon in late February. Gebrselassie set the current men's marathon world record of 2:03:59 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon. Tokyo will be his second marathon in Japan, having won the 2006 Fukuoka International Marathon.

335,000 people applied for the 35,000 spots in the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. Committee executive Tadaaki Hayano commented, "We hope everybody in the race feels the energy of the greatest running in the world."

The 2011 Tokyo Marathon will be one of the selection races for the Japanese men's marat…

Miyazaki Lengthens Lead - Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden Day Two

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden Day Two
click here for complete results from Day Two
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (9.4 km) -Kyohei Nishi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 28:26
Second Stage (12.2 km) -Takahiro Mori (Miyazaki Pref.) - 37:29
Third Stage (15.3 km) -Kenji Takeuchi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 45:36
Fourth Stage (14.2 km) - Tomoya Adachi (Miyazaki Pref.) - 42:53
Fifth Stage (11.3 km) - Kazuya Ishida (Fukuoka Pref.) - 34:32
Sixth Stage (11.5 km) - Yoichi Watanabe (Nagasaki Pref.) - 35:21

Top Team Performances - 73.9 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 3:46:13
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 3:46:52
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 3:49:59
4. Kagoshima Pref. - 3:54:53
5. Oita Pref. - 3:56:27

Current Team Standings After Two Days - 169.1 km
1. Miyazaki Pref. - 8:34:27
2. Fukuoka Pref. - 8:40:41
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 8:43:44
4. Oita Pref. - 8:58:54
5. Kagoshima Pref. - 8:59:25

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Miyazaki Takes First Day of 10-Day Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Thanks to an all-star lineup of top Kyushu-based jitsugyodan aces, Miyazaki prefecture took a commanding 5 1/2 minute lead on the first day of the 59th Kyushu One-Circuit Ekiden, an epic 10-day, 72-stage, 1056.6 km road relay deep in tradition. First-year Team Asahi Kasei member and Komazawa University graduate Takuya Fukatsu got Miyazaki off to a good start with a 16-second win on the First Stage. Miyazaki's only challenge came from 13:18/27:41 man Yu Mitsuya of Fukuoka prefecture, who clipped Miyazaki by one second to put Fukuoka into the lead on the Second Stage. 2009 World Championships 10000 m runner Yuki Iwai put Miyazaki back into the lead on the Third Stage and from there it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day until Miyazaki's Hiroyuki Horibata brought the team home in first.

Days Two and Three promise to be a challenging effort for the runners as Japan is expected to be in the grip of a typhoon throughout the weekend.

2010 Kyushu Isshu Ekiden Day O…

Mari Ozaki to Headline Final Kobe Women's Half Marathon

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/0003563550.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 27 the organizers of the final Kobe National Women's Half Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 21, announced the names of the athletes in this year's elite field. Headlining the race is 2005 and 2007 World Championships marathoner Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz). Also on board are Barcelona Olympian Yumi Matsunaga (nee Kokamo), Misato Horie (Team Noritz), Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC RC), Miki Oka (Team Kojima Press), Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) and Satoko Uetani (Kobe Gakuin Univ. AC). Making a special appearance as guest runner is 1997 World Championships marathon gold medalist Hiromi Ito (nee Suzuki).

TV Personality Hiroshi Neko Runs 2:49 at Niagara Falls Int'l Marathon

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/news/p-et-tp0-20101026-694422.html

translated by Brett Larner

TV personality Hiroshi Neko, 33, ran a PB of 2:49:28 at the Oct. 24 Niagara Falls International Marathon, finishing 10th overall and breaking his PB by more than 6 minutes. The marathon, which featured a field of just 960, began in Buffalo, NY, ran along the shores of Lake Erie, crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada and finished in front of Niagara Falls, one of the world's three great waterfalls. Neko commented afterwards, "I was feeling pretty jetlagged, but since it had rained the day before it was pretty comfortable to run. I was shooting for a 2:48 but forgot to figure the last 195 m into my pace calculation and missed it by 30 seconds. I'll work on my math and next time I'll definitely get it."

Neko began running in 2005 for his appearance in the Akasaka Mini Marathon segment of broadcaster TBS' annual "All-Star Kanshasai" program. After a stron…

Daihatsu Over Wacoal at First West Japan Corporate Women's Ekiden

by Brett Larner

Team Daihatsu outran Team Wacoal for the regional title at the first West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Oct. 24 in Munakata, Kyushu. A combination of three previous regional qualifiers for December's National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships, West Japan was run on the same course as the former Kyushu Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden. With the influx of teams from two other regions, stage records fell on four of the six stages in the 42.195 km race.

Team Wacoal dominated the early parts of the race, leading for the first four stages thanks to stage record performances by First Stage runner Tomoka Inadomi and Third Stage runner Kayoko Fukushi. At the start of the 10.9 km Fifth Stage, the ekiden's longest, Wacoal was up by 37 seconds over Team Sysmex and 1:02 over Team Daihatsu. Fresh from the World Half Marathon, Daihatsu's Ryoko Kizaki then turned in a big run, taking the stage best in 35:50, well over a minute faster than the next-fastest run…

Nishihara and Yoshimoto Lead Bukkyo to National University Women's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Led by stage record performances by its pair of aces, 2010 national university 5000 m Kasumi Nishihara and national 10000 m collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto, Bukkyo University won the 2010 National University Women's Ekiden on Oct. 24, covering the six-stage, 38.6 km distance in a new course record time of 2:02:44. Perpetual rivals Ritsumeikan University were second in a strong 2:04:20 after trailing Bukkyo from the start.

Bukkyo's Chinami Mori started things off with a 14-second lead over Ritsumeikan on the 5.8 km First Stage, and from there Bukkyo's next three runners progressively extended the lead to 1:18 thanks in large part to Nishihara's 28:56 stage record on the 9.1 km Third Stage. Ritsumeikan's Akane Yabushita managed to make a dent with a 12:38 stage record on the 4.0 km Fifth Stage, but anchor Yoshimoto delivered the win in style as she outran Ritsumeikan anchor Machiko Iwakawa by 50 seconds, running a new stage record of 25:14 for…

Sophomore Deki Ties 58:51 CR at Takashimadaira 20 km

by Brett Larner

University men's distance running has been full of surprises this year. The latest came on Oct. 24 at the Takashimadaira 20 km Road Race in Tokyo's northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira as unheralded Aoyama Gakuin University sophomore Takehiro Deki tied the 58:51 course record set four years ago by former Tokai University ace Hideaki Date as a junior. Deki, aged 20, had no previous results on record to suggest a run of this caliber, equivalent to a 13:26 using the McMillan Running Calculator. His personal bests prior to this performance were 14:01.50 for 5000 m, 29:49.57 for 10000 m, 1:01:58 for 20 km and 1:06:22 for half marathon.

Deki ran a completely solo race, winning by exactly 1 1/2 minutes over Masuo Nishiyama of two-time Hakone Ekiden champions Toyo University. While Deki was the only man to break the hour mark, overall results were the deepest in Takashimadaira history with 14 men under 61 minutes and 37 under 1:02:30. The only non-university runner to b…

Noguchi Returns - 5th in First Race in 2 1/2 Years (updated)

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2010/10/25/18.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 24 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32, Team Sysmex) made a comeback from injury troubles that have plagued her since her withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics, running her first race in 2 years and 5 months at the 6-stage, 42.195 km West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden in Fukuoka prefecture. Noguchi placed 5th on the 10.5 km Third Stage, running a credible time of 34:15.

Her team Sysmex placed 3rd overall to qualify for the Dec. 19 National Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships in Gifu prefecture. Team Daihatsu won the West Japan ekiden for the second-straight year, running 2:17:53.

Noguchi ran like a bouncing rubber ball, looking as strong and resilient as she used to be. "Before I ran I was half nervous and half looking forward to it," she told reporters. "But once I started running I forgot everything about the long blank spot in my…

Watch the National University Women's Ekiden Live Online

The 2010 National University Women's Ekiden Championships, a.k.a. the Morinomiyako Ekiden, takes place this Sunday, Oct. 24. The race will be broadcast live from 11:45 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. on Nihon TV. Overseas viewers can watch live online via Keyhole TV by clicking here.

In the ekiden, look for Bukkyo University to take down perpetual rivals Ritsumeikan University thanks to its pair of stars, national university 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara and 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto. Junior Risa Takenaka will try to lead Ritsumeikan to an upset win.

JRN On Location: 2010 Venice Marathon

JRN will be on location at the 2010 Venice Marathon. Apologies in advance for any interruptions to regularly scheduled service.

JRNPremium Issue Seven, a one-on-one with Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the partners responsible for discovering Samuel Wanjiru, is fully translated and in the editing process. Expect to see it up within the next 48 hours. Sorry for the delay, but we wanted to get it right.

Central Japan Corporate Women's Ekiden Results

2010 Central Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.8 km) -Maiko Kushima (Niigata Albirex RC) - 21:47
Second Stage (4.2 km) -Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 12:29
Third Stage (10.2 km) -Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) - 34:29
Fourth Stage (4.6 km) -Yuki Kiuchi (Niigata Albirex RC) - 15:29
Fifth Stage (11.0 km) -Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 36:03
Sixth Stage (5.395 km) -Shizuka Marumo (Team Denso) - 18:11

Top Team Performances - 42.195 km
1. Team Denso - 2:18:59
2. Niigata Albirex RC - 2:23:24
3. Team Yutaka Giken - 2:23:37
4. Team Kojima Press - 2:24:45
5. Team Aichi Denki - 2:26:05

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Amsterdam Marathon - Top Results

2010 Amsterdam Marathon - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
Men
1. Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:05:44 - PB
2. Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 2:06:12 - debut
3. Chala Dechase (Ethiopia) - 2:07:23
4. Cherkos Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:07:29
5. Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia) - 2:07:37
6. Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:07:56
7. Daniel Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:08:45
8. Jackson Kotut (Kenya) - 2:08:59
9. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:12:38
10. Thomas Chemitei (Kenya) - 2:13:14
-----
11. Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 2:13:23
13. Naoya Hashimoto (Japan) - 2:15:01
20. Yuko Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:17:24

Women
1. Alice Timblili (Kenya) - 2:25:03 - PB
2. Eyerusalem Kuma (Ethiopia) - 2:27:04
3. Robe Guta (Ethiopia) - 2:27:44
4. Woinshet Girma (Ethiopia) - 2:27:51
5. Shitaye Bedaso (Ethiopia) - 2:29:48
6. Miranda Boonstra (Netherlands) - 2:34:24
7. Julia Mumbi (Kenya) - 2:34:37
8. Ayelech Worku (Ethiopia) - 2:35:09
9. Inge de Jong (Netherlands) - 2:38:00
10. Christiana Das Changas (Brazil) - 2:39:41

Note:Both Hai…

Nine Under 28 in Shizuoka TT 10000 m

by Brett Larner

In his first official track 10000 m, Kenyan Edward Waweru (Team NTN) ran one of the fastest 10000 m times of the year, 27:13.94, to lead nine men under 28 minutes at the 4th Shizuoka Prefecture Time Trials, Oct. 16 in Fukuroi, Shizuoka. Seven of the nine were Kenyan, while for both of the Japanese runners, Toyota teammates Yoshinori Oda and Yusuke Takabayashi, it was their first time to break 28 minutes. Oda was the faster, running 27:53.55 for 5th to break his 6 1/2 year-old PB by 10 seconds. The first-year pro Takabayashi, no doubt motivated by his former Komazawa University teammate Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) having broken Takabayashi's half marathon PB earlier the same day at the World Half Marathon, was 8th in 27:56.46. 10th placer Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), who just turned 19 at the end of August, took over a minute off his PB with a strong 28:21.00.

2009 national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) made good progress in his comeback from rece…

Mizuki Noguchi on Entry List for Oct. 24 Regional Ekiden Championships

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/osaka/sports/article/news/20101015-OHO1T00115.htm

Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32) is on the entry list her corporate team Sysmex has submitted for the six-stage, 42.195 km West Japan Jitsugyodan Women's Ekiden Championships to be held Oct. 24 in Fukuoka. Noguchi withdrew from the Beijing Olympics shortly before the race after sustaining an injury to her left leg. Should she run the ekiden it will be her first race since winning the Sendai International Half Marathon two years and five months ago.*

Noguchi's condition has recovered to the point that she is able to handle 50 km a day of jogging, but she is not yet in shape to be able to do serious marathon training. Noguchi's trainer Hisakazu Hirose commented, "We can't say yet whether or not she will run the ekiden." Until the starting list is released on Oct. 23 the likelihood that Noguchi will remain only an alternate for the team is very high.

*…

1st-Yr. Maina Runs 58:23 to Lead Takushoku to Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Win

by Brett Larner
photos by Daniel Seite



Takushoku University frosh John Maina, one of two Kenyans joining the team this season, led Takushoku to a surprise team win at the 87th Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km qualifier Oct. 16 in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park. Despite hotter than usual temperatures and a course change which added challenging hills and several sharp corners in the final two km, Maina won overall in 58:23 to become only the third man to ever break 58:30 at the Yosenkai.
John Maina and Benjamin Gando at 6 km.

After a slow first km in 3:03, Maina effortlessly pressed the pace as Nihon University's Benjamin Gando struggled to maintain contact. Gando attacked just past 10 km but faded in the final quarter to a 58:43 runner-up spot. In Maina Takushoku may have found a deep talent. With him, fellow Kenyan recruit Duncan Mozay and new head coach Toru Okada, who previously coached Asia Univ. to the 2006 Hakone Ekiden win, Takushoku could be one of the surprises of January's Hako…

Ozaki, Onishi, Kizaki Crack World Half Top 10 as Women Take 5th-Straight Bronze

by Brett Larner

2009 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and 2010 National Corporate 10000 m champion Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) led the way for the Japanese women to secure their fifth-straight bronze medal at the Oct. 16 World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China. In a relatively slow race, Ozaki and Kizaki ran together with Chinese rival Xiolin Zhu in a second pack behind the exclusively Kenyan and Ethiopian lead group. While winner Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) ran 1:08:24 to win by a margin of 10 seconds over Ethiopian Dire Tune, Zhu, Ozaki and Kizaki finished over a span of only two seconds with Zhu taking 8th in 1:11:01. Ozaki's teammate Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei), a former pro XC skiier, rounded out the scoring for the Japanese women with a 13th-place finish in 1:11:35.

Fresh from running the top 10000 m time of the year by a Japanese man, 27:50.72, former Toyo University captain Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) del…

Watch the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Online

by Brett Larner

It's less than 24 hours until the world's greatest 20 km race: the 87th Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai. A chance for Tokyo-area schools that did not score one of the ten seeded spots at January's prestigious Hakone Ekiden to qualify for one of nine second-tier places, the Yosenkai features dozens of universities fielding their twelve best runners in one mass race. Winning times are usually in the 58-59 minute range and have more than once dipped into 57 minute territory. Last year's race was the most competitive 20 km in history, with 163 runners breaking 1:02:30 and won in 59:08 by Tokai University frosh Akinobu Murasawa whose split for the winding, uphill final 8 km was 23:26, one second faster than top American university runner Chris Derrick ran the same weekend for the 8 km NCAA Pre-Nationals XC Meet. Click here to read last year's report.

Part of what makes the Yosenkai what it is is the atmosphere, with marching bands and cheering squads of alumni from…

Ivy League in Shinjuku

The 2010 Ivy League Select Team celebrates their last night in Japan after this year's Izumo Ekiden, 10/13/10.

Discovering the Legend - JRNPremium Issue Seven on the Way

Issue seven of JRNPremium will be ready this week: a one-on-one interview with Tsutomu Akiyama, one half of the partnership responsible for bringing the world Samuel Wanjiru. Akiyama shares priceless firsthand accounts of picking Wanjiru up at the airport the first time he came to Japan, talks about Wanjiru's career from the inside, and gives his unique insight on the Kenyan distance running world. It may be our best issue yet, and it's available in full to subscribers only. Don't miss it.

Click here to subscribe.

Subscribers click here to log on.

Long Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Japan's fall track season is well underway, a transition period designed to sharpen the summer base as the focus shifts to the ekiden season. The Monday, Oct. 11 national holiday saw two major track meets alongside the Izumo Ekiden.

The Niigata Big Athletics Festa focused on 10000 m for the distance runners. Former Sendai Ikuei H.S. standout Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) led the way with a 27:50.64 to move into the 2010 worldwide top 30. In second came Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) in a PB of 28:07.99, just clearing the 2011 World Championships B-standard. The women's 10000 m added two more Japanese women to the 2010 worldwide top 30, with veteran Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) clearing the World Championships A-standard in 31:44.93 and Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) the B-standard in 31:53.22.

In other Niigata events, Miwa Yokoyama (Niigata Meikun H.S.) broke the prefectural high school girls' 5000 m record with a solo 15:58.81, winning by over a …

Waseda CR For First Izumo Ekiden Win Since '96 (updated)

by Brett Larner

Sophomore Shota Hiraga brings Waseda University in for a course record win at the 2010 Izumo Ekiden.

With starting temperatures an unseasonable 27 degrees, Waseda University head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe finally put it together Oct. 11 with the biggest success of his career, a sleek and scintillating course record win at the 22nd Izumo Ekiden. Despite a slight edge on paper over rivals Komazawa University and Nittai University, Watanabe's history of drilling talented squads into the ground and arriving at important races in tatters stood against Waseda's chances.

The fears of another blowup were groundless. All six Waseda runners, juniors Yo Yazawa and Yuki Yagi, sophomore Saku Chosei HS grads Hiroyuki Sasaki and Shota Hiraga and star frosh recruits and 2010 World Jr. Championships teammates Suguru Osako and Fuminori Shikata ran perfectly, the first time in recent memory that can be said of a Waseda team. Yazawa pushed Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) …

Kaori Yoshida Sub-2:30 PB at Chicago Marathon (updated with photos)

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter
Update: 5/16/11: Click here to read Chicago champion Samuel Wanjiru remembered by his Japanese colleagues and friends.
After years of near-misses, former Second Wind AC and Team Shiseido runner Kaori Yoshida (Amino Vital AC) finally broke through the 2:30 barrier, barely, with a 2:29:45 PB for 8th place at the 2010 Chicago Marathon. After a solid buildup which included wins at July's Gold Coast Marathon and last month's Hakodate Half Marathon, both in times just off her PBs, Yoshida hit Chicago hard with a 1:13:06 first half, just seconds off her winning time in Hakodate. Largely ignored on the Japanese television broadcast which concentrated on cursed Tenmaya runner Naoko Sakamoto's attempt to make a comeback, Yoshida faded in the final kilometers but rallied to just clear her target and mark the best Chicago finish by a Japanese woman since her former Shiseido and Second Wind teammate Kiyoko Shimahara's 3rd-place showing two y…

Nishihara Scores 5000 m PB at Marugame Nighter

by Brett Larner

2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 5000 m silver medalist and 2010 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) took another step toward the top with a 15:27.94 PB to finish 1st in the final women's 5000 m at the 2010 Nighter Time Trials in Marugame on Oct. 9. With runner-up Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) over 15 seconds behind, Nishihara's solo effort makes her the third-fastest Japanese woman of the year over 5000 m behind national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Nishihara's younger teammate Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.). Nishihara's progression since high school has been impressively consistent:

2006: 15:47.52
2007: 15:41.54
2008: 15:36.72
2009: 15:32.89
2010: 15:27.94

Yoshimoto was also scheduled to run but was a DNS, raising concerns about her condition after several weak performances earlier this fall season. With Bukkyo runners Mai Ishibashi and Rika Kawashima also under 16 minutes in heats 5 and 6, i…

10/10/10 10:10:10

Watch the Izumo Ekiden Online - Komazawa vs. Waseda

by Brett Larner

Monday's 22nd Izumo Ekiden kicks off Japan's fall season, with some of the top university teams from the Kanto region squaring off against the best from the rest of the country over shorter distances than in any of the other major road events. An all-star team of American Ivy League alum also makes an appearance each year to add a bit of international color. The race will be broadcast live online on Fuji TV on Oct. 11 from 1:00 to 3:25 p.m. Japan time, and thanks to the miracle of modern computer technology overseas viewers can watch live online through Keyhole TV. That's midnight Sunday night for Ivy Leaguers, 9 pm on the West Coast, or, unfortunately, 5 a.m. Monday morning in London. Click here for more details on watching online. JRN will be doing live English commentary via Twitter on JRNLive.

It looks like a foregone conclusion that the race is going to be a battle between two of the big powerhouse universities: Komazawa and Waseda. The Hakone Ekiden'…

Kashiwabara to Miss Izumo Ekiden

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010100600762

translated by Brett Larner

On Oct. 6 it was made public that Toyo University ace junior Ryuji Kashiwabara will sit out the Oct. 11 Izumo Ekiden in Izumo, Shimane prefecture. Toyo head coach Sakai told reporters that Kashiwabara's condition this season is not good and that he will take things easy. Toyo won the last two Hakone Ekidens on the strength of Kashiwabara's pair of stage record runs on Hakone's legendary uphill Fifth Stage.

Translator's note: Look for JRN's Izumo Ekiden preview and information on watching live online tomorrow night.

Unknown Risa Shibuya Tops National Sports Festival 3000 m (updated)

by Brett Larner

Unknown high schooler Risa Shibuya of Hanawa H.S. in the northern city of Akita turned in one of the biggest performances in the 2010 National Sports Festival on the final day of competition on Oct. 5 in Chiba. Running in the high school girls' 3000 m, Shibuya trounced 2010 Asian Junior 3000 m champion Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) by over 6 seconds to win in 9:08.07, the second-fastest time of the year by a Japanese woman behind only 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki). Shibuya's performance would have put her in 2nd place at last weekend's National Corporate Championships ahead of world-ranked Ethiopian ace Betelhem Moges (Team Denso).

With most of the top high school boys opting for the 5000 m the high school boys' 3000 m was relatively unremarkable, won in 8:25.76 by Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.).

Update: This article reports that Shibuya is a 3rd year who for the last two years placed in the top 8…

Taniguchi to Resign as Head Coach of Tokyo Denryoku

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20101005-OHT1T00005.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Team Tokyo Denryoku announced on Oct. 4 that its head coach, 1991 World Championships marathon gold medalist Hiromi Taniguchi, will resign his position with the team. In explaining the move, Taniguchi, who turned 50 in April this year, commented, "I'd like to use my experience to help larger numbers of people." Representatives of the team thanked Taniguchi for his time with them, saying, "Please use your wisdom and abilities to help strengthen the Japanese distance runnning world." Taniguchi will now become a supervisor with the Tosupu Running company, doing consulting work related to running events and training facilities. He hopes to make work with the country's ever-growing numbers of amateur runners a priority.

Taniguchi's most well-known achievement was the marathon gold medal at the 1991 Tokyo World Championships. Following his retirement from competiti…

15 Athletes Arrive for Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Training Camp

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/news/national/20101004-OYS1T00203.htm

translated by Brett Larner

15 corporate runners and their coaches arrived in Hofu this week for a week-long training camp designed to prepare them for the 41st Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, scheduled for Dec. 19. Hofu Athletics Association assistant director Kyoji Nomi described the training camp, saying, "We want this week to kick off their preparations for the marathon in excellent style. It is an opportunity for young athletes to learn from veterans and for all of them to spread their wings wide and fly."

On the first day of the camp all the runners in the group did a 30 km tempo run together. Other workouts scheduled for the week include a 40 km long run and 120 minute sustained run. 2008 Hofu Yomiuri winner Kentaro Ito (Team Kyowa Hakko Bio) commented, "This week will form a solid foundation for our training for the main event. I'll put my best into everything on the menu."

Mitsuya, Chepyego Win Fukuoka Road Championships

by Brett Larner

After a string of runner-up placings, Team Toyota Kyushu ace Yu Mitsuya took his second win Oct. 3 at the Omuta Road Race 10 Miler, site of the annual Fukuoka Prefectural Road Championships. Mitsuya easily handled the competition, runner-up Shuji Yoshikawa (Team Kyudenko) finishing 16 seconds back. Defending champion Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) was only 10th in 49:04.

In the women's 5 km, Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) outkicked Fukuoka University's Rina Hidaki for the win in a modest 16:23. Local boy Atsushi Yamasaki (Omuta H.S.) took the high school boys' 10 km in 32:59.

2010 Fukuoka Prefectural Road Championships
Omuta, Fukuoka, 10/3/2010
click here for complete results
Men's 10 Miler
1. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:23
2. Shuji Yoshikawa (Team Kyudenko) - 48:39
3. Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:42
4. Teruo Taneno (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 48:48
5. Hayato Ideue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:48
6. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - …

University Runners Win 35th Sapporo Half Marathon

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/hokkaido/news/20101004-OYT8T00012.htm

translated by Brett Larner

A record 12,689 runners took part in the 35th anniversary Sapporo Half Marathon on Oct. 3. Conditions at the 10:00 a.m. start were an ideal 15.4 degrees, helping many in the field to reach their pre-race goals. Komazawa University senior Shuichi Fujiyama won the men's race in 1:05:27, while national champion Bukkyo University's Sayuri Yamanaka won the women's category in 1:16:41.

Translator's note: This is a separate event from July's Sapporo International Half Marathon.

36 Stung by Killer Hornets at Iizuna Marathon

http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/20101004/a-1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

At around 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 3 at Nagano's Iizuna Kogen ski area, 36 people including staff and runners at the 24th Nagano Iizuna Kogen Kenko Marathon were stung by what appeared to be yellow killer hornets. 33 people including 18 children were taken by car to a local hospital for treatment. According to city officials and race organizers, none of the injuries was serious. Nevertheless, organizers stopped the race to protect the safety of those taking part.

Four Under 14 in High School 5000 m - National Sports Festival Day Three

2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Oct. 3, Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium
click here for complete results
High School Boys' 5000 m - final
1. Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzei H.S.) - 13:39.43
2. Genki Yagisawa (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 13:57.37
3. Takashi Ichida (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 13:57.76
4. Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 13:59.88
5. Norihisa Imai (Gijuku Ishikawa H.S.) - 14:06.98
6. Kazuto Nishiike (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:07.58
7. Kenta Murayama (Meisei H.S.) - 14:07.91
8. Naoki Shimada (Hamamatsu Nittai H.S.) - 14:12.48
9. Ryoma Takeuchi (Tokai Oyamagata H.S.) - 14:13.14
10. Kei Fumimoto (Rakunan H.S.) - 14:17.73

Women's 1500 m - final
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 4:12.38 - MR
2. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:18.22
3. Yukari Soh (Team Asahi Kasei) - 4:18.38

High School Girls' 1500 m - final (10/2)
1. Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:16.90 - MR
2. Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 4:17.93 - MR
3. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:23.39

Men's 1500 m - final

Jeilan Again - Solo 13:21.29 at Saitama Time Trials

by Brett Larner

Just a week after running one of the fastest 10000 m of the year, 2008 World XC Jr. Champion Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) ran a solid 13:21.29 to win the men's 5000 m A-heat at the Saitama Prefecture Time Trials on Oct. 2. It was a completely solo performance as second-placer Makoto Iwase (SDF Academy) was over a minute behind in 14:23.73. Despite neither being a PB, Jeilan's two solid efforts show he is adapting to life and training in Japan and will be a major factor in the upcoming jitsugyodan ekiden season.

In other results from the meet, Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) led three under 29 minutes in the men's 10000 m A-heat, while Josai University runners Hiromi Katakai and Miki Yamada went 1-2 in the women's 5000 m A-heat.

2010 Saitama Prefecture Time Trials
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) - 28:52.06
2. Keita Baba (Team Honda) - 28:55.16
3. Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) - 28:57.75

Men's 5000 …

National Sports Festival Day One - Results

2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium, Oct. 1
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m
1. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 15:30.34
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:31.12
3. Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:34.77
4. Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:35.95
5. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:37.72
6. Ayuko Suzuki (Meijo Univ.) - 15:37.83
7. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 15:44.62
8. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 15:45.97
9. Saori Yamashita (Team Hokuren) - 15:52.37
10. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 15:56.93

Junior Men's 5000 m - Heat 1
1. Kazuto Nishiike (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:06.46
2. Kenta Murayama (Meisei H.S.) - 14:07.03
3. Shogo Nakamura (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 14:07.34

Junior Men's 5000 m - Heat 2
1. Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzei H.S.) - 13:58.49
2. Takashi Ichida (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 14:08.23
3. Genki Yagisawa (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 14:21.14

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon to Accept Women

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201010/CN2010100101000843.html

translated by Brett Larner

Organizers of the 60th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 6, 2011, announced on Oct. 1 that they will accept female applicants for the anniversary race. Organizers have no plans to add an invited women's field but will admit any women who meet the race's qualifying time of 2 hours 50 minutes. They hope to increase the number of applicants beyond last year's biggest-ever field size of 600.

Women have occasionally run Beppu-Oita in the past with special permission. Kiyoko Obata's 2:48:52 in the 1979 Beppu-Oita was a landmark in the history of Japanese women's marathoning, the first official time recorded by a Japanese woman in a domestic race.

Full details on application criteria for the 2011 race will be available on Oct. 6.

Beijing Sports University Withdraws From Izumo Ekiden After Territorial Clash

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/101001/spg1010010507000-n1.htm
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201009/CN2010093001000614.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010093000955

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Sept. 30 the Japanese National University Athletics Federation [Gakuren] received an email from Beijing Sports University saying that its team will not take part in the 22nd Izumo Ekiden, to be held Oct. 11 in Shimane prefecture. This year was to be the first time since 1991 that a Chinese university team had taken part in the prestigious ekiden.

The email did not give a specific reason for the withdrawal of the team of eight runners and two coaches, but the move is believed to be in response to the current territorial conflict between Japan and China sparked by Japan's recent seizure of a Chinese fishing boat and arrest of its captain near the Senkaku archipelago in Okinawa prefecture. According to a Gakuren official the email message stated simply, "Due to sudden pers…