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Saitama International Marathon Elite Field

With just over three weeks to go the Saitama International Marathon has released the elite field for its third running scheduled for Nov. 12, and it's a small one. A problematic event that carries the diminished legacy of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon and Yokohama International Women's Marathon, Saitama occupies a place in the national team selection process that should go to the far superior Tokyo Marathon women's race but remains out in the northwestern suburbs thanks to the sponsor and TV broadcast income it generates for the JAAF. But with a field like this, how much longer will it be able to generate any sponsor interest or income?

The move of the National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships from mid-December to late November, just two weeks after Saitama, means that not a single corporate league woman is entered in Saitama's elite field. Not one. The home crowd is represented by 22-year-old Reia Iwade (Dome), who quit the Noritz corporate t…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Weekend Track Roundup

As ekiden season gets into full swing, track time trials continue to be a staple of Japanese and Japan-based athletes from junior high school to the corporate leagues. This weekend's main results from across the country:

15'35”31で世界ジュニアぶりの自己ベスト更新出来ました!
素直に、本当に嬉しい😂
2週間後の全日本駅伝まで更に調子を上げて頑張ります👊✨応援ありがとうございました☺︎ pic.twitter.com/SO9M1MPdeS — 加世田 梨花 (@rikaks3) October 15, 2017
Just six days after running 8:54.27 to win the National Sports Festival junior women's 3000 m, Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) won again, this time running a PB 15:32.34 to take the 5000 m A-heat at the Shizuoka Time Trials meet. Having led the national champion Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuen H.S. girls to the win at last weekend's Kurayoshi Women's Ekiden, Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu won the 3000 m A-heat in 9:10.53.At Saturday's Chubu Jitsugyodan Autumn Championships, Rodgers Chumo Kemoi (Aisan Kogyo) ran 27:48.30 to win the men's 10000 m, leading James Rungaru (Chuo Hatsujo) and Edward Wawer…

Weekend Overseas Japanese Marathon Breakdown

'Nakai Wins Third Straight Maui Marathon Women’s Title; Yoroizaka is Men’s Winner'

Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) is all-time Japanese #2 for 5000 m and 10000 m. A fun run effort, Maui was his debut marathon. Click here for complete results.

Yoroizaka wins @MauiMarathonHIhttps://t.co/YjPfWficuV#MauiNews#MauiMarathon#marathon#26point2pic.twitter.com/qzCwUcCHlA — Maui News Sports (@MauiNewsSports) October 15, 2017
'18. Poznan Marathon. Zwyciestwa Mykoły Juchimczuka I Haruny Takady'

Haruna Takada (Yamada Denki) won Poland's Poznan Marathon in 2:40:49 with teammate Miyu Hatakeyama 3rd in 2:42:52 in her debut. Click here for complete results.

'El Keniano Kiptum Gana Maraton de Buenos Aires y Registra Record'

2:12:12 man Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanjo City Hall) ran Argentina's Buenos Aires Marathon but failed to make an impact, finishing just over 2:20 more than 10 minutes behind winner Barnabas Kiptum. Click here for complete results.

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Ledama Kisaisa 57:27 to Lead Yosenkai 20 km to World Record-Setting Depth

Under heavy skies and falling mist, Obirin University 2nd-year Josphat Ledama Kisaisa frontran the Yosenkai 20 km Road Race in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park to win in 57:27 and lead the field to world record-setting depth.



The official qualifying race for second-tier Tokyo-area universities to join the best at the legendary Hakone Ekiden, the Yosenkai featured 49 university teams of 10 to 12 runners apiece scored on the aggregate time of their top 10 finishers. The 10 fastest teams would join the 10 schools already seeded for the 2018 Hakone Ekiden, with a 21st team made up of top-placing individuals from non-qualifying schools rounding out the field.

Leaders 14:14 at 5k. Lead JPN pack 14:45. 2nd pack 15:02. pic.twitter.com/NXjKGAaQyO — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) October 14, 2017
Hot from the gun, Kisaisa led a lead pack of 6 Kenyans through 5 km in 14:14, on track to break the unbreakable 57:01 course record set in 2007 by Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.). 2nd last year…

Defending Champs Wambui and Daito Bunka Return to World's #1 20 km Road Race - Yosenkai Preview

The world's #1 20 km road race, the Yosenkai 20 km Road Race qualifier for the 2018 Hakone Ekiden, is set to go off tomorrow in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park. 49 universities from around the Tokyo area will field teams of 10 to 12 men, with the combined times of each school's 10 fastest finishers determining which 10 teams will join the top tier of 10 already seeded for Japan's biggest sporting event, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden.

Click rosters to enlarge.
Last year's Yosenkai team winner Daito Bunka University returns ranked 3rd in the field on average half marathon time. With that kind of position DBU is a lock to return to Hakone. Just ahead of them is Josai University, alma mater of Kota Murayama, the last Japanese man to win the Yosenkai and the current 10000 m national record holder. Josai finished 12th at the Yosenkai last year and missed Hakone, but with a strong roster this year with the most men in the field sub-64 for the half marathon it'll be a surprise i…

Olympian Takamizawa to Lead Matsuyama University in National University Women's Ekiden Title Defense

On Oct. 11 the Inter-University Athletics Union of Japan (IUAU) released the entry lists for the Morinomiyako Ekiden, the National University Women's Ekiden Championships to be held Oct. 29 in Sendai. A Rio de Janeiro Olympian in the 3000 m steeplechase, Anju Takamizawa will return to lead Matsuyama University in its shot at a second-straight national title.
Other noteworthy names on the entry lists include National University Track and Field Championships 5000 m winner Maho Shimizu (Osaka Gakuin Univ.), National University Individual Track and Field Championships 5000 m winner Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) and World University Games half marathon gold medalist Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo University).
source article: 
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20171011/ath17101119210001-n1.html
translated by Brett Larner

From Madarao to the World - Tokai University's Hayato Seki

Long-awaited by university ekiden fans, the 2017 ekiden season is underway. The Izumo Ekiden was held Monday, with Tokai University living up to expectations to score the win. The athlete who broke the finish line tape as Tokai's anchor was second-year Hayato Seki. This year Seki has run PBs of 13:35.81 for 5000 m and 28:23.37 for 10000 m, marking his growth into one of the unquestionable stars of the university ekiden scene.

A week earlier, the Madarao Forest Trails race was held on Oct. 1. Flashback to the 2012 edition of the race five years ago. The winner in the 16 km Beginner Class men's race was none other than Seki, then in his third year of junior high school. The picture below is of his win at the 2012 Madarao Forest Trails race. Even though he was only a junior high school student Seki ran brilliantly, opening up a huge lead of well over four minutes over the 2nd-placer.


After that Seki entereed Nagano's ekiden powerhouse Saku Chosei H.S. and has now grown into …

Tanaka Leads Five High Schoolers Under Nine Minutes in National Sports Festival Junior Women's 3000 m

The 2017 National Sports Festival took place over the long weekend, the last major track meet on the Japanese calendar as ekiden season gets into full swing. This year saw one of the greatest women's 3000 m races and certainly the best high school 3000 m ever held on Japanese soil, as 18-year-old Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) led five high school women under nine minutes to win in 8:54.27.

えひめ国体
女子 少年A3000m決勝ラスト一周

優勝🥇兵庫・田中選手8:54.27 pic.twitter.com/Z4l0wMDr6n — 城戸康志 (@dokidokikouji) October 9, 2017
The daughter of Japan's best female amateur marathoner, 2:29:30 runner Chihiro Tanaka, Tanaka broke nine minutes for the first time in August with a runner-up finish to Kenyan Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) at the National High School Championships in 8:59.83. Last month she took that to 8:58.81 at a time trial meet in Shizuoka. At the National Sports Festival she ran at the front of a lead pack of eight featuring five Japanese runners and three Kenyans, the pace close to…

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…

Kurashiki and Osaka Kunei Joshi Win Season-Opening High School Ekidens

The 37th Nihonkai High School Boys Ekiden and 32nd Kurayoshi High School Girls Ekiden, the first major national-level high school races of the season, took place Oct. 8 in Kurayoshi, Tottori on courses starting and finishing at Kurayoshi Municipal Field.

In the seven-stage, 42.195 km Nihonkai Ekiden, the 2016 national champion Kurashiki H.S. boys ran 2:07:09 to return to the winner's circle after a loss last year. Running 3rd after the First Stage, Kurashiki moved up into the lead on the Fifth Stage and held that position the rest of the way. For the third year in a row Tottori Johoku H.S. was the top-fnishing school from within Tottori prefecture.

Defending girls' national champions Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. won the five-stage, 21.0975 km Kurayoshi Ekiden for the first time in 1:09:44. The Osaka Kunei girls took over 1st on the Third Stage and ran on to the finish without challenge. For the first time in nineteen years Yazu H.S. was the first Tottori school to finish.

A …

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Japanese men lined up at three major overseas races Sunday. At the Netherlands' Eindhoven Marathon, 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu), coached by 1992 Barcelona Olympics marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita, was ranked 3rd in the field on PB but ran only 2:17:00 for 10th after fading from the lead pack early in the second half.

At Boston's B.A.A. Half the race was hurt by the late withdrawal of aggressive sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) with illness. In his absence Suguru Osako (NOP) and Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu), the latter a former teammate of Murayama's at Komazawa University, sat in the lead pack throughout the race without exerting pressure despite a very slow pace. Two-time defending champ Daniel Salel (Kenya) made it three in a row, easily outkicking Osako to win in 1:04:31, Osako next across the line in 1:04:42 and Nakamura 4th in 1:04:50. Two other Japanese men were non-factors, Ken Yokote (Fujitsu) 7th in 1:05:57 and Yudai Ok…

Kansai Gaikokugo University Women Qualify for National University Women's Ekiden for Fourth Time

In just its fifth season, the Kansai Gaikokugo University(Kansai Gaidai) women's ekiden team has qualified for the National University Women's Ekiden Championships for the fourth year in a row. Held in Sendai on Oct. 29, the race will be broadcast live on Nippon TV starting at 12:10 p.m. on the 29th. 26 teams from across the country, including 8 teams seeded from last year, 17 regional qualifiers and a Tohoku Region University Select Team will compete over the 6 stage, 38 km course from Koshin Gomu Athlete Park Sendai to Sendai City Hall Civic Plaza.

The Kansai Gaidai women qualified for this year's Nationals by finishing 6th in 1:43:17 at the Sept. 23 Kansai Region University Women's Ekiden. With 3 of the 6 places available to Kansai Region schools taken by top-placing teams from last year who were seeded for this year's Nationals, Kansai Gaidai finished 3rd among the programs that secured the 3 remaining qualifying spots. The Kansai Gaidai women's ekiden tea…

Izumo Ekiden Preview

It's almost time for the weekend's biggest race, as university men's ekiden season kicks off at Monday's Izumo Ekiden. 21 university teams face off over 45.1 km split into six stages, the short stage lengths rewarding the teams with the best speed credentials. For the last few years that's been Aoyama Gakuin University, a program that rose from nearly zero to juggernaut status under talented head coach Susumu Hara, but this year AGU's time in the spotlight may be up.

Over the six years since taking over as head coach in 2011 Hayashi Morozumi has turned Tokai University into a program that can challenge AGU's depth and quality. With Morozumi having spent track season focusing his team on 1500 m speed Tokai now has fifteen men with 5000 m bests under 14 minutes, and ten of them make up Tokai's roster for Izumo. Led by second-year Hayato Seki with bests of 13:35.81 and 28:23.37, all of Tokai's best six made the cut, giving it six-man averages over 500…

Filling in the Emptiness - The Tohoku Miyagi Revival Marathon Brings Life Back to Tsunami-Hit Northeast

by Mika Tokairin, JRN associate editor

On March 11, 2011, an unprecedented disaster impacted East Japan. What caused bigger damage than the magnitude 9.0 earthquake was the tsunami that hit the east coast of the Tohoku region. Shocking video that showed monstrous, leaden waves swallowing people, houses and cars was seen world-wide. After six and a half years, how has the affected area changed?

2011年3月11日、未曾有の大震災が東日本を襲った。マグニチュード9.0という揺れ以上に甚大な被害をもたらしたのは、東北地方の太平洋沿岸を襲った津波であった。鉛色の怪物のような波が人間を、家を、車を呑み込んでいくショッキングな映像はインターネットを通じて世界へと配信された。あれから6年半。被災地はどう変わったのか。

Just after 32 km the course rounds Hiyoriyama and the remnants of its shrine. The tsunami reached a height of 2 m up the tree on top of the hill, sweeping away the old shrine.
The Tohoku Miyagi Fukko [Revival] Marathon held on October 1 was established with the concept of letting people see the region's current state and the process of its recovery from the devastation of the tsunami. Imagine the challenges in establishing a marathon …

'Tokyo 2020 Sign Agreement With Japan Anti-Doping Agency for Drug Testing at Olympic and Paralympics'

London World Championships Marathoners Inoue and Kawauchi Return to Action

World Championships men's marathon team members Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) both lined up in marathons again today, just under two months since representing their country in London. At the first running of the Tohoku Miyagi Fukko Marathon, a new event along the Sendai coastline washed away by the 2011 tsunami, Inoue went out at training run pace for the first half, almost four minutes behind leader Daisuke Hosomori (YKK) before picking up the pace.

私はやっぱ、大仁さんのこーゆーところが尊敬。

東京マラソンから世界陸上で知名度上がったけど、山梨学院時代の4年間も最高だった。
知ってる人いたら語ろ( ̄▽ ̄)

ニューイヤー見に行きたいなぁ pic.twitter.com/D3ZEbj7SXl — Miichiikaaaa@駅伝垢 (@luckygirl_2001) October 1, 2017
The debuting Hosomori faded over the second half, run down by amateur Taiyo Akiyama with 5 km to go and Inoue right after. Inoue made contact with Akiyama near 40 km, but rather than run away with it the 2:08 marathoner ran side-by-side with Akiyama all the way to the finish line, smiling and encouraging him on in home straight.…