Skip to main content

Last-Place Finisher Named Winner After Entire Rest of Field Disqualified

http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news_society/articles/000094362.html
http://www.j-cast.com/2017/02/15290700.html?in=news.yahoo.co.jp

translated and edited by Brett Larner

262 out of 263 participants in a road race were disqualified after they were misdirected, with only one person running the correct course.  The mishap occurred at a race in Kasaoka, Okayama on Feb. 5.  According to city officials, in the children's 3 km division the field of 263 elementary school students from 3rd grade through 6th grade was misdirected.  262 of them ran the wrong way, with the first child to finish covering what was estimated to be less than 2 km in 6:51. Followed by a staff member on a bicycle, only the last-place child ran the correct course to complete the full 3 km distance.  All the other children were disqualified, and city officials decided to honor the lone finisher as the winner.

The race, the 20th Bayfarm Kasaoka Road Race, featured 30 different divisions including a half marathon, 10 km and separate 3 km races for junior high school and elementary school students.  Both the junior high and elementary school races followed the same course, the junior high school students starting first and the elementary school students five minutes later. In the past the elementary school students have chased after the junior high students and there has never been a problem with them getting lost on the course, but with only 40 people in the junior high division this year the lead group of elementary school runners lost sight of them.  Although there were guidance signs on the course they were described as "hard to understand," and volunteer staff along the route were mainly focused on safety and security and didn't notice the elementary school runners had gone the wrong way.

As a result, although all the junior high school division runners ran the correct 3 km course, 262 of the 263 elementary school runners were estimated to have run only 1.8 km.  Staff members surprised at their early arrival at the finish line confirmed that they had gone off-course.  The race could not be run again, so in addition to the official winner the first six finishers were still recognized at the award ceremony.  "They tried," commented race officials.

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Like its anonymous primary school protagonist, this is now JRN's all-time #1 most-read story.

Most-Read This Week

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…

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

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…