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Toyota Jidoshokki Wins National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier

Dodging a bullet as an approaching typhoon that spelled potential cancellation shifted to the east, the Princess Ekiden, the qualifying race for second-tier teams for next month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships, went off Sunday afternoon in Fukuoka. The top 14 of the 29 teams in the field would qualify to join the seeded first-tier teams at Nationals in the third year of the event's current format shift from a series of regional qualifiers.

12th in 2015 and 4th last year, Panasonic took over the lead on the 3.6 km Second Stage and tried to run away with it, but behind them Toyota Jidoshokki grew closer and closer after a weak opening stage. With just one second separating them at the final exchange it was going to be close, but although Panasonic anchor Sakiko Naito was strong, covering the 6.695 km Sixth Stage in 21:43, Toyota Jidoshokki's Misaki Hayashida went one better, dropping a course record 21:35 to run Naito down and put Toyota Jidoshokki acr…
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High Schooler Nakaya 13:47.22 to Lead Saturday Night Track Fever

Saturday night saw another round of mid-season track time trial meets across the country. Leading the way, Saku Chosei High School's Yuhi Nakaya ran the 5th-fastest time ever by a Japanese high schooler, 13:47.22, to take 4th as the top Japanese man behind Ethiopian duo Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen of the Yachiyo Kogyo corporate team and unattached Kenyan James Bunuka Ndiwa in the Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials men's 5000 m A-heat.

Former World Youth and World Junior Championships medalist William Malel (Honda) won the Heisei Kokusai 10000 m A-heat in 28:24.46, with Komazawa University grad Shun Inoura (Yachiyo Kogyo) 2nd in 28:28.49. Two Japanese men in the A-heat, Toshinori Watanabe (GMO) and Kazuki Muramoto (Sumitomo Denki) doubled after running in earlier heats of 10000 m.

Far to the south, the national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team ran almost its entire team in the 10000 m at the Miyazaki Time Trials meet. 2016 national XC champ Takashi Ichida took 1st …

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.