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Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, pleased with …
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Ekiden Runner Who Got Team Disqualified at National Championships Arrested on Fraud Charges

A woman who received cash from scam victims as part of a swindling group was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department after attempting to defraud an elderly woman. The arrested woman was a former member of one of the top corporate league women's ekiden teams.

Miho Shimada, 20, an unemployed resident of Gotemba, Shizuoka, was arrested on suspicion of calling an 80-year-old woman in Taito-ku, Tokyo and telling her, "I lost a check for funds to set up a company. I need 3 million yen," in an attempt to steal the elderly woman's cash. "I did it because I wanted money," she said in admitting to the charges.

Translator's note: A star member of the Yamanashi Gakuin High School girls' ekiden team who ran times of 9:01.23 for 3000 m and 15:43.35 for 5000 m while still in high school, Shimada joined the Toyota Jidoshokki corporate women's team after her graduation in 2016. The 2nd-place team at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships t…

Debate Continues on Tokyo Olympics Ticket Pricing Scheme

On May 15 the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games held a hearing to consider expert opinion on sales strategies for tickets for the games. The plans presented included setting the maximum ticket price for the opening ceremony at the same level as for the 2012 London Olympics, 288,000 yen [~$2600 USD], but others called for a wider range of pricing options. With no agreement reached discussion of ticket pricing is set to continue.

The committee did manage to set pricing for some Olympic events, ranging from 2000 yen [~$18 USD] for first-round soccer matches to as high as 108,000 yen [~$980 USD] for athletics. Opening ceremonies for the Paralympic Games will max out at 144,100 yen [~$1300 USD], with individual event tickets ranging from 1000 yen [~$9 USD] to 6500 yen [~$59 USD]. However, saying, "This has become a debate about creating a more dynamic range in pricing," session chairperson Sadahiko Kano, professor emeritus at Waseda University, …

Weekend Track Roundup

The first round of regional corporate track and field championship meets made up most of the weekend’s track action. Fresh back from going sub-32 at Payton Jordan, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) was the star of the Kansai Region meet as she repeated her 5000 / 10000 m double from last year with 15:45.58 and 33:00.26 wins. Men’s times were unremarkable, Shohei Morikawa (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) taking the 5000 m in 14:06.58 and Aoyama Gakuin University grad Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) the 10000 m in 29:16.56 in his corporate league debut.

Split between two weekends, the Chugoku Region meet featured only 5000 m this week. Yudai Okamoto (JFE Steel) won the men’s race in 13:59.82, with Miharu Aoki (Tenmaya) claiming the women’s title in 16:19.79.

The Chubu Region meet produced some quality men’s 10000 m times, with two-time defending champ Rodgers Shumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) leading three Kenyan men under 28 minutes in 27:53.73, the fastest of his three wins to date. Daiji Kawai (Toenec) was the to…

Matsumoto and Abe Win Sendai International Half Marathon

In a race that came down to an uphill battle near 20 km, Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) emerged on top of a lead pack of five to win the men's race at the 28th Sendai International Half Marathon. Matsumoto outkicked Rio Olympics marathon team member Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei) on the track to take the win in 1:03:05, the fastest winning time by a Japanese man in Sendai history. Sasaki returned from the injury that kept him out of March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marahton to finish 2nd in 1:03:10, holding off collegiate runners Kengo Nakamura (Toyo Univ.) and Akihiro Gunji (Tokai Univ.).

Defending champion Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) suffered some sort of injury in the late going, shuffling down the home straight and almost walking across the finish line to take 5th in 1:03:39. Just behind him, 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) nicked 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) at the line after sitting on Kawauchi the entire race, both…

Getting a Late Start at Age 25 - Minami Yamanouchi

Back in 2010 JRN spotted 17-year-old high school student Minami Yamanouchi at a local 14 km road race in northern Ibaraki, where she beat the high school boys' course record by more than four minutes. At the time we wrote, "If Yamanouchi keeps running post-high school and lands at the right team, university or pro, we may have been lucky to see the first appearance of a future great." Now 25 and coached by former half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato at the Kyocera corporate team, in the last few weeks Yamanouchi has really come into her own.

Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) took the top Japanese spot at 4th overall in the 5000 m at the April 28 Oda Memorial Meet in Hiroshima, one of the top-level track meets in Japan. A former amateur runner, she only joined the corporate leagues last August. Seeing her progress in less than a year of serious training, her coach Atsushi Sato, the 6th placer in the 2009 World Championships marathon, called her "exceptional.&qu…

2:08 Marathoner Wataru Okutani Launches New Marathon Training Program

On May 8 the organizers of the Nov. 3 Gunma Marathon held the first session of the Gunma Marathon 180 Day Project, a new training support program aimed toward first-time marathoners, at Jomo Hall in Maebashi. Project leader Wataru Okutani, head coach of the Subaru corporate team and a two-time World Championships marathon team member with a 2:08:49 best, took questions from the 26 participants and told them, "Don't try to do the impossible. It's the accumulation of the little things you do daily over a long span of time that make up the body of success."

source article: 
https://www.jomo-news.co.jp/sports/gunma/51035
translated by Brett Larner