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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 …
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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…