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New Tokai Univ. Coach Morozumi Discusses Value of XC Training After Saku Chosei H.S. Success

http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/other/athletic/text/201109280009-spnavi.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Translator's note: Hayashi Morozumi  (left; click photo to enlarge) had tremendous success as head coach of Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S., building an innovative cross-country course at moderate altitude to serve as the team's primary training ground.  Under his leadership Saku Chosei won the 2008 National H.S. Ekiden in the fastest time ever by an all-Japanese team and produced four of Japan's biggest current young talents, Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai University, 13:34.85 / 28:00.78), Suguru Osako (Waseda University, 13:31.27 / 1:01:47), Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin, 13:23.57 / 27:38.25) and Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B, 13:21.49).  All four runners are in this year's Japanese 5000 m top ten.  In April Morozumi left Saku Chosei to become head coach of his alma mater, Tokai University, once again taking over Murasawa's development.

Tokai University held an e…

Handicapping the Hakone Ekiden Qualifying Race

by Brett Larner


The record-breaking 2009 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai, the deepest 20 km road race in history.

The Kanto Regional University Athletics Federation has released the entry lists for the Oct. 15 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai, a 20 km university men's road race qualifier for the Jan. 1-2 Hakone Ekiden.  Outside the Olympics the two-day, twenty-team, ten-stage Hakone relay is road racing's biggest spectacle, an event with viewership in the tens of millions and the kind of popular enthusiasm the World Marathon Majors dream of.  Of all the things obscured behind the cultural insularity of the Japanese running system Hakone is the biggest loss to the sport as a whole, a gripping, high-level race that never lets up over the course of twelve hours and which, with superb production values, could give clues on how to popularize road racing among non-runners worldwide if it were accessible overseas.

The top ten universities at each year's Hakone are seeded for the following year, free…

Sasaki and Suzuki Win Hakodate Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) and Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei), teammates of Daegu World Championships marathon top finishers Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) and Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei), took their first victories at the mid-season Hakodate Half Marathon in cool conditions on Sept. 25.  Suzuki ran with little challenge, while Sasaki prevailed by only one second in a sprint finish against Norihiro Nomiya (Team Toyota).  A short distance back from the lead pair of men were former marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita (Team Fujitsu) and, in his final tuneup for next month's Chicago Marathon, 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta).

2011 Hakodate Half Marathon
Hakodate, Hokkaido, 9/25/11

Women
1. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 1:13:48
2. Yui Ouchi (Team Noritz) - 1:16:16
3. Miya Nishio (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:16:18
4. Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki) - 1:17:30
5. Tomoko Tamamushi (Harriers AC) - 1:21:29

Me…

Kawauchi, Kizaki 5000 m PBs at Nittai Time Trials

by Brett Larner



The first full day of fall temperatures brought fast times in the 35 heats of 5000 m on the second day of the 218th Nittai University Time Trials meet in Yokohama.  In the men's A-heat, junior Wataru Ueno (Komazawa University) aggressively frontran his way to the win in 13:46.79 to lead five Komazawa men under 14 minutes.  3rd-placer Masato Kikuchi (Meiji Univ.) likewise led four Meiji runners under 14 including Daiki Hirose's mark from heat 34.  With Meiji's Tetsuya Yoroizaka having run 27:44.30 and Komazawa's Ikuto Yufu and Hiromitsu Kakuage 28:02.46 and 28:03.27 this season both schools look set to make a dent in Hakone Ekiden rivals Waseda University and Toyo University.

2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) was the top corporate runner, 4th in 13:52.23 after abandoning plans to run the Berlin Marathon.  The big news for many fans came far down the field, where marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) ran 13:59.38 to break his PB…

Okubo Smashes PB at Berlin Marathon (updated)

Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) on her way to her first sub-2:30 at the Berlin Marathon. Photo (c) 2011 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved.

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2011092500284

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Okubo in Berlin. Photo by Manabu Kawagoe. Click to enlarge.

Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) finished 9th at the Sept. 25 Berlin Marathon, running 2:28:49.  Her time broke her PB by 6 1/2 minutes and marked her first time under the 2:30 barrier.  "I went on a two-month training camp specifically to target the 2:20's," she said after the race.  "It's what I was hoping for so I'm very happy to have made it happen."  Nevertheless, she remained modest and realistic about her mark's larger significance.  "I'm still not in range of the best in Japan, but I can feel that I'm working my way up the staircase."  Looking toward next year's London Olympics she says, "With each marathon I run, if it comes closer int…

Kenyans Sweep National Corporate T&F Championships 1500 m and 5000 m

by Brett Larner

Along with the men's 10000 m on the first day of competition, Japan-resident Kenyans swept the men's and women's 5000 m and 1500 m at the 2011 National Jitsugyodan Track & Field Championships, Sept. 24-25 in Tokushima.  Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu), best known for his quadruple win in the 800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m and 10000 m at the 2009 Kanto Regional Track & Field Championships, doubled here with wins in the 1500 m and 5000 m, outkicking two-time world junior 3000 mSC champion Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Cable) in both races.  The top collegiate 10000 m runner of 2010, Yusuke Hasegawa (Team S&B) had the best run of his pro career as he finished 4th in the 5000 m in 13:34.70.  Along with Yuichiro Ueno and Kensuke Takezawa, S&B runners now hold three of the ten fastest 5000 m times of the year by Japanese men.

Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko), a teammate of men's 10000 m winner Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko), had a comfortable frontrunning win in t…

James Rungaru Solo 27:22.53 at Nittai Time Trials

by Brett Larner

Newcomer James Rungaru (Kenya/Team Toyota) rocked Saturday's Nittai Univ. Time Trials men's 10000 m A-heat with a solo 27:22.53 PB, going out at sub-27 pace without accompaniment and lapping the entire field.  Toyota's B-Kenyan, Rungaru ran 15 seconds faster than Paul Tanui's winning time at Friday's National Corporate T&F Championships 10000 m and 16 seconds faster than Toyota's A-Kenyan John Thuo ran at the national meet.  His nearest competition, Ethiopian Fekele Assefa (Team Kanebo), finished in only 28:36.63 after running most of the race with Masaki Ito (Kokushikan Univ.).

Ito's PB of 28:38.13 led three university men under 29 minutes, the most surprising being Aritaka Kajiwara of the minor Shoin University.  With a performance like this behind him Kajiwara is a lock on a spot for the 2012 Hakone Ekiden's Select Team.  Also in the field in his first race since the Daegu World Championships marathon earlier this month, Yuki Kaw…

Bukkyo Over Ritsumeikan at Kansai University Women's Ekiden

by Brett Larner

The women's ekiden season kicked off with a matchup between the two top university teams in the country, Kyoto's dynamic pair Bukkyo University and Ritsumeikan University.  Ritsumeikan, missing aces Michi Numata and Hanae Tanaka, dominated the first half by winning the first three stages, including new records on the First and Third Stages by members Mutsumi Ikeda and Risa Takenaka.  Down 50 seconds at the start of the Fourth Stage, 2010 national champion Bukkyo's fortunes turned around thanks to a stage record run by ace Hikari Yoshimoto, and thanks to stage win by anchor Shiho Takechi and the absence of Ritsumeikan's Numata and Tanaka Bukkyo pulled away to a comfortable win nearly a minute and a half up on their rivals.

Bukkyo and Ritsumeikan are both so far ahead of any other school that their B-teams beat the next-strongest school, Kyoto Sangyo University.  Ritsumeikan's B-squad Fifth Stage runner Ikumi Natsuhara actually won her stage by nearl…

Tanui, Nishihara Win National Corporate T&F Championships 10000 m

by Brett Larner

A busy long weekend of distance action kicked off Sept. 23 with the National Jitsugyodan Track & Field Championships 10000 m in Tokushima, Shikoku.  Having run last month's World Championships 10000 m as a last-minute replacement, Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) had a narrow win in the men's race, 27:37.67 over runner-up Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) and 3rd-place John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota).

After a slow first km Tanui took the lead pack of seven Kenyans and four Japanese up to 2:46/km, where the race remained until final km.  Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) could not keep up with the sub-28 pace, leaving former Komazawa University teammate Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) and Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) as the only Japanese athletes in contention.  Both lost touch after 6000 m, Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) following suit 2000 m later.  In the last km Fukatsu, who broke 28 minute for the first time…

Daegu 5th-Placer Akaba Talks to Media About Renewed Olympic Motivation

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/HOK201109210003.html

translated by Brett Larner

Daegu World Championships women's marathon 5th-place finisher Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), the top Japanese finisher in the Championships race, gave a press conference Sept. 20 at Hokuren's headquarters in Sapporo, Hokkaido to talk about her renewed motivation after her Daegu performance and her plans for making the London Olympics team.

Appearing together with her coach and husband Shuhei, Akaba talked about her race, saying, "At this summer's World Championships I didn't run the way I hoped, but I think it was a good performance.  Still, I'm really disappointed not to have won a medal."  Akaba also missed out on securing a place on the London Olympics team, but explained, "Looking toward my ultimate goal of an Olympic medal, Daegu helped me find a few weak points in my race and now I know what I need to work on tightening up."*

Shuhei confirmed that Akaba will run …

Kawauchi, Kipsang Headline First Osaka Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

The organizers of next month's first edition of the new Osaka Marathon have officially made their entry into the already crowded fall marathon season with the release of the elite field for the Oct. 30 race.

Topping the men's field with a 2:07:29 best is 2009 Tokyo Marathon champion Salim Kipsang (Kenya).  His best competition, a surprise entry coming just less than two months after the Daegu World Championships, is 2:08:37 runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) who beat Kipsang at the 2010 Tokyo Marathon.  Other overseas runners include Elijah Sang (Kenya) and Woody Harrelson lookalike Alexsey Sokolov (Russia), who also ran in the World Championships.  The small domestic field includes Japan's two other top amateur runners after Kawauchi, 2009 Copenhagen Marathon winner Toyokazu Yoshimura and infamous wig runner Nobuaki Takata.

The women's field consists primarily of veterans, led by Olympic medalist Lidia Simon (Romania), Hokkaido Marathon course record…

Marathoner Kano Returns to Shiseido for Olympic Preparation

http://mainichi.jp/enta/sports/general/track/news/20110922k0000m050021000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

The Shiseido corporation announced on Sept. 21 that marathoner Yuri Kano, who left the Second Wind AC running club and longtime coach Manabu Kawagoe at the end of August, will return to its corporate running team on Oct. 1.  She is targeting the marathon at next year's London Olympics.  The 32-year-old Kano originally joined the Shiseido team in 2001 but followed Kawagoe in quitting the team in 2007 to found Second Wind.  Her achievements at the marathon distance include a 7th place finish at the 2009 World Championships and a win at last year's Nagoya International Women's Marathon.  Kano commented, "I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to run.  Running has given me the opportunity to live as an athlete and to grow as a person, now I want to let this tremendous flower bloom."

Waseda Begins Ekiden Season Campaign With Training in Disaster-Hit Iwate

http://www.iwanichi.co.jp/ichinoseki/item_25911.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Its course record wins at all three major university men's ekidens in the 2010-2011 season making it the best university team ever assembled, Waseda University's ekiden squad has arrived in Ichinoseki, Iwate to begin training for the first key battle in this year's campaign, October's Izumo Ekiden.  On Sept. 19th the team held a public reception at its training facilities in the city's Hanaizumi district to greet and offer support to local residents affected by March's disasters.  With the entry list for this year's Izumo Ekiden announced the same day, the reception also served to mark the beginning of serious training for the team's core group of athletes.

Waseda's ekiden team originally began using Hanaizumi as a training base in 1990 and has continued with only one interruption.  Team alumnus Yasuyuki Watanabe (38), now Waseda's head coach, experienced t…

Weekend Track Results

Chugoku Jitsugyodan Long Distance Time Trials
Miyoshi Sports Park, Hiroshima, 9/17/11
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m
1. Yoshie Kurisu (Team Tenmaya) - 15:56.39
2. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 16:21.30
3. Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) - 16:22.40
4. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 16:32.17
5. Miku Kugio (Team Tenmaya) - 17:14.77

Men's 5000 m
1. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Sera H.S.) - 13:43.50
2. Takaya Iwasaki (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 14:08.47
3. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 14:10.47
4. Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 14:10.65
5. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 14:12.81
6. Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 14:13.43

Women's 3000 m
1. Susan Wylim (Kenya/Sera H.S.) - 9:06.79
2. Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 9:28.22
3. Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:28.97
4. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 9:36.34
5. Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:38.87


2011 Kinki Regional High School Youth Track and Field Championships
Ojiyama Field, Otsu, 9/1…

Notturna di Milano Men's 3000 m - Results

2011 Notturna di Milano
Milan, Italy, 9/18/11
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 m
1. Augustine Choge (Kenya) - 7:41.30
2. Mekonnen Gebremedin (Ethiopia) - 7:41.42
3. Thomas Longosiwa (Kenya) - 7:42.00
4. Bilisuma Shugi (Bahrain) - 7:42.71
5. Maxim Obrubanskyy (Ukraine) - 7:55.22
6. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 8:03.46
7. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 8:06.33
8. Maruane Razine (Morocco) - 8:07.75
9. Barnabas Bene (Italy) - 8:22.87
10. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 8:24.14

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon - Results

2011 Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
Philadelphia, U.S.A., 9/18/11
click here for complete results

Women
1. Kim Smith (New Zealand) - 1:07:11 - CR
2. Weknesh Kidane (Ethiopia) - 1:07:26
3. Bizunesh Deba (Ethiopia) - 1:09:53
4. Jane Kibii (Kenya) - 1:10:23
5. Maegen Krifchin (U.S.A.) - 1:11:04
6. Diane Nukuri (Kenya) - 1:12:08
7. Yolanda Caballero (Colombia) - 1:12:35
8. Claire Hallissey - 1:12:39
9. Misiker Mekonnin (Ethiopia) - 1:12:57
10. Dot McMahan (U.S.A.) - 1:12:57
-----
16. Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Univ. Ent.) - 1:14:35

Men
1. Matthew Kisorio (Kenya) - 58:46
2. Sammy Kitwara (Kenya) - 58:48
3. James Mwangi (Kenya) - 1:00:42
4. Peter Kamais (Kenya) - 1:01:06
5. Julius Koskei (Kenya) - 1:01:21
6. Shawn Forrest - 1:01:34
7. Abderrahim Goumri (Morocco) - 1:01:41
8. Hosea Macharinyang (Kenya) - 1:01:42
9. Bobby Curtis (U.S.A.) - 1:01:52
10. Markos Geneti (Ethiopia) - 1:02:01

Former Suzuki Teammates Kabuu and Mathathi Win Great North Run Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

Former teammates at Shizuoka-based Suzuki Hamamatsu AC, Kenyans Lucy Wangui Kabuu and Martin Irungu Mathathi staged dominating performances to win the women's and men's races at the rolling downhill Great North Run half marathon on Sept. 18.  Wangui, a graduate of Aomori Yamada H.S. before running for Suzuki and winning 10000 m gold and 5000 m bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, showed no sign of her near-absence from competition since the Beijing Olympics as she made an early surge at world record pace to easily crush the field, winning in 1:07:06 over two minutes up on runner-up Jessica Augusto (Portugal).  2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon 3rd-placer Marisa Barros (Portugal) was 3rd again only four weeks after finishing 9th in the Daegu World Championships marathon.  Formerly Japan-based Mara Yamauchi (Great Britain), in training for November's third edition of Yokohama, was a DNF after dropping from the lead pack early.

Mathathi, the 2…

Memorial Van Damme Men's 10000 m Results

2011 Memorial Van Damme Men's 10000 m
Brussels, Belgium, 9/16/11
click here for complete results

1. Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) - 26:43.16
2. Lucas Rotich (Kenya) - 26:43.98 - PB
3. Galen Rupp (U.S.A.) - 26:48.00 - PB, AR
4. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 26:51.95
5. Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) - 26:53.27
6. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 26:55.73 - PB
7. Titus Mbishei (Kenya) - 26:59.81 - PB
8. Paul Lonyangata (Kenya) - 27:21.62
9. Mike Kigen (Kenya) - 27:30.53 - PB
10. Denis Masai (Kenya) - 27:32.97 - PB
11. Josphat Bett (Kenya) - 27:57.60
-----
DNF - Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku)

Murasawa, Yoroizaka PB in Palio della Quercia 5000 m

by Brett Larner

Four of Japan's brightest young talents ran the 2011 Palio della Quercia 5000 m Sept. 13 in Rovereto, Italy, their stated goal to clear the Olympic A-standard of 13:20.  Although all four fell short, each of the Japanese athletes had positive results.  2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) had his first good run of the year after injuries last fall, 4th overall in 13:27.14.  Top-ranked university men Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) and Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) both scored new PBs, Yoroizaka cracking 13:30, a rarity among Japanese university men.  In both talent and propensity for injury Japan's answer to Dathan Ritzenhein, Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) also showed himself on the rebound from injuries sustained in Europe late last summer, at 13:32.98 far off his Rovereto best of 13:22.36 from 2006 but one second ahead of his best time from his abbreviated 2010 season.

Murasawa, Takezawa and Ueno will stay in Italy t…

World Champion Ibrahim Jeilan Wins All-Africa 10000 m, Bitan Karoki Takes Silver

http://bit.ly/oLKCLB

The article above lists the gold and silver medalists at the All-Africa Games 10000 m as Ebrahim Gashu of Ethiopia and Bernard Muchiri of Kenya.  According to the ARRS' competition rankings, these athletes are in fact Japan-based World Champion Ibrahim Jeilan Gashu (Team Honda) and Bitan Karoki Muchiri (Team S&B).  Both runners train in Saitama prefecture.  Ibrahim is cited as having won in 28:18.22, with Karoki just behind in 28:19.32.  Awaiting confirmation of official results.

Update: Ibrahim's coach Kiyoshi Akimoto just confirmed to JRN that Ibrahim did in fact win.

Update: Unofficial results.  These results list Karoki as 7th and Kenyan Kenneth Kipkemboi having taken silver, but that seems likely to be an accidental name reversal.

Defending World Champion Nakadai Fifth at 100 km World Championships

by Brett Larner

For the second-straight year, Shinji Nakadai (Harriers AC) was the top Japanese man at the IAU 100 km World Championships, held this year in Winschoten, Netherlands.  The defending individual men's world champion, Nakadai made no attempt to follow the reckless early pace set by eventual winner Giorgio Calcaterra, who averaged as fast as 3:42/km in the first stages of the race.  Neither did any of the other athletes in the field, as Calcaterra took the world title by a margin of over 15 minutes.  The strong American squad kept three men in the top pack throughout the race and ended up taking the individual silver and bronze medals as well as team gold led by veteran Michael Wardian.  Nakadai faded after 80 km, taking 5th in 6:48:32, but thanks in large part to a solid 10th-place run by teammate Yoshiki Takada Japan was able to nail down the team silver medal by just 1:51 over Calcaterra's Italy squad which went home with bronze.

The women's race saw a simila…

Osako, Murayama Win National University 1500 m and 5000 m

by Brett Larner



At the 2011 Japanese National University Track & Field Championships in Kumamoto, Waseda University sophomore Suguru Osako added further evidence to back up the argument that he is Japan's best all-around university distance runner.  Consider everything he has done in the last 10 months:
An Asian junior area record 1:01:47 in his half marathon debut to win last November's Ageo City Half Marathon with the largest-ever margin of victory at the world's deepest half marathonA solo 1:02:23 win with another commanding margin of victory on the 21.4 km First Stage at January's Hakone Ekiden, equivalent to a 1:01:31 half marathonA 13:31.27 PB for 5000 m in May, the fastest in several years by a Japanese university runnerA 10000 m gold medal at last month's World University GamesAt the National University Championships he ran a PB 3:45.06 to win the 1500 m national title over teammate and 1500 m specialist Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.), giving Osako domin…

World Univ. Games 10000 m Champ Osako Leads 1500 m Heat - National Univ. Track & Field Championships Day One

by Brett Larner

The 2011 Japanese National University Track & Field Championships kicked off Sept. 9 in Kumamoto.  2011 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and Asian junior half marathon area record holder Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) bypassed the 10000 m for the 1500 m, winning his heat to advance to the final.  His teammate Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.) likewise won the faster second heat where the top four all beat Osako's time of 3:51.39, making for an interesting final on tap later this weekend.  After running 13:31.27 earlier this season, the best time in several years by a Japanese university runner, sophomore Osako is also the favorite in tomorrow's 5000 m where he is on the start list.

The women's 1500 m heats saw a mix of familiar faces and newcomers advancing to the finals, top-ranked women Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.), Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) and Risa Shibuya (Bukkyo Univ.) all advancing through the competitive third heat with relat…

Fukushi, Sato, Matsumiya and More to Run Chicago Marathon

by Brett Larner

The Chicago Marathon has updated its elite field listing for this year's running due on Oct. 9.  Notable amond the adds are Japanese half marathon national record holders Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and former 30 km world record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), along with five other Japanese men.  For Fukushi it will be her first attempt at a marathon since her bizzarely suicidal debut at the 2008 Osaka International Women's Marathon.  In the official press release announcing her participation Fukushi was quoted as saying, "At this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I want to challenge the 2:20 mark, and also test my own abilities in the marathon and what the distance involves. Racing in Chicago is the start of my preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games Marathon in London."

Sato will be attempting another comeback after a year and a half away from the distance.  Matsumiya, the top Japa…

World Championships Marathon 7th Placer Horibata Feted at Nobeoka City Hall

http://mainichi.jp/area/miyazaki/news/20110908ddlk45050568000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Sept. 7 Hiroyuki Horibata (24, Team Asahi Kasei), the top Japanese finisher in the 2011 Daegu World Championships men's marathon at 7th in in 2:11:52, made an appearance at his hometown Nobeoka City Hall in Miyazaki prefecture to talk about his race and his plans for making the 2012 London Olympic team.

Horibata smiled at the warmly welcoming applause from the staff and guests at city hall.  Nobeoka mayor Masaharu Sudo told him, "You met the hopes of all the citizens of Noboeka.  It was an outstanding performance."  Horibata told the crowd, "I ran with my own rhythm, with a margin of strength that came from inside.  I did better than my goal of 8th place.  My training went completely according to plan, and that's why I was able to achieve this result.  In my next race I want to seal up my place on the Olympic team."  Horibata's coach Takeshi Soh c…

Murasawa, Takezawa, Ueno and Yoroizaka Tuning Up in Europe

by Brett Larner

Top-ranked university men Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) and Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) are in Europe along with 2010 10000 m champion Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) and 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) to shoot for fast 5000 m times at the Palio Citta della Quercio meet in Rovereto, Italy, the same meet where Takezawa ran 13:22.36 and Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) ran 13:23.57 as 19-year-old university students in 2006.  Murasawa, Sato and Ueno are all graduates of Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S.

Murasawa, Takezawa, Ueno and Yoroizaka ran the first of their tuneup races for Rovereto Sept. 7 in Watford, England, running the 1500 m at the BMC Gold Standard Races meet.  Results below.

2011 BMC Gold Standard Races
Watford, U.K., 9/7/11
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 m
1. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 8:17.92

Men's 1500 m Heat A
1. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 3:49.25
2. Ben Wallis (St. Mary's U…

Marathoner Kawauchi Vows To Carry On As An Amateur

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/TKY201109060696.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Colleagues admire Kawauchi's World Championships team silver medal. Click photo to enlarge.

After finishing 18th at the Sept. 4 World Championships marathon in Daegu, Korea and helping the Japanese national team win a silver medal, Yuki Kawauchi returned to work at Kasukabe High School Sept. 6.  Showing up for the first time since the race as usual wearing a backpack over his white dress shirt, Kawauchi was greeted in the office by a round of enthusiastic applause and congratulations from his colleagues.  Normally working in the afternoon and evening, Kawauchi arrived at work half an hour earlier than usual.  He said that due to intense soreness in his calves and thighs he had only been able to run 30 minutes that morning.

Showing his silver medal to principal Toshio Matsuda, Kawauchi recounted his race.  "'You're the pride of Wasimiya Junior High School!' and other messages …

282,824 Apply for 2012 Tokyo Marathon

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20110905-OYT1T00843.htm

translated by Brett Larner

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced on Sept. 5 that entries for the full marathon division of the 2012 Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 26, reached 9.6 times the number of available places, a new record in Tokyo's six-year history.  As of the Aug. 31 entry deadline, 282,824 people had applied for the 29,400 spots in the field.  Another 1,164 people applied for the 400 places in the 10 km, now restricted to under-18 and handicapped athletes.  Results of the entry lottery are expected to be sent out by email in mid-October.  Charity full marathon entrants who raise more than 100,000 yen [~$1,300 USD] have until the end of November to apply for one of the 3,000 additional places in that category.

Post-Race Quotes From the Japanese Men's World Championships Marathon Team

translated by Brett Larner

Kitaoka, Oda, Kawauchi, Nakamoto and Horibata with their team silver medals, Japan's eighth-straight World Championships finishing on the men's team podium. Click photo to enlarge.

Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) - 7th, 2:11:52

"I came down with a fever before the race.  It didn't hold me back and I ran with my full strength, but now I can't breathe through my nose.  It was cloudy on race day and felt very cool so I thought it was going to go out fast, but it started a little slow.  After 5 km the pace started going back and forth, something I've never experienced before.  It was my first time running Worlds, and up until 15 km I had some margin to enjoy it, but after 20 km things picked way up and I could feel the margin disappearing from my legs.  I figured the pace would slow down again so I thought I would try to stick with them, but things never slowed down and I drifted back from the top pack.  This time my training was soli…

Miyauchi Wins Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, Fujita Third at Great Scottish Run

by Brett Larner

The Japanese National Corporate Half Marathon Championships have a long-standing relationship with overseas half marathons, the top domestic finishers being named to the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon and the next tier being sent to the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon and the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon.  This year's Corporate Half was cancelled in the wake of March's natural disasters and the World Half Marathon is likewise not being held, but Japanese athletes turned out as usual at both Rock 'n' Roll and the GSR.

Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera), the top Japanese woman over the half marathon distance in 2010, won Rock 'n' Roll in 1:11:48 after a patient race in which she hung back while Kenyan Jane Kibil battled with Olympian Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) and newcomer Fumiko Hashimoto (Team Shimamura).  Inaugural Gifu Half Marathon winner Mao Kuroda (Team Yutaka Giken) was only 7th in 1:13:37 as Japanese women t…

Horibata Leads Japanese Men to World Champs Team Silver

by Brett Larner

Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) finished 7th at the World Championships men's marathon to lead the Japanese squad to team silver, the county's only hardware in a running event at this World Championships, continuing Japan's streak of men's marathon team medals in every World Championships since 1997.  In a race full of high-profile DNF's Horibata ran with tenacity to finish in the prize money in 2:11:52, the third-best time of his career and the fastest mark in the race by a non-African.

While Asian Games silver medalist Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) and 2011 Tokyo Marathon 4th-placer Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) lost touch after less than 10 km, Horibata, Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) hung in the lead pack through halfway until the big Kenyan break that led to defending gold medalist Abel Kirui's second-straight win.  Kawauchi, who led early in the race, fell back in the second half but held on to fin…

World Championships Women's 5000 m Results

2011 World Championships Women's 5000 m
Daegu, Korea, 9/2/11
click here for complete results

1. Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 14:55.36
2. Sylvia Kibet (Kenya) - 14:56.21
3. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 14:56.94
4. Sentayehu Ejigu (Ethiopia) - 14:59.99
5. Mercy Cherono (Kenya) - 15:00.23
6. Linet Masai (Kenya) - 15:01.01
7. Lauren Fleshman (U.S.A.) - 15:09.25
8. Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 15:09.35
9. Tejitu Daba (Bahrain) - 15:14.62 - PB
10. Yelena Zadorozhnaya (Russia) - 15:15.48
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13. Hitomi Niiya (Japan/Team Univ. Ent.) - 15:41.67