Skip to main content

Another Change to Hakone Ekiden Select Team - Now Restricted Only to Athletes Without Hakone Experience

The Inter-University Athletic Union of Kanto (KGRR), organizers of the Hakone Ekiden, have announced that its Representative Committee, the highest voting body in its organization, has made the decision to change the qualification system for the Kanto Student Alliance select team made up of runners from universities that fail to qualify as a team for Hakone at October's Yosenkai qualifier. In its current incarnation the select team accepted athletes who had taken part in Hakone, including registration as an alternate, a maximum of once, but beginning with Hakone's 94th edition in 2018 it will be limited to only athletes who have never run in the actual race before.

In essence, the Kanto Student Alliance will now be made up entirely of rookies. A KGRR spokesperson explained, "We have made this decision after careful consideration of the Select Team's original purpose of sharing the Hakone experience with as wide a range of students and universities as possible." There will be no change to the use of individual results from the Oct. 14 Yosenkai 20 km for team selection.

One athlete who is expected to benefit from the change is Tokyo University third-year Shuichi Kondo. As a first and second-year he was twice an alternate for the Kanto Student Alliance team, meaning that he had used up his eligibility under the previous selection criteria. He will now get another chance to run in next year's Hakone Ekiden as a member of the team. Asked about the change Kondo calmly commented, "I just have to do everything I need to do to be ready for the Yosenkai."

An excellent road racer, Kondo ran 2:14:13 at February's Tokyo Marathon, ranking him 21st in the Japanese collegiate record books. If he runs for the Kanto Student Alliance team he will be most likely to run one of its most competitive stages such as the Second Stage. Both a scholar and athlete, he is likely to draw extra attention.

Tokyo University has only run Hakone once, making the 60th anniversary race in 1984 where it finished 17th of 20 teams. At the 81st Hakone Ekiden in 2005 Tokyo University first-year Sho Matsumoto ran the Eighth Stage as a member of the Kanto Region University Select Team, the precursor to the current Kanto Student Alliance team.

Translator's note: 2017 London World Championships Japanese national team captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), who ran Hakone twice as a member of the old Kanto Region University Select Team and credits the experience as critical to his development as an athlete, has been a vocal critic of the KGRR's continued push to restrict participation on the Kanto Student Alliance team. In 2012 he wrote an eloquent appeal to the KGRR asking them to reconsider their decision to change the team format.

source article:
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/feature/hakone/20170727-OHT1T50269.html
translated by Brett Larner

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…

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…

From Madarao to the World - Tokai University's Hayato Seki

Long-awaited by university ekiden fans, the 2017 ekiden season is underway. The Izumo Ekiden was held Monday, with Tokai University living up to expectations to score the win. The athlete who broke the finish line tape as Tokai's anchor was second-year Hayato Seki. This year Seki has run PBs of 13:35.81 for 5000 m and 28:23.37 for 10000 m, marking his growth into one of the unquestionable stars of the university ekiden scene.

A week earlier, the Madarao Forest Trails race was held on Oct. 1. Flashback to the 2012 edition of the race five years ago. The winner in the 16 km Beginner Class men's race was none other than Seki, then in his third year of junior high school. The picture below is of his win at the 2012 Madarao Forest Trails race. Even though he was only a junior high school student Seki ran brilliantly, opening up a huge lead of well over four minutes over the 2nd-placer.


After that Seki entereed Nagano's ekiden powerhouse Saku Chosei H.S. and has now grown into …