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Hakodate Half Celebrates 25 Years With Wins From Gizae and Kato

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/sapporo-news/20150628/5792931.html

translated by Brett Larner

Now in its 25th year, 4500 runners from across the country ran Hokkaido's Hakodate Half Marathon on June 28, coming for the seaside course and staying for the legendary hot spring resorts.  A fall race up to now, this year the Hakodate Half saw its entry numbers swell by 1000 this year with a move to a June race date. 

The race began at 8:00 sharp with the firing of a gun at Chiyogadai Field in Hakodate.  A light rain left runners shivering before the start, but things warmed up over the 21 km seaside course with enthusiastic cheering from roadside spectators.  One participant, a firefighter from Tokyo, commented, "This was both a race for me and a vacation for my family.  I really enjoyed the scenery along the course while I ran."

Kenyan Mitchell Gizae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) won the men's race in 1:02:29, while Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) was the women's winner in 1:12:21.

25th Hako…

Hara and Mochizuki Win Second Lake Saroma 100 km Titles

http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/area/doto/1-0151017.html
http://www.sankei.com/affairs/news/150628/afr1506280022-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

A total of 3827 people took part in the 30th anniversary Lake Saroma Ultramarathon in Hokkaido on June 28, challenging their own limits as they ran with support and warm cheering from volunteers, local residents of the towns of Yubetsu, Saroma and Kitami, and the runners' friends and family members.

3326 people ran in the 100 km division.  At the 5:00 a.m. start the temperature in Yubetsu was 8.7 degrees, 1.9 degrees cooler than the usual average temperature.  Running the 100 km for the sixth-straight year, two-time Olympic medalist Erick Wainaina (Kenya) addressed the runners in front of Yubetsu Sports Center, telling them, "100 km is a long way, but just stay focused on your own pace and making it to the finish line," before joining them for the race.

501 runners started in the 50 km division from 100 Year Square …

Preliminary Japanese Team Announced for Beijing World Championships

by Brett Larner
National Championships results, videos and reports: Day 1Day 2Day 3

Following this weekend's National Track and Field Championships in Niigata, the Federation announced a preliminary lineup of athletes of 23 athletes, 17 men and 6 women, for the Japanese national team for August's World Championships in Beijing.  Other athletes who finished in the top 3 in their events at the National Championships without having cleared the Beijing qualifying standards like new 16-year-old sprint sensation Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) and 5000 m runners-up Azusa Sumi (Team Univ. Ent.) and Suguru Osako (Oregon Project) have until Aug. 2 to get them.  Excluding the marathon, race walk, and decathlon, the team lineup as announced today:

Men's 100 m, 200 m and Relays
Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - 10.09 / 20.14
Kenji Fujimitsu (Team Zenrin) - 20.32
Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 20.45
Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 10.23 / 20.64

Women's 100 m and 200 m
Chisat…

Hatase Sets Shot Put National Record, Murayama Over Osako on Last Day of National Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner
click here for Day One and Day Two results 
photo by rikujolove, videos by 陸上競技動画集 and naoki620



Eight more athletes scored places on the Japanese team for August's Beijing World Championships on the last day of the National Track and Field Championships, and despite high winds and rain three records fell.  Satoshi Hatase (Gunma Alsok) set a men's shot put national record of 18.78 m, Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) following him with a meet record 84.13 m throw in the men's javelin that secured his place in Beijing.  Women's 3000 mSC junior national record holder Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) took more than 5 seconds off her own record with a new junior NR of 9:55.79 for the win.



Both the women's and men's 5000 m featured great races.  In the women's 5000, 2-time defending national champion Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) showed some uppage in her game by running down talented new young gun Azusa Sumi (Team Univ. Ent.) and #1-ranked

Fujimitsu, Fukushima, Ogita, Tobe and Yoroizaka Top National Track and Field Championships Day Two

by Brett Larner
click here for Day One and Day Three results
videos by 陸上競技動画集 and naoki620



Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) joined the list of athletes scoring guaranteed places on the Beijing World Championships with a solo 28:18.53 win in the men's 10000 m on Day Two of the Japanese National Track and Field Championships June 27 at Niigata's Big Swan Stadium.  Past 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) and Kenyan pacer William Malel (Team Honda) took it out fast with a 2:41 opening 1000 m, 26:50 pace, before settling down, with Yuta Shitara (Team Honda), 27:42.71 last month in Nobeoka, leading the main pack several seconds back.  Shitara did much of the work once the pack regained contact, but in the second half Yoroizaka abruptly surged and pulled away to run alone all the way to the finish.

Shitara and Malel likewise pulled away from the pack, Shitara finishing alone in 28:31.32.  Former Hakone Ekiden fan favorite Akinobu Murasawa (Team Nissin Shokuhin…

Sani Brown's 200 m World Youth Lead Tops Day One of Japanese National Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner
click here for Day Two and Day Three results 
videos by 陸上競技動画集 and naoki620



As expected, the men's 200 m brought a lot of the excitement to the opening day of the 2015 Japanese National Track and Field Championships.  The three favorites Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu), Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) and Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) all won their heats, Fujimitsu bringing the fastest time of the day in 20.37 +0.9, but the biggest news came just behind Iizuka in Heat Three as 16-year-old Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) ran a world youth lead 20.56 +1.4 for 2nd, making the final.  Sani Brown's time put him well ahead of teen sprint sensation Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) on the all-time world youth lists, coming in at #7.  And the final is yet to come.



The women's 10000 m was another highlight as defending champion Kasumi Nishihara (Team Yamada Denki) kept her head through a turbulent race and letting the people who still needed to chase a World Championships qualifying …

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview (updated)

by Brett Larner

The 99th edition of the Japanese National Track and Field Championships kick off Friday, June 26 at Niigata's Big Swam Stadium.  Of the disciplines to be contested at Nationals, 36 athletes in 16 events come in holding IAAF qualifying marks for August's Beijing World Championships, 5 of them having met the JAAF's tougher selection standards, and with the JAAF letting others chase marks up until Aug. 2 there are plenty of chances for others to get on board if they can navigate the JAAF's baffling selection process and finish in the upper places.

The withdrawal of big names like wunderkind sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) and 20-time hammer champ Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) means that Kei Takase (Fujitsu) will be one of this year's biggest draws.  Coming in ranked #1 in both the men's 100 m and 200 m with fresh PBs of 10.09 and 20.14 this spring, Takase is the only athlete in a running event to have cleared the JAAF standard, essentially meaning …

Meet Records at Regional High School Championships Highlight National High School Championships Qualification

by Brett Larner
videos by Ekiden News and 01moroya

Over the last ten days high schools across Japan having been gearing up for next month's National High School Track and Field Championships at ten major regional meets.  Many saw meet records fall in middle and long distances, with the boys' 1500 m in particular seeing an uptick in quality.  Takumi Yokokawa (Nakanojo H.S.) set a 3:48.74 meet record at the North Kanto Region meet, one of two regional winners to break 3:50 along with the Kinki Region's Yuya Nakamura (Osaka Toin H.S.), who ran 3:49.01.  Records also fell in the Chugoku Region, where Kakeru Nakamura (Saikyo H.S.) ran 3:50.58, and the Shikoku Region, where Taku Tomihara (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) ran 3:51.01. 

Results compared well to the weekend's top national-level U.S.A high school meets, where the winning boys' mile times, 4:07.97 by Paul Ryan (Logos Christian School) at the Brooks PR meet and 4:09.23 by Matthew Novak (Deep Run H.S.) at the New Balance Out…

Meio University Scores First-Ever National University Women's Ekiden Qualifying Spot

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/fukuoka/news/20150621-OYTNT50203.html

translated by Brett Larner

The Kyushu Region Qualifier for the 33rd National University Women's Ekiden took place June 21 at Heiwadai Field in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka.  Appearing for the first time in its short 21-year existence, Okinawa's Meio University scored a place at the Oct. 25 Nationals in Sendai, its six athletes' combined 5000 m times in the qualifying meet totalling 2:01:56.

First among them was senior Ayumi Shirakawa, 22, who commented, "This is the first time I've ever made it to the National level.  Even if I can move us up one position I'll be happy."

Among other Kyushu Region schools, Fukuoka University and Kagoshima's Kanoya Taiiku University both hold seeded places from their performances at the 2014 National University Women's Ekiden.

Kawauchi Brothers All Finish Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra

by Brett Larner

隠岐の島で川内三兄弟と子供たちのマラソン大会 pic.twitter.com/39PuIqenMo — IZUMI TAM 6/21 隠岐の島 (@izuizuu) June 20, 2015For the last four years the Okinoshima Ultramarathon has been a staple on Yuki Kawauchi's schedule, a tough and hilly race held every year on Father's Day on the west coast island where his father Ashio Kawauchi was born.  This year to mark the 10th anniversary of both Ashio's passing and the race, Kawauchi was joined by both of his younger brothers, Yoshiki and Koki.  Yoshiki, a 2:22 marathoner, made his ultra debut in the 100 km division, while Koki, the youngest of the three, joined course record holder Yuki in the 50 km.


Yoshiki's day began early, the 100 km race getting going at 5;00 a.m.  6 1/2 hours later, Yuki missed his pre-race introduction to the crowds at the 50 km start and arrived at the starting line with just 4 minutes to go, Koki giving him a perplexed, "What's up?"  Last year Yuki ran 2:47:27 in Okinoshima, inside the worldwid…

Chuo Gakuin Wins National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

by Brett Larner
video by naoki620

全日本予選会 関東は中央学院大がトップ通過。 最終組では潰滝が28:31! pic.twitter.com/mkfy7SpL1i — EKIDEN_MANIA (@ekiden_mania) June 20, 2015Saturday saw the first event on the university men's ekiden circuit with regional qualifier action for November's National University Men's Ekiden.  Universities across the country that finished outside the seeded top six at last November's Nationals competed on the track in their regions, eight runners from each school split into four heats and their team score determined by the combined times of all eight.

The biggest event, needless to say, was in the Tokyo-area Kanto Region, home of the Hakone Ekiden, where twenty schools competed for nine places at Nationals.  Led by senior Hironori Tsuetaki, the double 5000 m and 10000 m D2 champ at last month's Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, Chiba's Chuo Gakuin University came out on top as the only school to clear 3:59, its eight runners totalling 3:58.58…

'Keitany Smashes Olomouc Course Record While Kiptis Surprises the Favourites'

http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/olomouc-half-marathon-2015-keitany-kiptis

Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), formerly Yuka Yano, was 9th in the women's race in 1:13:34, while Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) finished 12th in 1:04:42 in the men's race.  Click here for complete results.

Elsewhere, Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) finished 5th in the BAA 10K women's race in 32:56, with Takehiro Deki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) 8th in the men's race in 29:22.

Bukkyo University Announces New Leadership of Its National Champion Women's Middle and Long Distance Program

http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/sports/article/20150616000166

translated by Brett Larner

On June 16 Kyoto's Bukkyo University announced new leadership for its two-time National University Women's Ekiden champion women's middle and long distance program.  A member of both the Bukkyo faculty and the Kyoto Track and Field Association, Yoshihiko Nakagawa, 68, has been named to the executive head coach position, a position in which he has already begun serving. 

Additionally, the new position of "advisor" has been created to provide backup to the leadership team.  Both the Kyoto Track and Field Association's Hiroshi Taniguchi, 66, and Bukkyo alum Junko Ochi, 32, have been tapped in this capacity.  Ochi was an outstanding member of the Bukkyo team, winning the anchor stage at both the 2001 and 2003 National University Women's Ekiden Championships.  Both she and Taniguchi will provide support to Nakagawa and coaches Yusuke Tanaka and Yuka Maeda.

Honda and Yachiyo Kogyo Corporate Teams Hold Running Education Session for Local Kindergarteners

http://mainichi.jp/area/saitama/news/20150617ddlk11040159000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

86 students from Sasayama's Mizutomi Municipal Kindergarten learned about how to run faster in a "Footrace Classroom" session June 16 with 24 members of the Honda and Yachiyo Kogyo corporate teams along with athletes from Musashino Gakuin University.  Local track and field association chairman Tsuneo Hoshi organized the session in partnership with the three elite teams, hoping both to promote interaction with local businesses like Honda and Yachiyo Kogyo and "to let children know how much fun it is to run."  Monthly sessions at local kindergartens and schools are planned through next February.  Honda team manager Shoji Imabori helped the Mizutomi kindergarteners learn the ropes as he called out to them while they ran together with the athletes, telling them, "Big arm swing!  Push off from the ground firmly!  Look straight ahead and give it all your strength!"

All Three Kawauchi Brothers Running Sunday's Okinoshima Ultramarathon to Honor Tenth Anniversary of Father's Death

http://www.hochi.co.jp/dosports/running/20150617-OHT1T50097.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In thin air between 1500 m and 1700 m, the Kawauchi brothers ran together over tough challenging hills of Nagano.  With their mother Mika Kawauchi, 51, watching, her oldest son Yuki, 28, won the June 14 Venus Half Marathon in 1:10:39.  A day earlier on the 13th, Yuki and the older of his two younger brothers, Yoshiki, 24, ran the neighboring Megamiko Cup Ekiden, a warmup for the Venus Half, together with friends as part of the four-member "Team Kawamoto," raising the excitement level at the race with a come-from-behind win.

The Kawauchi brothers ran the ekiden together with two friends, brothers Ryusuke and Yuta Sakamoto, 35 and 28, respectively, combining their family names to create the Team Kawamoto name.  With each member running the same 2.3 km loop, Yoshiki started the second stage in 5th, running 6:58 and passing four people to take the lead before handing off to…

National Track and Field Championships - Distance Event Entry List Highlights

by Brett Larner

Entry lists are out for the 99th Japanese National Track and Field Championships, June 26-28 in Niigata, doubling this year as the main selection event for the Japanese team for the 2015 Beijing World Championships.  Highlights of distance event entries are below.  Both the men's and women's 10000 m look set to be exceptionally good races.  Look for a detailed preview and explanation of the Worlds team selection criteria next week.

99th National Track and Field Championships
Niigata, June 26-28, 2015
click here for complete entry lists

Men's 10000 m
William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 27:25.56
Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:38.25
Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) - 27:38.31
Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 27:38.99
Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 27:39.95
Chihiro Miyawaki (Toyota) - 27:41.57
Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 27:42.71
Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:50.59
Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 27:51.54
Yuki Matsuoka (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 27:59.78
Yuichiro U…

Portland Track Festival - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

大迫傑 Suguru Osako @sugurusako 途中棄権 DNF 5Km @OregonPJT#早稲田大学 Waseda #陸上競技#PTF15 2015年6月14日 pic.twitter.com/AKxW7yHw0S — TrackAndFieldPhoto (@TaFphoto) June 15, 2015
Former Waseda University star Suguru Osako's string of bad luck in his snakebitten move away from the corporate leagues to embattled coach Alberto Salazar's Nike Oregon Project continued with a DNF in Sunday's Portland Track Festival 5000 m.  After setting three national records while training under Salazar with quasi-NOP status for the last couple of years Osako's full NOP debut was shot down with the cancellation of the 5000 m at May's Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic due to dangerous weather conditions.  His belated debut came two weeks later at the Prefontaine Classic, where he missed the 2015 World Championships 10000 m qualifying standard of 27:45.00 by just 0.24 seconds.  Just days later the NOP was hit by doping allegations against Salazar and athlete Galen Rupp.

Osako and Rupp…