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Showing posts from May, 2017

The State of the Gold Standard 2017 - IAAF Gold Label Times at Spring Marathons Worldwide

Last weekend's Ottawa Marathon was the final IAAF gold label marathon of the spring season, marking a lull until July's Gold Coast Airport Marathon and August's London World Championships. Gold label events are required to recruit elite athletes of a variety of nationalities under specific time standards, currently 2:10:00 for men and 2:28:00 for women in the marathon, in order to earn that label. Nike's Breaking2 experiment aside, the Tokyo Marathon men's race was the best of the season, led by Wilson Kipsang's year-leading 2:03:58 Japanese all-comers record. Mary Keitany's 2:17:01 women-only world record likewise marked the London Marathon as the top women's race so far this year.

But looking beyond just the fastest winning time, what were the best marathons in the first five months of 2017 by depth of quality? The races with the most gold label performances, the standard that the IAAF has decreed as the top level of the sport? Below are the top ten m…

Kariuki Doubles With D2 Half Marathon Meet Record - Kanto Regionals Day Four Highlights

5/28
ハーフマラソン 2部

36着 親﨑達朗(駿河台大学) 1:08:37#関東インカレpic.twitter.com/oQiGYbmYnH — ミウツー (@miu2_tsc) May 29, 2017
Japan's best meet of the season wrapped up Sunday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium. Day four of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships with the men's half marathon, its two divisions running with a staggered start over a circuit course starting and ending inside the stadium. D1 runner-up in the 10000 m Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) took a second-straight title in the D1 race, bettering his winning time from last year by almost two minutes to win in 1:03:22. Back from setting a D2 10000 m meet record of 28:00.66 on Thursday, Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) set another D2 meet record as he outran Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University's Yuta Shimoda to win in 1:02:38.

#関東インカレ 男子5000m

パトリック ワンブィ(日大)13:43.97 pic.twitter.com/xmJ0Y6xrIm — Tさんrunner (@Runner_2653) May 29, 2017
Like the 10000m and half marathon, in both divisions Africans…

Gebresilase and Gudeta Win Ottawa 10K

by Brett Larner

With temperatures suddenly jumping ten degrees to the mid-20s former Tokyo Kokusai University star Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) proved the toughest in hot and sunny conditions as he won Saturday's Ottawa 10K with a long kick from a kilometer and a half out.

Back from a nearly two-year layoff due to illness, 2015 Ottawa winner Nicholas Bor (Kenya) did the early heavy lifting, shaking the lead pack down to himself, Gebresilase, Japan's Kenta Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei), Martin Hehir (U.S.A.) and Taher Belkorchi (Morocco) by 3 km. Shortly after that Murayama, running with support from JRN, started to feel dizzy and began to drift back from the pack. Belkorchi was the next to fade, leaving Gebresilase, Hehir and Bor up front by halfway.

Little changed for the next few kilometers, but between 7 and 8 km Bor abruptly faltered and dropped back. Newcomer Hehir gave it what he had, but on a sharp left turn across a bridge before 9 km Gebresilase surged and had the race i…

Two Meet Records and Kiryu in the 200 m - Kanto Regionals Day Three Highlights

by Brett Larner

#関東インカレ
1部200
予選5組(桐生君) pic.twitter.com/T4NQK1hC74 — たけはら (@imoo47910) May 27, 2017
Following up on his 100 m title and anchor run for Toyo University's 4x100 m team, Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu rolled on through day three of his final Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, winning his 200 m heat in 20.79 +1.3 m/s. Where he easily dominated all three rounds of the 100 m, this time Kiryu had pressure. In Heat 3, second-year Jun Yamashita (Tsukuba Univ.) ran 20.71 -0.5 m/s to take the top spot heading into the semi-finals.

男子1部 棒高跳び
優勝🥇 来間弘樹(順大)

5m55 大会新記録🎉
おめでとう🎊#関東インカレpic.twitter.com/uUEpxeuuYf — はる (@haru__800) May 27, 2017
After a raft of meet records on the second day of Regionals, two more events saw new records on day three. In the D2 men's javelin throw, little-known Ryoma Nakaura (Ibaraki Univ.) threw a meet record 71.93 m to win by over six meters. The competition of the day came in the D1 men's po…

Bor, Gebresilase and Murayama Lead Ottawa 10k Men's Field

by Brett Larner


2015 winner Nicholas Bor (Kenya), former Tokyo Kokusai University runner Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) and the 2017 New Year Ekiden champion team Asahi Kasei's star twin Kenta Murayama (Japan) lead the elite men's field for Saturday's Ottawa 10K, part of the Tamarack Homes Ottawa Race Weekend. Out of competition for almost two years with injury, Bor indicated at the pre-race press conference that his training had been good. Winner of Nigeria's Okpekpe 10 km two weeks ago, Gebresilase was confident of his chances.

Murayama, 5th in March's NYC Half in 1:00:57, said that he planned to play an active role in the race and hoped to even the score against Gebresilase, who beat him in both of their meetings on the track in Japan. Speaking to Japanese media prior to his departure for Ottawa, Murayama said that in terms of time he will be going for the 28:05 Japanese national record for road 10 km currently held by Atsushi Sato. If he succeeds he will join his …

Kiryu Takes Final Kanto 100 m Title - Kanto Regionals Day Two Highlights

by Brett Larner

#世界陸上 🇬🇧 #TBS 8月開幕】
#関東インカレ 2日目・桐生祥秀》
期待された桐生のスイッチは入らず。しかし、今季の走りのレベルは「9秒8台レベル」と土江コーチ
続きはhttps://t.co/Yye7JlUp3n#桐生祥秀#TBS#世界陸上pic.twitter.com/3f4yeOjkXq — TBSテレビ陸上 8月は世界陸上ロンドン (@tbsrikujou) May 26, 2017
Day two of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships saw one of the the country's greats, Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.), lining up in the meet's 100 m for the final time of his college career. Heading into the semi-finals with the fastest time in the heats, Kiryu easily topped the semis with a 10.15 +1.8 m/s to take the top spot among the qualifiers for the final. There he ran 10.24 -0.5 m/s to add one last Kanto 100 m title to his collection. Anchoring Toyo's 4x100 m team he brought them home in 4th in 39.56, leaving just one more event, the 200 m, before he wraps up his final appearance at Japan's best meet.

#関東インカレ 橋岡優輝 6回目 8m04 +0.1
跳んだ直後の雄叫び、記録が分かり喜びを爆発させる様子、スタンドの盛り上がりが凄かった 😆 pic.twitter…

Kariuki Breaks Ndambiri's 10000 m Meet Record, Kiryu Back on Track - Kanto Regionals Day One Highlights

by Brett Larner
with contributing material by Chris Cullen

今日の関東インカレのリレー予選。
こんなにミスってるのに最後の桐生さんでバケモンくらい追い抜く。これが世界2位の力か。すごすぎる😂 pic.twitter.com/44unLvV5M4 — YÜ (@yu2442ishiara) May 25, 2017
Japan's best meet, the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, kicked off Thursday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium. Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) was one of the stars of the day, leading the opening round of men's 100 m heats in 10.42 (-0.6 m/s) and anchoring Toyo University's 4x100 m into the final, taking the team from last to 4th in his heat.

館澤(東海)3.46.25#関東インカレ#1500m決勝pic.twitter.com/PkwanlRtxH — EKIDEN News (@EKIDEN_News) May 25, 2017
The men's 1500 m Division 1 race was solid by Japanese standards. Tokai University second year Ryoji Tatezawa won his heat in 3:44.61 before going on to take the final in 3:46.25, 2nd and 3rd-placers Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) and Ko Kobayashi (Tsukuba Univ.) both clearing 3:48. Divisi…

'RunCzech Racing Athlete Abraham Kipyatich to Continue His Running Career in Japan'

a RunCzech press release

Abraham Kipyatich, one of the strongest performers on the RunCzech Racing team, is to spend the remainder of the year in Japan, competing for the Asahi Kasei Athletics Team. After a number of fine and stable performances last year, and a victory in the Birell Prague Grand Prix 2016, as a culmination of the fine season Abraham had.

The Asahi Kasei Athletics Team was founded in 1946 and is based in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture. The team is known for its great history, especially for producing Olympians (marathon), national record holders and other legends of our sport. In 2017, Asahi Kasei became first team in an 18-year period to win the New Year Ekiden National Corporate Men's Road Relay Championships with an all-Japanese lineup.

Kipyatich is the first non-Japanese runner in the team and only one out of two non-Japanese runners team has in its line-up for 2017 season. Kipyatich already had successful experience in Japan this year - he managed solid fourth p…

Tanui, Mokaya, Endo, Ichiyama and Fujimoto Top Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Most of the country's corporate leagues held their regional track and field championships this weekend, but superseding them all was the Golden Grand Prix Kawasaki meet.

With a shortage of candidates for the London World Championships men's 5000 m the JAAF doctored in a sub-7:55.00 qualifying standard for men to get into next month's National Track and Field Championships, adding a 3000 m to the normally sprint, middle distance and field event GGP.  In the midst of his best season in years, Yuichiro Ueno (Team DeNA) took it out close to national record pace through the first half before abruptly slowing and dropping off the back. Rio Olympics 10000 m silver medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) took over, with only Evans Keitany Kiptum (Team Toyota Boshoku), Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu), Hayato Seki (Tokai Univ.) and Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei).

Never do this.
Kiptum looked set for the win with a strong kick over the last 200 m, but Tanui came back…

Göteborgsvarvet - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Running as part of a corporate league overseas junket, 2017 National Corporate Half Marathon women's champion Ai Utsunomiya (Team Miyazaki Ginko) and other Japanese athletes at Sweden's Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon were totally ineffectual. Utsunomiya had the best placing at 9th in 1:15:41, nearly eight minutes off Kenyan winner Fancy Chemutai's 1:07:58, with Yuri Nozoe (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) another minute behind.

Only a mid-63 runner, Ryo Hashimoto (Team GMO Athletes) went out with the lead pack for the first couple of kilometers before fading to 1:05:01 for 11th, nearly five minutes off winner Geoffrey Yegon of Kenya.  With a 1:02:01 best Shun Inoura (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) barely escaped being run down by women's winner Chemutai, finishing 17th in 1:07:26.

Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5/20/17
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Yegon (Kenya) - 1:00:19
2. Amos Kipruto (Kenya) - 1:00:24
3. Leonard Langat (Kenya) - 1:00…

'Kenyan Team-Mates of Banned Olympic Marathon Champion Suspended by Management Company'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1050540/kenyan-team-mates-of-banned-olympic-marathon-champion-suspended-by-management-company

Sarah Chepchirchir won the 2017 Tokyo Marathon in 2:19:47, the fastest time ever run on Japanese soil. Named alternate to the Kenyan team for this summer's London World Championships last week, Purity Rionoripo ran the 2014 Yokohama International Women's Marathon but DNFd. Visiline Jepkesho won the 2014 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, DNFd at the 2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon, and was 4th in Gifu in 2016.

Seven Rio Medalists in Kawasaki - Weekend Preview

by Brett Larner

It's a busy weekend ahead both at home and abroad. The main road action happens overseas, with London Olympian and 2:07:48 marathoner Arata Fujiwara in Mongolia to run the Ulanbaatar Marathon where a victory will earn him a horse. A group of five Japanese men and women led by 1:01:37 runner Ken Yokote and 2017 National Corporate Half Marathon champion Ami Utsunomiya is in Sweden on a corporate league junket to the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon to gain valuable experience running and going to laundromats internationally.

Back home, many of their corporate league brethren and sistren will instead be lining up at one of four regional corporate league track championships. Up north in Akita, the East Japan Region meet features top-level Japan-based Africans Jonathan Ndiku, William Malel and Wesley Ledama, with Yuta Shitara, Masato Kikuchi and Azusa Sumi leading the Japanese crowd. The Kansai Region meet happens at the same time in Osaka, with the Chugoku Region meet, wh…

1500 m National Record Holder Yuriko Kobayashi Gives Birth to First Child

https://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/201705/0010198888.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

Women's 1500 m national record holder and 2008 Beijing Olympian Yuriko Kobayashi, 28, a resident of Kakogawa, Hyogo and born in Ono, Hyogo, gave birth to her first child, a boy, the morning of May 18. Kobayashi retired from competition in December, 2014. In December, 2015 she married a man the same age as her involved in the landscaping business who had run in the National High School Ekiden Championships while attending Hyogo's Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. In addition to giving lectures and making appearances at amateur races, Kobayashi has been teaching mathematics at a prison for juvenile offenders in Kakogawa. About three and a half hours after giving birth she commented, "That gave me a taste of a whole different kind of suffering and excitement from athletics. I hope that he grows up a healthy boy."

Translator's note: Kobayashi holds a total of four youth, junior and open nationa…

Kenta Murayama to Run Ottawa 10K

#GGN
男子10000m
旭化成 村山謙太さん② pic.twitter.com/SleKF2NvJm — りほ@陸上垢 (@ykr_10v) May 8, 2017
Kenta Murayama of the 2017 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei team is among the top entrants in the May 27 Ottawa 10K men's race.  5th in March's United Airlines NYC Half in 1:00:57, Murayama is the twin brother of track 10000 m national record holder Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei). Murayama will be running in Canada for the first time with support from JRN. Also on the entry list is former Tokyo Kokusai University runner Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia), who had several memorable races against Murayama's brother Kota at the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier 20 km. Ottawa will be Kenta and Leul's first time to meet each other on the raods. Click here for a complete elite field listing.

National Champion Asahi Kasei Team Welcomes its First-Ever Kenyan Members

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170515-00000124-sph-spo

translated by Brett Larner

今日から新しいチームメイトが旭化成に加わりました!!
共に世界を目指して頑張ります。
応援よろしくお願いします。#ケニア
#🇰🇪#左#アブラハム#右#ケネスhttps://t.co/OSMR3UynMNpic.twitter.com/UiuIcQTFUK — 市田 孝 (@TAKA_supra) May 15, 2017
On May 15 ekiden and marathon powerhouse Asahi Kasei welcomed its first-ever foreign-born team members, Kenyans Kenneth Kiprop Kipkemoi, 32, and Abraham Kapsis Kipyatich, 24, to the team's base in Nobeoka, Miyazaki. The highly accomplished Kipkemoi holds a 10000 m best of 26:52.65 far superior to the 27:29.69 Japanese national record held by Asahi Kasei's Kota Murayama, 24, and his 5000 m and half marathon bests of 13:03.07 and 59:01 are likewise better than the Japanese national records. By comparison, Kipyatich is still young with room to grow further in the future.

Regarding the reinforcement of the team's strength, an Asahi Kasei spokesperson commented, "The mission of our athletics program is to produce athletes who …

Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Corporate and university meets led the way in the first of three straight weekends of regional track action.  At the Chubu Region Corporate Track and Field Championships Kenyan Rodgers Chumo Kemoi (Team Aisan Kogyo) led the top three under 28 minutes, winning in 27:54.19. Returning to the track after a quality 2:10:39 debut at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) was the fastest Japanese man in the race, running 28:31.28 for 4th.

Silas Laikong (Team Aichi Seiko) won the Chubu men's 5000 m in 13:45.59, but the fastest time of the weekend came at the season's first Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials meet, where Ethiopian teammates Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) went 1-2 in 13:36.08 and 13:36.20. Downhill specialist Yuji Onoda led a large contingent from Hakone Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University, 3rd overall in 13:58.05.

The women's 3000 m in Shizuoka also saw teammates sweep the front end, with ne…

Ndirangu and Tanaka Win Sendai International Half, Nakamoto Over Kawauchi

by Brett Larner

Cooler than usual temperatures meant a return to faster times at Sunday's Sendai International Half Marathon, where former Sera H.S. star Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) led the top six under last year's winning time to take the top spot for the first time in 1:01:44. Ritsumeikan University grad Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) got her own first-time Sendai title, winning in 1:11:07.

A world record-pace 2:46 opening km shook off most of the Japanese competition, quickly leaving the Kenyan quartet of Ndirangu, Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta), Muthoni Muiru (Soka Univ.) and Joseph Onsarigo (Team Nasu Kensetsu) up front tailed by newlywed Takuya Noguchi (Team Konica Minolta). In the chase pack, defending champ Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) and two members of Japan's London World Championships marathon squad, Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).

Noguchi and Onsarigo were off the leaders near halfway, and Ka…

Toyama Marathon Faces Course Change to Reduce Traffic Problems

http://www.tulip-tv.co.jp/news/detail/?TID_DT03=20170512151125

translated by Brett Larner

Scheduled for Oct. 29 this year, the Toyama Marathon faces a partial course change in a bid to ease traffic problems caused by the race. The plan was announced at an organizing committee meeting on May 12. Until now the Toyama Marathon course has crossed Toyama Bridge and Jinzu Bridge on the way to the finish in Kansui Park, but the new course this year is proposed to cross Toyama Kita Bridge en route to the finish. The change will reduce the number of bridges that must be closed to traffic from two to one, and by eliminating the passage over Mt. Kureha it is also expected to result in faster times for participants.

Now in its third edition, the Toyama Marathon attracted 12,000 participants last year. For the first time it will be held the same day as the Kanazawa Marathon, meaning high occupancy for accommodations in the eastern part of Toyama prefecture. It was reported at the executive committe…

Tokyo-Area Running Specialty Chain Art Sports Declares Bankruptcy

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170510-00010001-teikokudb-ind

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, retailer Art Sports Co., Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in the Tokyo District Court on May 9, receiving a decision later the same day to commence bankruptcy proceedings. Attorney Michio Suzuki of the Hashimoto Sogo firm represented the company in the application, with attorney Akihisa Kagawa of the Kagawa firm acting as bankruptcy trustee.

Art Sports was founded in April, 1967, celebrating its 69th anniversary as a premier sporting goods retailer last month, operating eight stores in the Tokyo area as well as an online shopping portal. Primarily handling running gear and tennis goods, it expanded its operations to also deal with equipment for sports cycling, mountaineering and other outdoor activities in its separate "Art Sports," "OD Box" and "Annex" outlets. For the fiscal year ending February, 1991 it posted annual sales o…

2:24:38 Marathoner Reia Iwade Out of Sunday's Sendai International Half Marathon

http://www.sendaihalf.com/news/#id218

translated and edited by Brett Larner

We regret to announce that special invited athlete Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) has withdrawn from the May 14 Sendai International Half Marathon due to pain in her right ankle. Other notable withdrawals are listed below:

Men
Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta) - illness
Chihiro Miyawaki (Toyota) - illness
Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - illness
Keita Baba (Honda) - illness
Kazuki Yamashita (Komazawa Univ.) - injury
Makoto Ozawa (Sekino Kosan) - injury
Kazuki Muramatsu (Sumitomo Denko) - other
Benjamin Ngandu (Fujitsu) - illness
Hiroaki Sano (Honda) - illness
Hiroki Miura (Sumitomo Denki) - other
Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) - illness
Shota Kawano (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - other
Hinata Abe (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - other

Women
Reia Iwade (Noritz) - injury
Haruna Maekawa (Juhachi Ginko) - injury
Miharu Shimokado (Shimamura) - team transfer
Kotomi Takayama (Sysmex) - injury

Aiyabei Crushes Course Record, Abraha Outkicks Worku, and Kawauchi Survives Hard Fall at Prague Marathon

by Brett Larner


London World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) lined up at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon with support from JRN in a bid to break his four-year-old best of 2:08:14. Planning to go with second group pacer Eliud Macharia of Kenya at 3:02/km, Kawauchi and Macharia found themselves part of the lead group when its pacers were unable to hit their target 3:00/km in the challenging early part of the Prague course. The lead group accelerated approaching 15 km, while Macharia, Kawauchi and Moroccan Salah Eddine Bounasr stayed their course and hit it dead on 2:08:00 pace in 45:30.


Over the next 10 km the leaders again slowed, letting Macharia’s trio return and even go to the front without changing their pace. Following the pacers’ departure it was down to a race of six, the Ethiopian trio of Gebretsadik Abraha, Bazu Worku and Mekuant Ayenew, Kenyan Benson Kipruto, Bounasr and Kawauchi. The group hit 32 km in 1:37:43, well off the hoped-for s…

Matsuzaki and Ichiyama Clear London Standards - Payton Jordan and Golden Games in Nobeoka Results

by Brett Larner

Stanford University’s Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational has long been a mainstay for Japanese distance runners, the site of 10000 m national record runs by both Yoko Shibui and Toshinari Takaoka. But with the steady rise of the Golden Games in Nobeoka meet in Japan’s version of Eugene, Oregon, more and more have been passing Stanford by to run on home ground.

With the two meets happening almost simultaneously this year only one Japanese man, Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) made the trip over to the States. With a 27:48.56 best from last November Oishi was only 25th of 27 finishers in 29:17.60. Most of the other main contenders for the London World Championships team in the 10000 m ran in Nobeoka, where Rio Olympics silver medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) paced a field including proven sub-28 men Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei), Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin), Yuta Shitara (Team Honda), Ken Yokote (Team Fujitsu), Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei), Kenta Murayama