A result caught my eye in Japan last week. The 42nd Nihonkai Ekiden was held last week and it's a 7-leg ekiden (relay race) over the classic 42.2km marathon distance. The top 23 teams all broke 2:10 in the marathon for the race with the top 8 teams all breaking 2:07:00.
The winning team, Kyuuhus Gakuin, ran 2:05:11. That's 14:50 5k pace for the whole marathon with an average leg distance of 6k per runner as leg distances were 10k, 3k, 8.1k, 8.1k, 3k, 5k and 5k.
I looked up the splits of the winning team for each of the legs and then just figured out what the 8.1 k runners would have hit 8k in if they ran even-paced.
29:04 for 10k, 8:35 for 3k, 24:09.5 for 8k, 24:30.9 for 8k, 8:37, for 3k, 14:40 for 5k, and 15:04 for 5k.
The question I have for you is,'Could Newbury Park - the top US team - do that?'
Kyuuhus Gakuin's Splits
Leg 1 (10 km): 1. Shu Nagamoto 29:04
Leg 2 (3km): 9. Hasegawa? 8:35
Leg 3 (8.1075km): 9. Kanno 24:29 (that's 24:09.5 for 8k and then keep going)
Leg 4 (8.0875 km):1. Yamato Yoshida 24:47 (that's 24:30.9 for 8k and then keep going)
Leg 5 (3 km): 1. Shogo Iwane 8:37
Leg 6 (5 km): 2. Yudai Mizuno 14:40
Leg 7 (5k) 8. Murakami 15:04 (8)
Top 5 Team Results
1. Kyushu Gakuin H.S., 2:05:11
2. Hotoku Gakuen H.S., 2:05:25
3. Kurashiki H.S., 2:05:43
4. Iga Hakuho H.S., 2:06:21
5. Saku Chosei H.S., 2:06:30
*Full Results *Japane Running News Recap