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Kiwis no match for Kenyans

Chiba Ekiden Relay

Chiba Ekiden Relay

New Zealand finished eleventh in the Chiba Ekiden Relay in Japan overnight.

The event is raced over the marathon distance of 42.2km in six stages with each team having three men and three women.

US based Hugo Beamish had New Zealand ninth after the first 5km in 14m 23s. Leonora Petrina, also based in the States, ran 16m 27s for the next 5km leg with the team in eleventh spot. Matt Smith ran the next 10km stage in 31m 3s with fellow Cantabrian Fiona Crombie completing lap four over 5km in 16m 31s.

Stephen Lett clocked 31m 12s for the 10km on the penultimate lap and Lisa Robertson anchored New Zealand home in 2h 14m 37s after running the final 7.195km in 25m 1s.

Kenya won in a course record of 2h 4m 40s, just 19 seconds ahead of Japan with a Japan University third in 2h 7m 26s.

The New Zealand men’s Ekiden relay record is 2h 0m 56s set in Chiba in 1991 and the national women’s record is 2h 15m 49s also set in Chiba in 1988.

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