Fukuoka International Cross Country

The Fukuoka International Cross Country is an annual cross country running competition which takes place in Fukuoka, Japan in either late February or Early March. It is one of the IAAF permit meetings which serve as qualifying events for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.[1]

Fukuoka International Cross Country
DateLate February or
early March
LocationFukuoka, Japan
Event typeCross country
Distance10 km for men
4 km for women
8 km junior men
6 km junior women

First held in 1987, the Fukuoka Cross Country is held at the National Cross Country Course near the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka.[2] The course is a purpose-built cross country venue that was created as the host course for the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.[3]

The meet features a competition schedule of eight races.[4] These include a senior men's course (10 km) and a senior women's course (6 km). A total of four junior races take place, with long courses of 8 km for men and 6 km for women, as well as 4 km short course for both junior sexes. Furthermore, there are two relay races for high school athletes which have legs of 2 km per runner.[2]

Four of the races act as qualifiers for the World Cross Country Championship: the men's 10 km and the women's 6 km allow athletes to enter the senior world competition while the junior men's 8 km and junior women's 6 km enable runners to qualify for the junior section of the championships.[4] The competition is one of three in which Japanese athletes can qualify for the World Championships; the others being the annual Chiba International Cross Country and the biennial Asian Cross Country Championships.[5]

A small contingent of foreign athletes are invited each year, but the fields of each race largely comprise Japanese runners.[6] Previous winners include Olympic gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru, who first won at the age of 16,[7] and won three times consecutively between 2003 and 2005.[8] World and Olympic gold medallist Meseret Defar has also competed, winning the 2005 women's race.

The competition is televised on local Japan News Network channels by the Tokyo Broadcasting System.[2] The Fukuoka Cross Country meeting is one of the prefecture's top annual athletics events, along with the Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship.

Past senior race winners

Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru first won at age 16 in 2003
Meseret Defar was the 2005 women's champion

Key:   Asian Championship race

  • Note: Race data unavailable prior to 1995.
Edition Year Men's winner Time (m:s) Women's winner Time (m:s)
1st 1987 Not available Not available
10th 1996[9]  Jeff Schiebler (CAN) 29:42  Liu Shixiang (PRC) 16:18
11th 1997[9]  Jeff Schiebler (CAN) 28:44  Takami Ominami (JPN) 16:08
12th 1998[9]  Julius Gitahi (KEN) 28:43  Yuko Kawakami (JPN) 16:16
13th 1999[9]  Jeff Schiebler (CAN) 29:00  Kylie Risk (AUS) 16:09
14th 2000[9]  Tomohiro Seto (JPN) 29:33  Iulia Olteanu (ROU) 16:40
15th 2001[10][11]  Yoji Yamaguchi (JPN) 30:41  Iulia Olteanu (ROU) 16:40[12]
16th 2002[13][14][15][16]  Samuel Kabiru (KEN) 28:50  Miwako Yamanaka (JPN) 15:36[12]
17th 2003[17]  Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 29:13  Émilie Mondor (CAN) 18:51
18th 2004[8]  Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 29:02  Yoshiko Ichikawa (JPN) 19:25
19th 2005[18]  Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 29:20  Meseret Defar (ETH) 19:16
20th 2006[19]  Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (JPN) 30:27  Kayoko Fukushi (JPN) 19:38
21st 2007[20]  Micah Njeru (KEN) 29:29  Megumi Kinukawa (JPN) 19:56
22nd 2008[6]  Paul Kuira (KEN) 28:18  Mariya Konovalova (RUS) 18:54
23rd 2009[21]  Joseph Kiptoo Birech (KEN) 29:15  Kseniya Agafonova (RUS) 19:33
24th 2010[22]  Tetsuya Yoroizaka (JPN) 29:04  Kazue Kojima (JPN) 19:32
25th 2011[23]  Bidan Karoki (KEN) 27:52  Hitomi Niiya (JPN) 19:09
26th 2012[24]  Suguru Osako (JPN) 30:27  Hitomi Niiya (JPN) 20:18
27th 2013[25]  Charles Ndirangu (KEN) 29:47  Hitomi Niiya (JPN) 20:00
28th 2014[26]  Karemi Thuku (KEN) 28:43  Tejitu Daba (BHR) 19:23
29th 2015[27]  Jonathan Ndiku (KEN) 29:22  Mai Shoji (JPN) 19:54


  1. IAAF Cross Country Permits Archived March 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. IAAF (2010). Retrieved on 2010-02-12.
  2. 第24回福岡国際クロスカントリー大会 Archived 2010-03-04 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese). Japanese Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  3. Nakamura, Ken (2006-03-03). World Cross Championships dress rehearsal - Fukuoka preview. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  4. Nakamura, Ken (2009-03-05). Home selection for Amman central to Fukuoka Cross Country - PREVIEW. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  5. Nakamura, Ken (2008-02-28). Fukuoka Cross country – Preview. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  6. Nakamura, Ken & Onishi, Akihiro (2008-03-01). Kuira, Konovalova prevail at Fukuoka Cross Country. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  7. Kenyan, Canadian athletes split Fukuoka cross country titles. Xinhua News Agency (2003-03-02). Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  8. Nakamura, Ken (2004-02-29). Wanjiru and Ichikawa take Fukuoka XC wins. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  9. "An eighty years of history of Japan Association of Athletics Federations" (日本陸上競技連盟八十年史), 2005, Japan Association of Athletics Federations. pp.150-151.
  10. Nakamura, Ken (2001-03-19). Japanese World Cross Country team. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  11. Shideiso Running Club: 高橋教子が福岡国際クロスカントリー大会で5位! Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Course 5 km
  13. Sankei Sports: 第16回 福岡国際クロスカントリー大会 (Internet Archive)
  14. JAAF: 福岡国際クロスカントリー大会結果 (Internet Archive)
  15. Nakamura, Ken (2002-03-19). Japanese Team for the World Cross Country Championships in Dublin Archived 2005-03-19 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  16. Tenmaya Track & Field Team: 2002年3月大会結果 Archived 2010-05-31 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Nakamura, Ken (2003-03-03). Samuel Wanjiru and Emilie Mondor win Fukuoka Cross Country. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  18. Nakamura, Ken (2005-03-07). Wanjiru and Defar win in the mud of Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  19. Nakamura, Ken (2006-03-05). Fukushi takes runaway win far ahead of Ndereba - Fukuoka XC - UPDATED. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  20. Nakamura, Ken (2007-03-05). High School students steal the show in Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  21. Nakamura, Ken (2009-03-07). Kiptoo Birech and Agafanova win Fukuoka Cross Country . IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  22. Nakamura, Ken (2010-02-27). Japanese World XC selection firms up over ‘Power’ and ‘Camel’ hills - Fukuoka Cross Country. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-28.
  23. Nakamura, Ken (2011-02-26). Karoki wins again - Kenyans and hosts dominate at Fukuoka Cross Country. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-02-26.
  24. Nakamura, Ken (2012-02-25). Sato beaten by Osako in Fukuoka. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-05.
  25. FUKUOKA INTERNATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY 2013. JAAF (2013). Retrieved on 2013-03-02.
  26. Mills, Steven (2014-02-23). Bahrain dominate at the Asian Champs – cross-country round-up. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-02-01.
  27. Larner, Brett (2015-02-21). Ndiku Over Murayama, Shoji Outkicks Lacaze at Fukuoka XC . Japan Running News. Retrieved on 2016-02-01.