Skip to main content

Terumi Asoshina Returns from Retirement to a New Career in the Marathon With Team Toyota Shatai

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/chuspo/article/sports/news/CK2008050302008460.html

translated by Brett Larner

A great new hope joined Team Toyota Shatai in April. Holding a spot in the Japanese women`s 10000 m all-time top 10 is Terumi Asoshina (25). Asoshina grabbed attention as a hope for the future when she won the 2005 All-Japan Jitsugyodan Half Marathon, but an imbalance in her form resulted in a general weakening of condition and loss of motivation which forced her to quit Team Kyocera in February last year. Despite losing her passion at the time, Asoshina explains, "I decided I didn`t want to quit running just because I wasn`t enjoying it." After a period of rest and renewal, she found a chance for a new start with the Ominami twins at Team Toyota Shatai. Planning a career in the marathon, Asoshina has once again found joy in running and is aiming for a rebirth. "I`m truly grateful. My running isn`t finished yet, but still, to get another chance to enter a team....."

Asoshina has long been hailed as one of the next generation of world-class long-distance runners. She won the All-Japan Jitsugyodan Half Marathon in March `05, then in April the same year she clocked a mark of 31:23.55 to join the all-time top 10 Japanese women in the 10000 m. However, in her debut marathon in the following January`s Osaka International Women`s Marathon, she was poorly prepared and dropped out partway through the race. Since then something has been out of gear in her running. "For some reason," she says, "I stopped being able to put my full weight on my left leg. It didn`t hurt, but my balance always being off made practice really draining."

Asoshina knew something was wrong but couldn`t identify the source and compensated by training with crazed focus and intensity. At the 2006 National Track and Field Championships her performances were disappointingly slow. She began to worry that she was going astray. Bit by bit Asoshina lost the feeling that running had any value in her life. In February 2007 she quit Team Kyocera and returned home to her parents` house in Kumamoto. "I thought that if I got away for a while I might be able to get myself back together," said Asoshina, but being home wasn`t what she hoped. Training alone, she put on 6 kg. Gradually Asoshina found that although she had been serious about her retirement, the sound of her true feelings was beginning to come through. "I didn`t want to quit running just because I wasn`t enjoying it. Quitting would be easy, but if I did it this way I`d always regret it."

After a one year blank in her life, Asoshina found understanding intervention in the person of the Ominami sisters, who introduced her to their team Toyota Shatai. She is now working to restore her delicate sense of balance. Team Toyota Shatai coach Masahiko Takahashi commented, "She`s very talented. Her running will come back." Asoshina now practices in Aichi. If she can smoothly handle her coach`s training menu she will try running in the team`s time trials in June and July. "Right now I`m content, but I`d like to try again sometime in the marathon." From the depths of burnout, Asoshina found new value in running. Her "second running life" will now continue on until the goal.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…