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

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…