Skip to main content

A Report From Rikuren's New Zealand Training Camp

http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/jp/csr/sports/rikujo/result/2009/090408.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click thumbnails for full-sized photos via Team Asahi Kasei

Atsushi Sato leads Tomoya Shimizu, one of the Matsumiya twins, Satoru Sasaki and Seiji Kobayashi.

Japan's top male marathoners departed on Mar. 30 for a Rikuren-sponsored training camp in New Zealand. Lasting until Apr. 15, the training camp is taking place at the northernmost tip of New Zealand's southern island, in the town of Nelson. 2009 Berlin World Championships marathoner Masaya Shimizu (Team Asahi Kasei) is taking part in the camp along with his junior teammate Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei). Also at the camp are prospective World Championships team members Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), who is training for this month's London Marathon, and Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki), who was 2nd in February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Others in the training group include Shimizu's twin brother Tomoya (Team Sagawa Express), the Matsumiya twins Yuko and Takayuki (Team Konica Minolta), and Atsushi Sato's teammate Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku).

L-to-R: Seiji Kobayashi, Satoru Sasaki, Masaya Shimizu, Atsushi Sato, Tomoya Shimizu and a Matsumiya.

Deep in the heart of the Nelson area's epic wilderness the Japanese athletes are training three times a day. Receiving motivation from training with runners from other teams, the members of the training camp hope to return to Japan exhibiting all-around growth and development.

Tomoya Shimizu leads the pack with his twin brother Masaya on his right shoulder and a Matsumiya on his left.

Masaya Shimizu commented, "I'm feeling good and I've really been piling on the workouts! Since Rikuren is sponsoring us this time I've been able to get extra motivation from working out together with some different people, and it's been a really satisfying way to spend my training time. Thanks to the staff at the place we're staying, the Sakura B&B, and the fantastic Japanese food they've been cooking us, I've been able to get through three workouts a day, one early in the morning, one late morning, and one in the afternoon. As we're going into the second half of the camp, I think that if I can stay healthy the experience and results I'm getting here are going to pay off at the World Championships this summer."

L-to-R: Masaya Shimizu, Tomoya Shimizu, Atsushi Sato, Naoki Okamoto, Seiji Kobayashi (almost invisible), Satoru Sasaki and a Matsumiya.

Satoru Sasaki agreed, saying, "I've been feeling great too and think that practice has been going well. Before we came to New Zealand I was worried about what the food was going to be like, but it's all been delicious so now I'm looking forward to every meal. I've been learning a lot from the other runners and will keep soaking it all up in the rest of the workouts."

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…