Skip to main content

Yuko Machida Aiming "Even One Place Higher" in Sendai Int'l Half Marathon

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2009/05/20090508t14029.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2008 World Half Marathon national team member and local native Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) will be among the runners lining up for the May 10 Sendai International Half Marathon. Machida finished 3rd in Sendai the last two years. This time she is aiming to break 1 hour 11 minutes for the first time and to finish "even one place higher."

At last October's World Half Marathon in Brazil Machida placed 22nd, an improvement of four places over her showing two years ago in Udine, Italy. "Even though it was hot," Machida recalls, "I was able to pick it up in the second half and start chasing down people ahead of me." She was also 3rd in this year's Nagoya International Women's Marathon, an excellent result which gives her great confidence as she says, "I'm not afraid of breaking down partway through the race or of losing my concentration."

With a good stamina base behind her from her training for Nagoya, Machida's main task as she looked toward Sendai was to sharpen her speed. She prepared for this year's race by relocating to a high-altitude training camp at Mt. Ontake in Gifu Prefecture in mid-April. Her training at the camp included a set of eight 1000 m repeats at 3:15 pace. "There were days when it snowed so much I couldn't do the planned workouts, but overall it was a success and I'm feeling fit," she says. With a toughened body the ebb and flow of her inner strength has changed to a tide of courage.

She will need it as she faces off against the likes of Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) and Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC). Team Nihon ChemiCon head coach Toshiharu Izumida is confident in Machida's condition, commenting, "She is fast enough now to run against the other leaders." For Machida, she is desperate to smash through the 3rd place wall. "If I can break my PB [of 1:11:03] I think I'll be in position to be up front," she predicts.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…

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…