Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2908 Run Fuchu Tamagawa Half Marathon

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/tokyotama/news/20091123-OYT8T00946.htm

translated by Brett Larner

The 32nd Fuchu Tamagawa Half Marathon took place Nov. 23. Featuring three events, a 5 km, 10 km and half marathon, this year's Fuchu Tamagawa hosted a total of 2908 runners. Starting from the baseball grounds in Fuchu's Kyodonomori Park, runners ran through the cheers of courseside supporters along the banks of Tokyo's Tama River.

Athletes from Aoyama Gakuin University took the top four places. Team member Atsushi Suzuki (20, 3rd yr.) clocked 1:06:37 to take the win. "I need to get my pace down faster to get picked for the [Hakone Ekiden] team," Suzuki commented after the race. "Winning was a good experience."

Translator's note: This may not seem very noteworthy, but Fuchu Tamagawa is a long-standing, celebrated race with past winners including Toshihiko Seko, Atsushi Sato, Komazawa Univ. head coach Hiroaki Oyagi and Second Wind AC head coach Manabu Kawagoe. Seko set two national records on this course in the event's early years. Fuchu Tamagawa has suffered a bit as a university-oriented race since the rise of the Ageo City Half Marathon a week earlier, but Komazawa, Aoyama Gakuin and a few others still use it as a Hakone Ekiden tune-up.

What's noteworthy this year is what isn't there: Komazawa's A-squad. They always run Fuchu Tamagawa instead of Ageo, but after failing to make the seeded bracket at the last Hakone Ekiden they had to run the Yosenkai 20 km qualifier in October, something which is not usually part of their schedule. Their absence here suggests a very different training schedule this year and is the direct cause of the slowest winning time in Fuchu Tamagawa history.

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