Skip to main content

Kashiwabara and Murasawa to Attend Rikuren Marathoner Training Camps

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201001/CN2010011901000781.html
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201001/CN2010011801000967.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

With an eye toward strengthening Japanese men's marathoning and distance running in the buildup to the 2012 London Olympics, Rikuren announced on Jan. 19 that it will sponsor a series of national training camps for promising marathoners in New Zealand and other overseas locations. Among the first to be named for the camps are Hakone Ekiden stars Ryuji Kashiwabara, who earlier this month led Toyo University to its second-straight Hakone win, and first year Akinobu Murasawa of Tokai University, who won October's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km in a strong 59:08.

Rikuren's Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee revealed that the first camp will take place in New Zealand in March and April. Following June's National Track and Field Championships the camp's athletes will head to the United States for road racing and high-alititude training in Colorado, after which they will train further afield in Kenya and Ethiopia. With regard to the critical condition of Japanese men's marathoning a Rikuren official commented, "We can't just sit back and do nothing. Just doing ekidens is not the answer."

A day prior to the Rikuren announcement, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Association held its annual Hakone Ekiden Coaches' Conference in Tokyo on Jan. 18. Among the issues discussed were proposals to shorten the 23.4 km mountain climbing Fifth Stage, Hakone's longest, and to either eliminate the Kanto Regional University Select Team, made up of the top finishers in the Yosenkai qualifier who run for Kanto schools which do not qualify for Hakone, or make the Select Team open to universities nationwide.

At this year's Hakone Ekiden, Kashiwabara started the Fifth Stage 4:26 behind the leader but ended up overtaking first and building a 3:36 lead of his own. In 2006 the Kanto Association lengthened the Fifth Stage by 2.5 km to help make it into a proving ground for aspiring marathoners. In the five editions since then the Fifth Stage has been the critical element in determining Hakone's outcome. Some coaches have complained that the Fifth Stage now represents too great an advantage to schools that have an uphill specialist and requested that the stage be shortened again to minimize this advantage. The Kanto Association flatly dismissed the proposal. Director Yoshiyuki Aoba stated, "The idea that when a talented athlete comes along we should handicap them for being too good is ridiculous."

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Aoba needs to tell that to the people at the pro ekidens who are responsible for restricting foreign runners to stages a third the length of what the Japanese runners are doing.
Kevin said…
How about shibui? Get shibui to defend her osaka title. What's her next race. I haven't hear anything from her lately.

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …