Skip to main content

Men's Marathon Training Camp Departs for New Zealand

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp201003050232.html

translated by Brett Larner

Note: This article repeats that of a few days ago but fleshes out the details significantly.

Led by Team Chugoku Denryoku head coach and Rikuren director of men's marathoning Yasushi Sakaguchi, the athletes in Rikuren's men's marathoning reinforcement training camp depart Mar. 7 for two weeks in New Zealand. Departing from the usual practice, this year's camp is targeting university runners. Among the five student athletes attending the camp is two year-straight Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage record setter Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.). We spoke to Director Sakaguchi about the training camp.

Last year Rikuren revived the overseas training camps which had been a fixture of its calendar in the 1990's. What is the aim this time in focusing on athletes under age 23?

Our goal is to get our most talented young runners looking toward the marathon from the start. We have a lot of runners who can handle 2:08, but right now we're lacking the people who can realistically target 2:06. We want to help them realize that the Hakone Ekiden isn't everything and to look out at the world with higher goals in mind.

Who is attending?

Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.), Takuya Ishikawa (Meiji Univ.), Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.), Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) and Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.). Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) are also joining.

Why are Sato and Matsumiya going to be there?

Like Sato (finishing last) in Beijing, we want them to learn that a world-class athlete keeps his motivation to compete in the face of tough international competition. A local event like the Hakone Ekiden is different. We want them to feel how tough it is to be internationally competitive.

What kind of training will they be doing?

While focusing on cross-country we'll be building the base for track season. They won't be doing actual marathon training. We don't expect a dramatic change to happen in just two or three weeks, but by experiencing this kind of high-level elite training we hope that the tension will be born within them. In normal group training there are athletes of a variety of levels and the best athletes may have a little room for slack, but on a national-level training camp that is not the case. I listened to what World Championships marathon silver medalist and Team Daiichi Seimei head coach Sachiko Yamashita had to say, and she believes that this sort of opportunity is the gateway to building the motivation to make a national team.

What are you hoping to build toward?

Developing the perseverence to keep going for the long period of time necessary to make a big change is the most important thing. If these young athletes have a high-quality experience and come out of this thinking, "I want to do this again," that feeling will spread to other runners on different teams. If they begin to think, "I want to be part of that too," then being invited to join this program will become fiercely competitive. If we can harness that then the level of our national teams can only improve.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

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…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…