Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teaching the Masters

Spring is here. With it comes the April issue of our new subscription series JRNPremium. This month's issues features an interview with Kiyoko Shimahara, the 2009 Hokkaido Marathon winner who broke 2:30 three times in just over 100 days last fall. Shimahara is running Sunday's Nagano Marathon and was just named to the Japanese national team for November's Asian Games. We talked to her about what happened last fall, her training this spring, and her views on national teams, racing overseas, and what's wrong with the corporate team system. Look for Shimahara's interview tomorrow.

Also out now, as a companion piece to editor-in-chief Jonathan Beverley's interview with Kenya's Samuel Wanjiru, the May, 2010 issue of Running Times magazine includes my article "Teaching the Masters" which looks at the history of African distance runners in Japan. For the article I interviewed Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the men responsible for bringing Samuel Wanjiru to the world, Stephen Mayaka, the first Kenyan high school runner in Japan, and Biruk Bekele, an agent who in his running days was one of the first Ethiopians to be hired by a Japanese corporate team.

The complete interviews with Mayaka and Akiyama, both solid gold, will be published in the May and June issues of JRNPremium. The July issue of Running Times will also include an article of mine looking at the development of the Japanese running system from a historical perspective.

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