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A Report From Asahi Kasei's Summer Training Camp

translated by Brett Larner

We're deep in the heart of summer gashuku season, when Japan's high school, university and corporate teams relocate to the northern island of Hokkaido, the mountains of Nagano or elsewhere to beat the heat and focus on building a base for the upcoming fall ekiden season and the subsequent winter marathon season. Team Asahi Kasei, the best corporate team on the southern island of Kyushu, recently posted the following report about its gashuku in the mountains of Oita prefecture on its website. Click photos for full-sized versions or the link above for more pictures.

Asahi Kasei's annual mountain gashuku got underway July 15 in the Chojabaru region near Kokonoemachi, Oita prefecture. Morning temperatures are around 17-18 degrees. While midday temperatures can get up to 30 degrees in the evening they fall to 23-25 degrees, leaving ample chance for the entire team to get its training in smoothly and without interruption.

Coming down the mountain.

The first half of each run takes place on a cross-country course to allow for recovery before heading out onto the roads for the second half. One of the focus workouts consisted of a 4-5 hour hike up a mountain, letting the athletes relax and have some fun while helping to develop their muscular strength.

One of many children: 2009 10000 m national champion Yuki Iwai on the XC course.

2010 Asian Games national team marathoner Tomoyuki Sato has been training very well throughout the camp. Targeting the Hokkaido Marathon, Hiroyuki Horibata and Takaaki Koda have been sharpening their condition while helping out the younger runners. Look out for them to have a strong day come Aug. 29.

Tomoyuki Sato, with blue jacket and white gloves and cap, at the center of the team at 1791 m.


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