Skip to main content

Training Where It's Cool - Kanto University Ekiden Training Camps in Full Swing

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/chiiki4/246285.html

translated by Brett Larner

Across Hokkaido the summer gasshuku training camp season is underway for the top university teams in the ultra-competitive Kanto region. With two new Kenyan recruits in its lineup, Takushoku University arrived in Mombetsu, Hokkaido on Aug. 13. Takushoku is just one of nine schools training in the area as they seek to run the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. Including athletes and coaches, the 27 members of the Takushoku squad landed at Mombetsu Airport on Aug. 13 and immediately ran their first practice session. Scheduled to be in Mombetsu through the 23rd, the team's training plan calls for runners to average 40 km a day throughout the gasshuku to build a base for October's Hakone Ekiden qualifier Yosenkai 20 km Road Race.

In Mombetsu for the sixth time, assistant coach Keigo Tabata (26) explained why the Mombetsu region is good for training, saying, "The weather is cool here and there isn't much traffic so we can train safely here." Junior Kenta Ishii (21) commented, "Nothing is better for recovering from a hard workout than Mombetsu's delicious local fish."

Thanks to the efforts of the Mombetsu chamber of commerce, between now and mid-September nine Kanto-region universities will hold gasshuku in the area including four schools seeded for the 2011 Hakone Ekiden: Chuo University, Josai University, Aoyama Gakuin University and Meiji University.

Translator's note: Summer gasshuku have a significant impact on the local economies of rural towns across Hokkaido, Nagano and elsewhere in Japan. For a detailed look at Josai University's summer training menus click here (subscription required). For a more general look at a Josai gasshuku click here.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …