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German Town to Hold Charity Event for Marathon Medalist Arimori's Disaster Relief Charity

The town of Karolinenhof, Germany will hold a charity run this Sat., May 21 to raise money for two-time Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori's charity Hearts of Gold. Since the Mar. 11 disasters in the northeastern area of Japan, Arimori's group have established the Animo Project to raise funds to help rebuild schools in disaster-hit areas.

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Niiya Runs National Record For the Win in Houston

Kicking off the Olympic year in the third year of her comeback from retirement, 2007 Tokyo Marathon winner Hitomi Niiya (Sekisui Kagaku) ran a Japanese national record 1:06:38 to win the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in her American debut and first half marathon in 11 years.



Running with support from JRN, Niiya brought her high school-era friend Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta), a 1:00:58 half marathoner, to pace her at an even 3:10/km, pace for 1:06:49 with room to spare under Kayoko Fukushi's 2006 national record of 1:07:26. In cold and windy conditions the pair went out faster than planned, splitting 15:37 at 5 km and 31:10 at 10 km, 1:05:45 pace, leaving a field including 2019 Tokyo Marathon winner Ruti Aga (Ethiopia) and world all-time 6th-fastest half marathoner Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (Kenya) behind.

Rounding a turnaround into a long section headed straight into the wind the pace settled down to the planned level with a 15:52 from 10 to 15 km, leaving her 55 seconds up …

Hitomi Niiya Runs First Race in Almost Five Years: "I Still Totally Hate Running"

One of Japan's best long distance women is back on track. 5th in the women's 10000 m at the 2013 Moscow World Championships before declaring her retirement in January, 2014, Hitomi Niiya (30, Nike Tokyo TC) ran her first race in almost five years in the 3000 m at the June 9 Nittai University Time Trials meet. Post-race she said, "Yeah, it's been a while. Feels like I'm on my way back."

Describing herself as, "an athlete whose history is only in the past," Niiya ran 9:20.74 for 2nd in the 3000 m A-heat at Nittai. "That's a really half-assed time, huh," she said afterwards. Her bib number was 30, the same as her age now. "That pissed me off," she laughed. "I'm not happy about it." Sounding just like her old self there was no doubt that her sharp tongue, at least, hasn't lost its edge.

After running in the 2012 London Olympics, in November that year at the age of 25 Niiya was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis i…

Hitomi Niiya to Make Comeback After Four Years Away From the Sport

On June 3 it was revealed that 2013 Moscow World Championships women's 10000 m 5th-placer Hitomi Niiya, 30, will run the women's 3000 m at the June 9 Nittai University Time Trials as part of the Nike Tokyo Track Club. Her first race in over four years, the race represents her first step on the road to a comeback in time for the 2020 Tokyo Oympic Games. According to a club spokesperson, Niiya began running again last summer. Her goal at Nittai to clear the 9:50 qualifying time for July's Hokuren Distance Challenge series in Hokkaido, where she will run the 5000 m in order to secure the 15:40.00 standard for the 2019 National Championships.

A native of Soja, Okayama, while at Kojokan H.S. Niiya won the 6.0 km First Stage at the National High School Ekiden three years in a row. Two of those runs broke the course record, with her time of 18:52 still standing as the course record. No other runner has ever broken 19 minutes. Together with her future London Olympics teammate Ris…