Skip to main content

Veteran Amateur Great Chihiro Tanaka on the Athens Classic Marathon

http://ameblo.jp/chihiroppy/entry-11402649378.html#cbox

translated by Brett Larner

Long before Yuki Kawauchi came on the scene, Kobe-based amateur Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) was one of the great originals of Japanese marathoning.  The winner of the 1997 Hokkaido Marathon, Tanaka returned from giving birth to her first daughter to run a PB of 2:29:30 for 4th at the 2002 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, for years the Japanese national record for a mother, and another Hokkaido win in 2003.  Now in her 40's and with a second daughter, Tanaka continues to run 5~6 marathons a year reliably at the 2:38~2:42 level.  Her record for 2012 so far includes a 2:38:07 win at February's Senshu International Marathon, her third-staight Senshu win, and a 2:41:14 win at August's City-to-Surf Marathon in Perth, Australia.  On Nov. 11 she ran the Athens Classic Marathon on an invite through Athens' ties with the Nagano Marathon, finishing just out of the official IAAF race report in 7th.  On the 12th Tanaka wrote about her race on her blog.

Yesterday's Athens Classic Marathon....2:47:30.....7th.

Right from the start my legs felt heavy and the pace I was actually running didn't match up with what it felt like I was running, and I had to push on through heat I wasn't used to.  I was exhausted by the time it started undulating around 10 km, and the hills just kept coming until 32 km.....Right at the end of the last climb I hit my limit.

With stiff and feeble legs my movement was getting shaky and I started having muscle spasms over and over, so even though there was a nice 10 km downhill before me I couldn't take advantage of it at all and it took everything I had just to make it to the finish line.  Today my whole body hurts.  I'm worried about what that means for the Kobe Marathon in two weeks, but I think this will end up having been great training for Kobe.  How many people get the luxury of training on an Olympic Marathon course?

By coincidence, this morning I bumped into the vice-chairman of the Japanese Federation, Keisuke Sawaki, and people from the Nagano Marathon office who were all in Athens for an AIMS symposium.  When Sawaki saw me he asked, "Did you run too?"  "Yes....."  "How fast?"  "It took me 47 minutes....."  "Oh, well, that's because that course has more than 200 m elevation change, you know.  It's tough when your muscles don't hold up to the challenge, isn't it?" he said.....I guess I should at least be sort of honored that he recognized me.

Maybe it's more accurate to say getting old is tough.  No doubt about that....As I was running yesterday I kept thinking that five years ago I ran 41 minutes here.  I've held up pretty well but even I can feel it catching with me.  But yeah, I don't want to blame yesterday on age, so in Kobe I'm going to run the absolute best I can.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
2:38 for a 40-something mother of two is pretty damn good!
Brett Larner said…
Her older daughter Nozomi won the junior 4k at the Gold Coast Marathon this year:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcmarathon/6463865187/

Most-Read This Week

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Meet Ken Nakayama

Chuo University fourth-year Ken Nakayama is running Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the eighth year that the New York Road Runners have invited top Japanese university men from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run their half. You might have seen his training partner Kensuke Horio finish 5th in the Tokyo Marathon in his debut a couple of weeks ago. Nakayama is one of the very top graduating seniors in Japan this year, but his route to that level has been one of the most unconventional.

Japanese distance running is highly systematically organized, with top high schools feeding into top universities where the best runners will run the Hakone Ekiden and get recruited to top corporate teams and then go on to become the country's top marathoners. Scouting at the university level is intense, and for the most part it's pretty clear early on in high school who the cream of the crop are going to be.

Nakayama was nobody in high school. He played soccer in junior…

Suzuki Wins National University Women's Half Marathon, Otsubo and Ando Take Niigata

Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) won a close pack race to take the 2019 National University Women's Half Marathon title, outkicking Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) by 2 seconds for the win in 1:11:27. With a relatively slow start the lead pack of nearly 20 gradually picked up its pace, splitting faster for every successive 5 km until only Suzuki, Kaseda, Yuka Tagawa (Matsuyama Univ.) and Yukina Ueda (Tsukuba Univ.)were left together at 20 km.

With three spots at stake on the Japanese national team for this summer's World University Games one of them had to lose, and as Suzuki and Kaseda pulled away over the last km the third spot came down to another duel. Tagami proved to have the better finish, taking 3rd in 1:11:35 to Ueda's 1:11:38. Defending World University Games half marathon gold medalist Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) was a DNF, dropping out after 10 km as the pace increased.

Run as part of the Matsue Ladies Half Marathon, the race also included corporate league runne…