Skip to main content

Noguchi Returns from Kunming Ready for National Women's Ekiden

http://kyoto-np.jp/sports/article/20130109000017

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) returned from training in Kunming, China on Jan. 8 ahead of her first appearance at the National Women's Ekiden in 5 years.  Her run on the 13th will hold a special significance for her.  Because her sponsor will move its office away from Kyoto in April, Noguchi will be making her first and final appearance as a member of the Kyoto team.  "After 16 years in Kyoto I'll run in the Kyoto singlet for the first time, and it will be my last chance to repay the kindness and support I've received," she said.  Interviewed on her arrival at Kansai Airport, Noguchi commented, "I feel like it's just around the corner now."

Noguchi has been training in Kunming, China since late December in preparation for the Jan. 27 Osaka International Women's Marathon.  In the midst of fluctuating weather conditions she did base mileage including 30 km training runs.  "The cold I had at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden in December is gone, and there aren't any lingering effects from it.  Right now I'm feeling normal," she said.

Noguchi has run the National Women's Ekiden seven times for her native Mie Prefecture team.  Her first time running, as a sophomore at Uji Yamada Shogyo H.S., she was 16th on the Fifth Stage.  Improving dramatically after joining the Kyoto-based Wacoal team in April, 1997, at the 16th National Women's Ekiden in 1998 she ran the anchor stage for the first time and passed eleven competitors.  In her first appearance after winning Olympic gold, she won the anchor stage at the 2008 ekiden.  "So many people came out to cheer in front of Shakai Hoken Kyoto Hospital that it was like running through a tunnel," she recalled.  "I was completely amazed and so happy."

Looking toward her debut with the Kyoto team she said, "It feels fresh and new, but there is some pressure."  Named team captain and anchor, her responsibilities are deep.  Asked for her impression of the 10 km anchor stage course she laughed as she answered, "It's downhill so it should be pretty easy to run.  I often ride my bike on the Nishi Oji Road section, so it should be easy pickings."

The team plans to convene on the 11th.  "I'll do my best to repay the people of Kyoto for everything they've done for me over the years," she said, promising to give a show of her best running.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Kawauchi Wins BMW Oslo Marathon in Fastest Time Since 1986

Running his first race of any distance since finishing 9th at last month's London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Saturday's BMW Oslo Marathon in the fastest time in Oslo since before he was born.

Pre-race Kawauchi's goal was to take a shot at the 2:12:58 Norwegian all-comers record, the fastest time ever run on Norwegian soil. With a new two-loop course featuring a pair of tough hills interspersed by a flat seaside section on each loop his game plan was to try to run 3:10/km until midway through the second lap, then try to push it on the climb and descent of the last hill to make up whatever seconds he needed.

15 km into the first lap he was 10 seconds ahead of schedule in 47:20 and 90 seconds clear of 2nd place, but the steep hill starting a kilometer later took its toll and by 20 km he was 24 seconds behind.  Over the second lap the strong sunlight and warmer than usual temperatures and the two weeks he took off after London also began …