Skip to main content

Ikegami Makes Waves at Half Marathon in Tokyo

http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/top/article/20140121000033

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Kameoka native and long distance runner Hideyuki Ikegami (20, Kyoto T&F Assoc.), won a half marathon in Tokyo on Jan. 12.  In scoring the win he took down famed "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't).  Ikegami is only a second-year at Kyoto Kyoiku University but is already forging his own way of doing things outside the school's track and field team in pursuit of his dream: "I want to take on the world in the marathon."

At the Jan. 12 Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon, Ikegami took more than two minutes off his PB to run his 1:03:09 winning time.  In the middle part of the race he threw in a long surge to break Kawauchi, opening a convincing 1:08 lead over him.  It was only Ikegami's third half marathon but a major upset, and post-race he was surrounded by reporters. "Kawauchi always looks like he's in pain when he runs," Ikegami told them while reviewing the race, "but this time his face looked really exhausted so I think I only really won by making a sneaky move."

At Rakunan H.S. Ikegami ran in the National High School Ekiden Championships three years in a row, and at Kyoto Kyoiku University his achievements have included winning the Kansai Region University Track and Field Championships 10000 m and half marathon.  But in October he quit the school's team.  With academics as his highest priority, he gets up at 5:20 a.m. every day to follow a self-imposed regimen of two hours of training every morning and evening.  "I wanted to make the mistakes that would help me grow without having to worrying about the restrictions of being on a team, so I chose to be independent," he said.

At the end of last year he passed the test to join Team Arata, the athlete development project established by London Olympics marathoner Arata Fujiwara (32, Miki House). The project pays members a training stipend based on their results at amateur races and other events.  Project member Hiroaki Onishi (30), a Kyoto Sangyo University graduate living in Kyoto, gave a positive evaluation of Ikegami's performance, saying, "He has been training and developing by himself, and that is exactly why he was able to beat Kawauchi that way."

"Like Kawauchi, whose running is an extension of a hobby and something that he does because he loves it from the heart, and Fujiwara, who has put his life and livelihood on the line to risk a career as in independent pro, my goal is success as a runner who doesn't believe in the established system," Ikegami said.  He plans to run his marathon debut this winter.

Comments

Metts said…
I'm looking forward to seeing what he and the other independents can do in the future. Looks very exciting.

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…

Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Yoshitomi Survives Four Marathons in Four Weeks to Win Saga Sakura Marathon

Arguably the highest-volume elite-level marathoner in the world, Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) survived four straight weekends of marathons to win her hometown Saga Sakura Marathon yesterday.

Starting the month off at the Mar. 3 Tokyo Marathon Yoshitomi ran 2:32:30 for 13th. A week later at the Mar. 10 Nagoya Women's Marathon it was 2:34:49 for 31st. Last weekend she headed overseas in a bid to win the Mar. 17 New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon in Taiwan, but in a rare off day she finished 6th in only 2:48:45. Heading back home she rallied to win the Mar. 24 Saga Sakura Marathon in 2:42:02.

At an expo talk show appearance the Wan Jin Shi organizers billed Yoshitomi as "the female Kawauchi," but not even he has come close to the kind of volume of racing Yoshitomi has been turning out over the years while working at her parents' botanical farm. Expect to see more, and more, and more from her in the months to come.



photos courtesy of Wan Jin Shi Marathon organizers
text …