Skip to main content

Toyo University Spends $50,000 on New Downhill Track to Help Kiryu Achieve 9-Second Speed

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20140319-OHT1T00218.htm

translated by Brett Larner

With Japan's big hope for its first 9-second 100 m, Yoshihide Kiryu (18, Rakunan H.S.), set to enroll in April, Toyo University announced on Mar. 19 that it is building an inclined track, proven effective in building speed, at its campus in Kawagoe, Saitama.  With a 1% decline over its 60 m length, the track facilitates athletes experiencing running at sub-10 speed, moving Kiryu one step closer to realizing his dream.  Toyo's 2014 Hakone Ekiden champion long-distance team will also use the new track.

Dropping 60 cm over the course of 60 m, with just a 1% grade the track will serve as the jet-powered Kiryu's "runway."  "This track allows you to learn how to move your legs and contact the ground at 9-second speed," said Toyo sprint coach Michiaki Kajiwara, 60, explaining the new facility's potential impact on training.  "The 1% slope is the key.  If the slope is too severe it will alter the athlete's running form on flat ground."

The inclined track is being built just outside Toyo's 400 m track.  On a 30 m straightaway the track rises 60 cm, a 2% grade.  After a gradual curve the 60 m downhill section takes up the next straightaway.  The track's width is around 2 m.  With a packed dirt surface it is also suitable for use with spikes.  The track was modeled after the inclined track at the Ajinomoto National Training Center in Tokyo's Kita ward.  Construction has already begun, with completion expected within the month at a total cost of roughly $50,000.  Toyo University administration officials commented with pride, "We want everything to be perfect when we welcome Kiryu."

The main focus of Kiryu's training will be improving his speed on the downhill, but in training on the uphill he can expect to see the same sort of benefits racehorses gain from training on an incline.  "Training on the uphill section will improve his power," said coach Kajiwara.  Toyo's long distance team, which returned to the victor's stand after a two-year absence at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden to claim its fourth Hakone title, will also use the track for speed training along with running mileage on a roughly 500 m outer loop equipped with some nice undulation.

On Mar. 11 Kiryu returned from Poland, where he made the 60 m semi-final at the Mar. 7-9 World Indoor Championships.  After enrolling at Toyo in April he plans to move from his family's home in Shiga prefecture to the Toyo track and field team dormitory in Kawagoe, Saitama.  He plans to take part in the Toyo entrance ceremony on April 6 as one of the incoming first-year class representatives.  At the ceremony he is expected to state his goal of improving on his all-time Japanese #2 best of 10.01 s to bring Japan an unprecedented 9-second national record.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…