Skip to main content

Federation Officials Examine Rio Olympics Marathon Course

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20140813/k10013771981000.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics two years from now, executives from each Japanese sports federation visited the city this week to inspect the venues for their disciplines during the same period in which the Olympics will take place.  JAAF representatives including men's marathon director Takeshi Soh and women's marathon director Yutaka Taketomi examined the marathon course running through the heart of the city.

For the most part the course avoids the Copacapana and Ipanema waterfront that characterizes Rio de Janeiro, instead featuring many straight sections with few hills or undulations.  Although it is winter, temperatures in Rio de Janeiro peaked at 30 degrees with strong sunshine on the day of the course inspection.  Members of the inspection committee began at the start point of the marathon, examining the road conditions and taking measurements of the road surface temperature and perceived heat in the shade all along the course.

Men's director Soh commented, "I had heard that the humidity would be quite high but it was unexpectedly low.  I think the crosswind from the ocean helped to lower the heat.  I plan to take full advantage of the data we have gathered for our planning and future development.  The sooner we can do that the better.  If the race goes right I think we can target times as well.  It's a great course."  Women's director Taketomi spoke about the difficult hills at the turnaround point, saying, "That will be the deciding point of the race.  We have to come into this being comfortable enough to be able to compete at that point in the race.  There is a great deal we can do to prepare beforehand, and that gives us a chance."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Saitama International Marathon Elite Field

With just over three weeks to go the Saitama International Marathon has released the elite field for its third running scheduled for Nov. 12, and it's a small one. A problematic event that carries the diminished legacy of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon and Yokohama International Women's Marathon, Saitama occupies a place in the national team selection process that should go to the far superior Tokyo Marathon women's race but remains out in the northwestern suburbs thanks to the sponsor and TV broadcast income it generates for the JAAF. But with a field like this, how much longer will it be able to generate any sponsor interest or income?

The move of the National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships from mid-December to late November, just two weeks after Saitama, means that not a single corporate league woman is entered in Saitama's elite field. Not one. The home crowd is represented by 22-year-old Reia Iwade (Dome), who quit the Noritz corporate t…

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…