Skip to main content

Officer Yukitomo Aiming for the Podium at Himeji Castle Marathon

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/shakai/201502/0007744581.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

At the first edition of the Himeji Castle World Heritage Site Marathon on Feb. 22, senior patrol officer Makoto Yukitomo, 33, of Suma Police Station Department 3 will run as an invited elite athlete.  In his student days at Senshu University Officer Yukitomo ran the most competitive stage at the prestigious Hakone Ekiden, the Second Stage, two years in a row.  As a rookie police officer living in the Himeji police dormitory his regular running course was around Himeji Castle.  "It's fun to run on familiar old ground," he said in anticipation of the starting gun.

Officer Yukitomo was born in Yanai, Yamaguchi.  A member of his junior high school's kendo club, at a school sports day running event he caught the eye of the track coach who convinced him to become a long distance runner.  With a good track record of results in hard training he was recommended to and accepted by the sports powerhouse Ube Kojo H.S. in Ube, Yamaguchi.  At Ube he didn't make it to the National High School Championships, but nevertheless he attracted interest from the Tokyo-area Senshu University, a past Hakone Ekiden winner.  His second and third years at Senshu he ran the Second Stage against the best runners from every university in the field.  After graduation he joined the corporate leagues as a pro but after a series of injuries he was let go.

From his time as an athlete Yukitomo had been interested in the police officers who were responsible for traffic safety during the race, and in 2008 he joined the Hyogo Prefecture Police Department.  With no friends of family in Hyogo he was completely on his own, but, he said, "I had always hoped to find myself in the capitol of Japanese athletics, Hyogo."  Initially placed at the Tatsuno Police Station, he was transferred to the Suma Police Station in September, 2012.  In January, 2013 he was involved in questioning suspects in the theft of a bat autographed by major leaguer Ichiro Suzuki, contributing to their arrest.  He is currently responsible for the Tainohata Police Box in Kobe's Suma Ward, conducting regular patrols and cracking down on traffic violations.  "This work lets me take advantage of the patience and stamina I developed as a distance runner," he said.

Sunday will be Officer Yukitomo's first full marathon in eight years, his best time as a corporate runner having been around 2:26.  Also on the invited athlete list in Himeji is his junior high school era rival Masato Ando (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko, Hotoku H.S.).  "While it would be great if we could run together, I am just an amateur hobby runner," Officer Yukitomo said modestly.  But, he admitted, he does have ambitions for the race.  "My boss and colleagues will be there working and cheering, so I will be trying to make the podium."

Translator's note: The Himeji Castle World Heritage Site Marathon replaces the Himeji Castle 10-Miler, a race with more than 50 years of history.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Tokyo Olympic Marathon Course to Start and Finish at Olympic Stadium, Follow Tokyo Marathon Course

2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee sports division executive Koji Murofushi announced plans on Aug. 22 for the Olympic marathon course to start and finish at the New National Stadium and follow the same basic course as February's Tokyo Marathon. IAAF representatives will attend the next Tokyo Marathon to observe and are expected to give formal approval in March.

The Tokyo Marathon starts in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government offices, passing many famed landmarks including Tokyo Tower, Ginza, Kaminarimon and Tomioka Hachiman Shrine before finishing between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station. The 2020 Olympic course will move the start and finish point inside the New National Stadium. Regarding the reasons behind the plan Murofushi commented, "Because there is already an established base of experience it will be easier to work with relevant domestic parties. It's a well-balanced course that shows off many symbols of Japan and of Tokyo.&…