Skip to main content

2:07 Marathoner Aburaya to Take Over as Chugoku Denryoku Head Coach

translated by Brett Larner

On Dec. 15 the Chugoku Newspaper reported that 2:07:52 marathoner Shigeru Aburaya has been promoted from his position as assistant coach at the Chugoku Denryoku men's corporate team to head coach.  Aburaya will assume his new duties next year on Feb. 1.  After 25 years working in that role current head coach Yasushi Sakaguchi will become general manager.  In November Sakaguchi became coach of the JAAF's men's marathon development program for the buildup to the Tokyo Olympics.

Translator's note: Along with his 2:07:52 best from the 2001 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Aburaya's achievements as an athlete included 5th-place finishes in the 2003 Paris World Championships and 2004 Athens Olympics marathons.  Besides Aburaya, Sakaguchi also coached 2:07:13 all-time Japanese #4 marathoner and half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato and 2:08:37 marathoner Tsuyoshi Ogata, the last Japanese man to win a medal in a major international championships with a bronze in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon.  In more recent years Sakaguchi recruited and coached two of the best university runners of their generations, Hideaki Date and Takehiro Deki, but both retired from the Chugoku Denryoku team after a short time without having achieved anything of note.


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…