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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.


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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:

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…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …