Skip to main content

"Hell Running" - Chinese Site Calls Japanese Women's Distance Running Too Cruel

http://www.yukawanet.com/archives/5166613.html

translated by Brett Larner

High schooler Yumika Nagahama leading the Jan. 15 National Women's Ekiden for the Kanagawa team.

Since the start of the month it's been cold in Japan.  A record-breaking kind of cold that has seen snow piling up even on the Pacific side of the country, and for better or worse that word "snow" has been generating buzz around the world.  Yes, it has been a cold winter, and now that fact has become a hot topic in China.  Particularly in relation to women's distance running.

The picture above is from the "National Women's Ekiden" that took place in Kyoto on Jan. 15.  Kyoto experienced a blizzard, even "whiteout" conditions.  Far too harsh to go ahead with staging a running race in conditions like that.  It's natural to wonder why the race wasn't cancelled, but it seems likely that they weren't expecting the snow to escalate to the point that it would be enough to stop the race.

Japanese women's distance running is being called, "hell running," "crazy" and "too cruel."  The athletes are probably so focused on their race that they can't worry about such things, but is anyone worried about whether it's OK for the people watching?  There's no telling what will happen next year, but if people are expressing concern all around the world then they have to take some sort of measures.

The original article, translated below: http://tt.mop.com/16274540.html

Unbelievable!  "Appalling" Images of Japanese Women Running Relay in Snowstorm

Recently Japan has experienced a winter of bitter cold, but although Kyoto's National Women's Ekiden was held as scheduled, anyone who watched it onscreen would feel that the snowy conditions were too cruel.  Snow fell from the Jan. 14 and through the noontime start on the 15th, but despite 10 cm accumulation and temperatures close to zero it wasn't enough to stop the race.  Never having been cancelled since its first running, the National Women's Ekiden went ahead as planned with a full live television broadcast.

During the broadcast announcers struggled to accurately cover the race, saying, "There is really too much snow," as the snow obscured runners' bib numbers.  After a total of 42.195 km the women representing Kyoto won the final victory.  Some netizens expressed admiration of the first-class resistance to the cold exhibited by the Japanese, but many viewers were distressed by seeing the "appalling" scenes on the broadcast.  It became difficult to make out the human forms on the screen.

Comments

Anonymous said…
That's not too cold. The real travesty was the announcing.
Patrick said…
Zero Celsius? As in 32 Fahrenheit? I live and run year-round in Minnesota, USA, where our winters usually resemble Siberia. These conditions are nowhere near "cruel", evidenced by pictures of these strong women in singlets voluntarily choosing to compete.
Brett Larner said…
I take the criticism as an indication of differing cultural ideals of gender identity or women's roles in society. Many people watching the race including me saw hundreds of strong, tough badasses. Others apparently saw delicate flowers they think belong in a hothouse.
Metts said…
Civilians, non runners, will never understand.

Most-Read This Week

Dark Side of the Rising Sun

For all the good things that happened this year, just like anywhere else Japan had its share of problems. In sports, speed skater Kei Saito's doping suspension at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the harassment case around coach Kazuhito Sakae and Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kaori Icho, and the Nihon University football scandal involving head coach Masato Uchida directing a player to deliberately take out the opposing team's quarterback were some of the bigger stories, but in athletics as well there was no shortage of problems. From actions ranging from the individual to the systemic and societal, from doping to corruption to abuse and harassment, a quick list of the year's lows two years out from Tokyo 2020.
Drugs and Injections'Top Canoeist Suspended for Framing Rival for Doping'

Why is the Number of Doping Offenders Growing in Once-Upon-a-Time Clean Japan?

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

Nakamura …

JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:  http://www.mgc42195.jp/
source press release:
https://www.jaaf.or.jp/news/article/12712/
translated and edited by Brett Larner

10000 m National Championships Lead Weekend Action

It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.

22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daiha…