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'Why Does Japanese Marathoning Suck Now?"

Currently reading Why Does Japanese Marathoning Suck Now? by Toshimi Oriyama, a newly-published book in which the last seven Japanese men's marathon national record holders, Shigeru Soh (2:09:06, 1978), Toshihiko Seko (2:08:38, 1983), Takeyuki Nakayama (2:08:15, 1985), Taisuke Kodama (2:07:35, 1986), Takayuki Inubushi (2:06:57, 1999), Atsushi Fujita (2:06:51, 2000) and Toshinari Takaoka (2:06:16, 2002), and, in an afterward, Yuki Kawauchi, talk about their eras, the current situation and its future outlook.  It includes the record holders' training logs for the four months leading up to each of their seven national records.  Essential reading for anyone with Japanese literacy.  A translation would be the definitive English-language work on Japanese distance running, Rashomon to The Last Samurai.  Solid gold.

Comments

Anonymous said…
So when will it be available in english? :)
Brett Larner said…
I don't imagine it will be.
James Ashworth said…
Brett you need to translate it
Metts said…
I will try to buy it in Japan in Feb. I usually go to Yurindo Honya in Yokohama. I saw it on Amazon Japan and might just buy it from there.
Chris said…
Brett, as I bet you will be reading it, would you be able to summarize any significant points, and their training logs?
Also, I imagine that if the top U.S. coaches and top Japanese coaches sat down together, and shared ideas, they would both benefit to some degree. I live in Tokyo and was really bummed that the world didnt get to see the true ability of the Japanese in the Olympics.
Thanks
Aidan said…
Oh god Brett please translate this, or cliff-notes it!

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …