Skip to main content

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon: Fumihiro Maruyama Making Comeback From Near-Retirement

http://mainichi.jp/articles/20170202/dde/035/050/065000c

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Tormented by injuries and having been on the brink of retirement, Fumihiro Maruyama (26, Asahi Kasei) has chosen tomorrow's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon for his second marathon.  With Asahi Kasei's long legacy behind him, including Koichi Morishita's 1992 Beppu-Oita win that took him to the Barcelona Olympics and a silver medal, Maruyama's desire to succeed and earn a place on the London World Championships team is strong.  "I want to take a big step up and win so that I can compete at the world level," he said.

At last March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Maruyama made an aggressive marathon debut, surging away from the all-Japanese chase pack at 30 km. But at 39 km he was run down and finished as the fourth Japanese man, missing the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.  His time of 2:09:39 meant he had achieved a rare sub-2:10 debut, but, he said with lingering regret, "I didn't feel any happiness about that at all."


Maruyama is a native of Sahaku, Oita and joined Asahi Kasei eight years ago after graduating from Oita Tomei H.S.  His life as an athlete, he said, has been "a wild ride."  Taking time to develop, his breakthrough came in his fourth pro season at the February, 2013 Kumanichi 30 km where he finished 2nd by three seconds behind Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) in 1:29:34.  A month later he won the National Corporate Half Marathon in an outstanding 1:01:15, at the time becoming the eighth-fastest Japanese man ever.  "My body was finally getting to the level I'd always imagined myself at," he reflected.

But in October that year he started experiencing pain in his left knee, and for an entire year he was unable to train as the problem persisted.  He kept avoiding surgery on his leg, but, deciding that he was ready to retire, in November, 2014 he finally underwent the needed surgery.  Luck was on his side, and after a month of hospitalization and rehabilitation he was back on his feet.  Just six months after the surgery he returned to racing, winning a track 5000 m at the Asahi Kasei-hosted Golden Games in Nobeoka meet.

At Lake Biwa Maruyama ran his marathon debut with a partially ruptured right Achilles tendon.  After the race he underwent rehabilitation until August.  He is still worried about not having put in enough training over the summer, but, feeling good heading into Beppu-Oita he said, "I want to run the kind of race that will let people know I've become strong."  He is bound to get a boost in his World Championships bid from the hometown Oita crowds.  Maruyama doesn't feel that he has returned to his original pre-injury level yet, but looking forward with a positive mindset he said, "I hope my career will be one that lets me look back and think that it was a good thing that I had these periods of being injured."

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…

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, …