Skip to main content

Hwang, Morishita and I, Then and Now



19-year-old me watched Young-cho Hwang and Koichi Morishita race up Montjuic at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and said, "That's what I want to do." A year later I did my first marathon.

Today I ran up Montjuic with them over the same 4 km that changed my life 25 years ago.  They were my original inspiration in wanting to run marathons and Morishita in particular was the person who first sparked my interest in and respect for Japanese distance running. I'll always be grateful to them for what they showed me as a teenager and for sharing the day with me today.


Postscript: At dinner that night Morishita decided he wanted to run the first 11.5 km loop of the Barcelona Marathon the next morning.  We ran it together with Jose Esteban Montiel, a Spanish Olympian who finished 32nd in '92 and was doing his last marathon.  Morishita set the pace, going through 10 km in 44:49 before surging for the last km and a half.  Montiel and I stayed together on sub-3:10 pace until 25 km before he slowed down, the two of us ultimately finishing 3 minutes apart.  '92 bronze medalist Stephan Freigang of Germany went out with the 2:45 pace group, finishing in 3:03:43.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
That's very cool.
Ferran said…
OMG! I was at BCN too pacing a friend for 30k. It should have been nice to meet you as a big fan of your blog that I'm.

I hope you spent a nice time in BCN.

Regards,

Ferran

Most-Read This Week

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a lead group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami was the only one who could sustain the early pace, pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes and take more than 4 minutes off the world record. Kazami also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay with Kazami, Hayasaka dropped Gyoba after 75 km to take 2nd in 6:20:49. Gyoba, an editor for Japan's largest running magazine, lasted for 3rd in 6:22:…