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

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…

London World Championships - Day Nine Japanese Results

Following up on its silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay squad delivered the first Japanese medal of the London World Championships as it took bronze behind hosts Great Britain and U.S.A. Swapping in alternate Kenji Fujimitsu for ailing anchor Aska Cambridge in the final, the team featured only two starting members of the Rio lineup. Lead runner Shuhei Tada, a student at Kwansei Gakuin University who burst onto the scene in May, again proved himself the best new development in Japanese men's sprinting with a fast start. Rio members Shota Iizuka and Yoshihide Kiryu did their bits on second and third to keep Japan even with Jamaica in 3rd before Fujimitsu delivered the goods.

With bronze at the Beijing Olympics and silver in Rio last year it was Japan's first-ever World Championships men's 4x100 m relay medal. At age Fujimitsu may not make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but with Cambridge, 200 m finalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Rio team …