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Showing posts from 2018

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

The Asian Games Marathon Course: An Early Morning Start for Loops of the City's Main Roads

Its skyline punctuated by skyscrapers demonstrating Indonesia's economic ascension. A lush plaza holding a famed tower, the symbol of the metropolis. When Jakarta hosts the Asian Games next week its marathon course will loop around the city's main streets, starting and finishing from the Games' main venue, Gelola Bungarno Stadium. In light of the heat and humidity of the races' summertime dates, Aug. 25 for men and 26 for women, the marathons will get off to early starts at 6:00 a.m. local time, 8:00 a.m. Japan time.

Leaving the stadium for the main streets, the Jakarta course turns to the north before turning back. Each of the two loops is about 20 km, both mostly flat and straight with the only hills coming in the gentle climbs onto and off the waterway bridges that dot the route. At a rotary about 5 km from the start, runners are greeted by a statue of a man and woman built in 1962 the last time Jakarta hosted the Asian Games. Running on amid the highrises, around …

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

Yoshinori Sakai, the Final 1964 Olympic Torchbearer

72,000 paris of eyes followed a lone 19-year-old Waseda University student as he circled the track at the Olympic Stadium with effortless grace. The date was October 10, 1964, the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics. The runner was Yoshinori Sakai, the final Olympic torchbearer. Step by step he climbed the 182 stairs and, extending his right arm, ignited the flame that burst forth from the Olympic cauldron. Below him spread a sea of multicolored uniforms, and beyond the assembled teams stretched the horizons of a Tokyo in a time before modern high rise buildings. "It was the best seat in the house," Sakai recalled.

Sakai was born in Miyoshi, Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 just an hour and a half after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The perfect symbol of recovery from defeat, the foreign media dubbed him "Atomic Boy," but Sakai told foreign journalists, "The war has nothing to do with me. Please look at who I am now, today, not at the past."

Sakai b…

24 Hour World Champion Ishikawa Wins Berlin 100 MIler

2017 24-hour world champion Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Nichia Kagaku) won the 100 Meilen Berlin Saturday, just short of the course record but beating his nearest competition by over an hour as he finished in 13:17.41. Part of a sizable lead group in the early going, Ishikawa broke free of the competition after two hours and was on his own the rest of the way.

Projecting a finish time under 13 hours well into the race, in the later stages he slowed enough to miss the 13:06:52 course record set in 2014 but was still in a different class from the rest of the field, runner-up Stephane Ruel of France coming in in 14:25:24. Women's winner Monika Biegasiewicz of Poland won with the same kind of margin, running 15:29:48 to 2nd-placer Annette Mueller's 16:37:36.
100 Meilen Berlin Top ResultsBerlin, Germany, 8/11/18
complete results

Men
1. Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) - 13:17.41
2. Stephane Ruel (France) - 14:25:24
3. Uwe Laenger (Germany) - 14:30:53
4. Stefan Wilsdorf (Germany) - 14:55:56
5. Sas…

Official Caught Manipulating Results to Get Junior High School Athletes Into National Championships

On Aug. 10 the Yamanashi Track and Field Association announced that at last month's Yamanashi Prefecture Junior High School Track and Field Championships a male official had misrepresented the results of two athletes so that they cleared the qualifying standards necessary for them to compete in the National Junior High School Championships.

According to the YTFA, in the girls' 100 m hurdles and boys' 110 m hurdles at July's prefectural meet, while determining finishing time in finish line photographs the official measured the two athletes from the neck rather than from the torso, improving each athlete's time by 0.01 seconds. The official told investigators, "I knew it was wrong, but I had the qualifying marks for Nationals in mind."

The finish line photo data were sent to the JAAF, who discovered the manipulation of the results and brought it to the YTFA's attention on Aug. 2. The YFTA apologized to the two athletes and allowed them to participate i…

2020 Olympic Marathon Trials to Split Men's and Women's Broadcasts Between TBS and NHK

On Aug. 9 at a Tokyo-area press conference the JAAF announced that the MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials scheduled for Sept. 15, 2019 will be split between two broadcasters, the men's race going to TBS and the women's race to NHK.

At the press conference JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata explained that after communicating their terms and conditions for the event to the major broadcast companies the JAAF evaluated their proposals for the broadcast and its promotion. The selection committee then made its determination on which broadcasters would win the contract.

Ogata commented, "The precise details have yet to be determined but we are considering a start time around 9:00 a.m. We would like to establish the difference in start time between the men's and women's races in consultation with the various parties involved."

source article:
https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2018/08/09/0011527373.shtml
translated by Brett Larner

Past Champions Kirui and Chumba and '17 Runner-Up Kosgei Join 41st Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that several international running stars are joining the 41st annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon elite athlete competition. Past champions Abel Kirui (KEN) and Dickson Chumba (KEN) lead the charge on the men’s side, and 2017 runner-up Brigid Kosgei (KEN) and two-time podium finisher Birhane Dibaba (ETH) stand out among the women. They will join previously announced global sensations Mo Farah (GBR), Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) and Suguru Osako (JPN).

Note: The previously-announcedChihiro Miyawaki (Japan) is no longer listed in the men's field.
41st Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field HighlightsChicago, U.S.A., 10/7/18
times listed are best in last three years except where noted
complete elite fields

Women
Roza Dereje Bekele (Ethiopia) - 2:19:17 (Dubai 2018)
Birhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:19:51 (Tokyo 2018)
Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:20:13 (London 2018)
Jordan Hasay (U.S.A.) - 2:20…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Three - The Men's Marathon and Racewalks

Following last week's run over most of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon course exactly two years before the women's marathon, this morning I went out to do it again at the same time the men's marathon will be held. Last week we focused mostly on the first 20 km and finish. This week I looked more at the second part of the course after 20 km, starting at 7 a.m. and making it back to the stadium at 9:45, about the same time the last few runners in the men's race are likely to finish in two years. Effort-wise I ran about 4:15/km, slightly faster than last week's run to get a better sense of what a decent effort would feel like in the Tokyo conditions.

The Report Last week's heat, humidity and sun pretty well represented Tokyo's weather this summer, but no summer would be complete without a few typhoons. One passed just east of Tokyo yesterday and during the night, bringing cooler temperatures and shifting winds and humidity as it passed to the northeast. The …

JAAF Marathon Project Leader Seko Given Official Warning After Sexual Harassment Accusation by Female TV Announcer

JAAF Board of Directors member and Marathon Development Project leader Toshihiko Seko, 62, was given an official warning by the JAAF after making inappropriate comments to a female TV announcer. Seko acknowledged having made the remarks and expressed regret, saying, "I'd like to exercise more caution about what I say."

According to the JAAF and the DeNA corporation where Seko serves as executive head coach of the men's ekiden team, at an afterparty following April's Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon where he was working as a guest commentator, Seko made inappropriate remarks toward a female TV announcer who was also attending the party. The announcer reported the incident to the network, who reassigned her superiors who had told her to attend the party.

The DeNA corporate headquarters PR office confirmed in an interview that Seko had made the inappropriate remarks and that as an employer it had given him an official warning and apologized to the TV network where the ann…

Shiseido Wins First-Ever Women's Race at Towada Hachimantai Ekiden

The 71st Towada Hachimantai Ekiden took place August 7 in Kazuno, Akita on a course from Lake Towada to Hachimantai.

For the first time the Towada Hachimantai Ekiden featured a women's race. Four teams competed over the five stage, 28.1 km course, with the Shiseido team taking 1st in 1:36:02.

21 teams raced the five stage, 71.6 km men's race, where Komori Corporation ran 3:45:16 to score its first win in 9 years and fifth title in event history. The top placing team from Akita was the Akita T&F Association at 11th.
71st Towada Hachimantai EkidenKazuno, Akita, 8/7/18
complete women's results
complete men's results

Women - 4 teams, 5 stages, 28.1 km
Top Team Results
1. Shiseido - 1:36:02
2. Tohoku Fukushi Univ. - 1:36:13
3. Team Tohoku Fukushi - 1:39:49

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (5.5 km) - Aoi Makara (Shiseido) - 17:44
Second Stage (7.4 km) - Yumi Yoshikawa (Shiseido) - 23:50
Third Stage (3.1 km) - Kana Miura (Tohoku Fukushi Univ.) - 10:40
Fourth Stage (5.0 km) - C…

Gotemba Takigahara SDF Base Conquers Fourth-Straight Mount Fuji Ekiden

Running from central Gotemba to the peak of Mount Fuji and back, the 43rd Mount Fuji Ekiden took place August 5. 128 teams of six athletes each gathered from across the country to compete with each other and with Mount Fuji. Starting at JR Gotemba Station, the course climbed 3258 m to Mount Fuji's summit before returning back down to the finish at the municipal track and field grounds. The 11-stage race covered a total of 47.93 km, with five of the six members of each team running two stages apiece.

Most teams' strongest members ran the uphill Fifth Stage and downhill Sixth Stage, each with an altitude difference of over 1000 m. Steep, sandy ground sucked the energy from their legs on the upward bound Fifth Stage, while on the famous deep sands of the Gotemba Route forced them to descend the Seventh Stage leaping and sliding. Sixth Stage runners had their tasuki stamped by a priest at Asami Shrine at the top of the mountain as proof that they had reached the summit.

The local…

Kobayashi and Yamashita Break National Records at National High School Championships

The 2018 National High School Track and Field Championships took place in the midst of a heatwave that saw temperatures in nearby Nagoya go over 40˚C on a nearly daily basis. Track events mostly suffered, but all the same there were two new high school national records and five other meet records, all but one on the field.

The only record on the track came in the girls' 100 m hurdles, where Ayumi Kobayashi (Funabashi H.S.) broke the high school national record with a mark of 13.34 (-0.3 m/s), bettering the 2007-era record by 0.05 seconds. The other new national record was in the boys' discus throw, where Kosei Yamashita (Gifu Shogyo H.S.)  threw 58.02 m  to surpass the previous record by almost a meter and a half.

The only record on the boys' side was a meet record 65.98 m Yuki Taneichi (Hirosaki Jitsugyo H.S.) in the hammer throw, less than a meter and a half off the high school national record. 2nd-placer Daisuke Kumon (Imabari Meitoku) was also under the old meet recor…

Kenyan Marathoner Erupe Gains South Korean Citizenship, But Not in Time for Tokyo Olympics

On Aug. 1, Sina Sports reported that Kenyan marathoner Wilson Loyanae Erupe has been granted his long-sought after transfer of nationality to South Korea. Former South Korean national marathon coach Chang Seok Oh, who now represents Erupe, made the announcement of Erupe's acquisition of South Korean citizenship on July 31. Erupe, 29, has been based in South Korea since June, 2015. His application for South Korean citizenship in April, 2016 was rejected, but after two years he has now successfully completed the naturalization process.

Erupe's best time of 2:05:13 was set at the March, 2016 Seoul International Marathon, far beyond the current South Korean national record of 2:07:20. It is to be expected that Erupe will serve as a catalyzing agent in the long-stagnant South Korean men's marathon scene, but according to the provisions laid out by the IAAF board of directors last week, "Naturalized athletes may not compete as a national team member for 3 years." As a…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…

Running the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Course

Tomorrow is two years to the day until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women's marathon. On July 18 the IOC signed off on the Organizing Committee's proposal to start both the women's and men's marathons at 7:00 a.m. With Japan experiencing a record-breaking heatwave this summer this has caused a lot of concern in both the public and the media about the health and safety of the athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators during the marathons and other long outdoor events. As a 20-year+ resident of Tokyo and 14-year resident runner in the central area of the city I'd have to agree with the concerns, but since the IOC and other powers that be seem to think it'll be fine let's put my money where their mouth is.


Tomorrow I'll go out to run the Olympic marathon course at the actual time the women's race is scheduled to take place and report on the weather conditions throughout the run. A week later I'll do it again at the time the men's race will hap…

JADA Training New Testing Personnel Ahead of Tokyo 2020 With Support From National Government

A training session took place July 29 in Tokyo to train doping inspectors for use in international athletics and weightlifting competitions in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The lack of qualified anti-doping staff in Japan necessary to carry our a large number of drug tests in a short period at the 2020 Tokyo Games has been identified as a problem, and with the support of the national government the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) has begun recruiting and training new personnel.

With a scenario set in the sample collection room of a stadium, the staff involved in the session featured people playing the roles of athletes, including foreign athletes. 66 people took part in the session, gaining a sense of the tension of the real testing environment. To increase the realism of the session TV screens showed competition results and audio of a crowd cheering was played. Participants practiced tasks including athlete notification, guidance, and sample collection…

Olympic Trials Qualification Hangs Heavy - Hokkaido Marathon Elite Field

Last year the Hokkaido Marathon saw the first pair of Japanese athletes qualify for the new MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials event, with winners Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) and Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) winning under the time standards they needed for MGC qualification. Since then the numbers have grown to 13 men and 6 women on the qualifier list with another 16 women and 34 men halfway there thanks to an option for qualifying via a two-race average time standard. As an August event Hokkaido is always on the hot side, but success there might predict success in Tokyo 2020 and easier time standards than any of the other domestic options for MGC qualification there's no shortage of top-level Japanese talent lining up to give it a go this year.

The winning Japanese woman in Hokkaido will qualify for the MGC race if under 2:32:00, with up to 5 more qualifying if under 2:30:00. London World Championships team member Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) leads the women's list w…

Inoue Returns from Altitude Training Planning to Race Asian Games Wearing Cap

All-time fourth-fastest Japanese marathoner Hiroto Inoue (25, MHPS) returned to Tokyo's Narita Airport on July 29 from altitude training in Boulder, U.S.A. ahead of next month's Jakarta Asian Games. In Boulder he did three 40 km training runs at 1600 m altitude. "I trained with a lot of focus. If things go well I'm mentally prepared to run the race solo." To help cope with the expected heat at the Asian Games Inoue is considering wearing a cap while racing for the first time. "When I tried it in training it seemed a lot cooler," he said favorably of the cap. "It felt good."

Ever since his days at Yamanashi Gakuin University Inoue has raced without a cap because he has disliked the feeling of it making his head hotter. Team members were not allowed to run with sunglasses either. In last summer's London World Championships marathon he didn't wear a cap, but after completing this altitude training camp, he said, "The visor of the ca…

Kawauchi Holds Off Koizumi for Seventh Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km Win

After giving it a miss last year to prepare for the London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Hokkaido's Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km to rack up his seventh win. This year Kawauchi faced some competition from members of the Raffine corporate men's team, but within the first few kilometers he was already on his own. At 10 km he was 23 seconds up on Raffine's Hiroki Kai with Kai's teammate Yoshiki Koizumi another 13 second behind.

Koizumi, who broke 2:14 for the first time at this year's Tokyo Marathon, sped up after 10 km to overtake Kai and cut 14 seconds off Kawauchi's lead, but over the hilly last 10 km he couldn't manage to close the gap. Kawauchi was first across the line in 1:34:34, splitting it right down the middle with the 4th-fastest of his 7 Kushiro wins to date and seemingly back on track after a string of lackluster runs since May's Nobeyama 71 km. Koizumi was next in 1:35:05, just missing his 30 km split ti…

Tokyo Olympics Organizers Request Introduction of Daylight Saving Time

2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee chair Yoshiro Mori met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to request the introduction of daylight saving time to Japan, telling the Prime Minister, "I want it to be introduced even just for the summer of the Games." Mori is seeking a 1 to 2 hour time shift as a measure against the expected hot conditions. "I want daylight saving time to to be introduced because that way what's now 5:00 a.m. would become 7:00 a.m.," he said.

source article:
https://www.mbs.jp/news/zenkokunews/20180727/3432175.shtml
translated by Brett Larner

Gorotani and Yoshizumi Defend Fuji Mountain Race Titles

Just ahead of an approaching typhoon former Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage man Shun Gorotani and established mountain runner Yuri Yoshizumi both repeated their summit climb wins in Friday's 71st edition of the iconic Fuji Mountain Race.

Video: Finish: 五郎谷俊 Shun Gorotani(コモディイイダ)が2:39:28で第70回富士登山競走山頂コースを昨年に続いて連覇。昨年の箱根駅伝5区での快走で知られるトップ選手です。 #富士登山競走#mtfujipic.twitter.com/MjxrQxNjlI — Dogsorcaravan (@Dogsorcaravan) July 27, 2018
Already having established himself as one of Japan's premier uphill specialists, Gorotani had a lead of over four minutes by halfway into the run up to the peak of Mt. Fuji. Gorotani covered the 21 km, 3000 m+ elevation gain course in 2:39:28, almost 8 minutes off his winning time last year but 14 minutes ahead of runner-up Miki Ushida. Speaking to Dogsorcaravan post-race Gorotani expressed disappointment with his time, saying he couldn't move his legs at all. "I've still got a long way to go," he said.

Video: Finish: 吉住友里 Yuri Yoshizumiが3:11:…

Nao Kazami A Month On From the World Record

It's Sunday, June 24. At the western end of Japan's main island of Honshu the competition at the Yamaguchi National Track and Field Championships has been heating up. On this day alone, the final day of the Championships, the national records have fallen in both the men's 110 m hurdles and men's discus throw. On the very same day, far to the northeast of Yamaguchi at Lake Saroma, Hokkaido, another new record was born. After standing for 20 years, the 100 km ultramarathon world record has finally fallen. The man who accomplished this deed is Nao Kazami (Aisan Kogyo).

The previous world record of 6:13:33 was set at Lake Saroma by Takahiro Sunada (Sekisui Kagaku) in 1998. Kazami improved that mark by more than four minutes with a new record of 6:09:14.  "I was targeting place more than time," said Kazami of the race where he needed to finish in the top four to have a chance of being selected for the Japanese national team for this year's Croatia World Champ…

An Endless Heat Wave - Will the Olympics Really Be OK?

an editorial by Japanese state media NHK's Akito Iga and Daichi Takahashi

It's no exaggeration to say that the endless string of record-breaking hot days hitting Japan has reached disaster proportions. In the last week 65 people died and 22,647 were taken to the hospital with symptoms of heat stroke. Amid these record-breaking conditions it's now two years to the day to the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and the competition schedule has been officially announced. The Internet is overflowing with voices asking, "Is it really OK to hold the Olympics in the middle of a season like this?"

The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee has announced the competition schedule for the Games, to take place from July 24 to August 9 two years from now. One noticeable feature is that "due to the harsh summer heat of Tokyo," some outdoor events will start earlier than originally planned. For example, the marathons have been bumped up from a 7:30 a.m. start to 7:0…

JADA Disciplinary Panel Ruling Against Moeno Nakamura

For more background on this story read previous story #1, story #2, and story #3.

Case Number: 2017-005
Athlete Name: Moeno Nakamura
Sport: Athletics

Based on the decision of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) Hearing Panel, the Disciplinary Panel has made the following ruling in the case described below.

Hearing Panel Decision 
The JADA Hearing Panel is comprised of members selected by the Disciplinary Panel chairperson in accordance with JADA Rule 8.3.2. In the case in question, the Hearing Panel made the recommendations below based on a hearing session held on May 30, 2018, and on supplementary evidentiary documentation received thereafter.

Decision
A violation of Rule 2.1 was found to have occurred.In accordance with Rules 9 and 10.8, all individual results from the period covering the date the testing sample was taken and the beginning of the provisional suspension period, including those at the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden, will be annulled. Additionally, all medals, po…