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Tatezawa Runs Fastest-Ever Japanese Mile at Boston U Last Chance Meet

Another day, another national record. Two weeks after Ryoji Tatezawa broke the longstanding Japanese indoor mile national record with a 4:01.56 at the Husky Classic meet in the U.S., he and three other members of 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University raced the indoor mile at the Boston University Last Chance Meet. Chopping four seconds off his Husky Classic time, Tatezawa became the fastest-ever Japanese miler indoor or outdoor as he took 5th in 3:57:43. Teammate Hayato Seki also cleared 4 minutes for the first time in 3:59.03 for 8th, with Ryohei Sakaguchi and Shota Onizuka running 4:05.51 and 4:06.93.


Tokai head coach Hayashi Morozumi was a pioneer of cross-country-based training in the Japanese ekiden circuit while coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S., athletes he cultivated there including 5000 m national record holder and 2:07:19 marathoner Suguru Osako (NOP) and current Nissin Shokuin teammates Yuki Sato and Akinobu Murasawa, who ran 2:08:58 and 2:09:47 at yesterday's Tokyo Marathon. With Toyo University, Kanagawa University, Aoyama Gakuin University and most other top-level Hakone Ekiden programs having adopted his cross-country principles, the success of Morozumi's athletes over the mile in Boston was another indication of his position as one of the most important coaches working in Japan.


© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

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