Skip to main content

Hitomi Niiya Runs First Race in Almost Five Years: "I Still Totally Hate Running"



One of Japan's best long distance women is back on track. 5th in the women's 10000 m at the 2013 Moscow World Championships before declaring her retirement in January, 2014, Hitomi Niiya (30, Nike Tokyo TC) ran her first race in almost five years in the 3000 m at the June 9 Nittai University Time Trials meet. Post-race she said, "Yeah, it's been a while. Feels like I'm on my way back."

Describing herself as, "an athlete whose history is only in the past," Niiya ran 9:20.74 for 2nd in the 3000 m A-heat at Nittai. "That's a really half-assed time, huh," she said afterwards. Her bib number was 30, the same as her age now. "That pissed me off," she laughed. "I'm not happy about it." Sounding just like her old self there was no doubt that her sharp tongue, at least, hasn't lost its edge.

After running in the 2012 London Olympics, in November that year at the age of 25 Niiya was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in her right foot. Even now it's still not completely healed. "I don't know whether the pain is going to come back," she said. Despite that, last fall she accepted an offer of support from Nike and starting running again with an eye toward making a comeback. Serious training only began this year.

Niiya has no plans to run a marathon, focusing in the short term on running the 5000 m at July's Hokuren Distance Challenge. "I still totally hate running," she said, the weight of five years pent up in her words. "but unfortunately it seems like this is where I belong. I hope I can produce results."

source article:
https://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2018/06/09/kiji/20180609s00056000338000c.html
translated by Brett Larner

Comments

Metts said…
This is very sad if true. Its a shame she doesn't become an independent amateur runner or independent pro like some that have been profiled recently.

Most-Read This Week

Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asah…

2019 Japanese Distance Rankings

JRN's 2019 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Distances will be added as the season progresses. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2018 ・ 2017 ・ 2016・ 2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Aoyama Gakuin First Year Takayuki Iida Leads Weekend Half Marathon Action

The National Women's Ekiden was the weekend's biggest race, but across the country four half marathons saw decently competitive men's action.

At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, as in the last few years Hakone Ekiden runner-up Aoyama Gakuin University ran its B-team of Hakone non-starters, this year with company from the team that beat it, Tokai University. AGU swept the top ten, first-year Takayuki Iida taking the top spot in 1:03:10 with teammate Shuya Iwami also getting under 64 minutes. Tokai seemed to treat the day more as a workout, but head coach Hayashi Morozumi, 52, took the chance to get in on the action too, running the 10 km division in 43:04.

In Tokyo, the High Tech Half Marathon celebrated its 20th running with the edition of a marathon division. Independent Hideyuki Ikegami (Aminosaurus) won the men's half in 1:05:08. Club runner Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) ran the fastest women's time of the weekend, 1:19:34, to win…