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Konica Minolta's Olympic Trials Qualifiers Training 40 km a Day in Heat and Humidity on Miyako Island

Konica Minolta team members Hiroyuki Yamamoto and Tomohiro Tanigawa are training on the island of Miyako in preparation for the Marathon Grand Championship (MGC) race, the official qualifying race for the Japanese Tokyo Olympics marathon team. The pair selected Miyako for their base training to get acclimated to the hot and humid conditions expected at the Sept. 15 MGC Race.

Yamamoto graduated from Kawaguchi Kita H.S. and Toyo University before joining Konica Minolta. His PBs include 13:45.43 for 5000 m and 2:09:12 for the marathon. Tanigawa went to Kumamoto Kogyo H.S. and Takushoku University, signing on to the Konica Minolta team after his graduation. He has run 13:51.09 for 5000 m and 2:11:39 for the marathon.

The two athletes, head coach Daisuke Isomatsu and other staff members have been on the island since May 27. It is their first time training there. Each day's training is split into three workouts, one each in the early and late morning and another in the afternoon. Including runs on the roads and a flat dirt surface track the pair are putting in an average of 40 km per day.

Tanigawa sat for an interview on June 3. Asked for his impressions of Miyako Island he said, "I'm surprised how humid it is. It's totally different from the humidity in Tokyo. I'm sweating way more in training here." But, he said, the discomfort of training in such hot and humid conditions will pay off. "If you get acclimated to training in these kinds of conditions then you will be ready for the weather in September at the MGC Race. It's really good training."

At the MGC Race the winner will be named to the Olympic team. Between the 2nd and 3rd place finishers, if either cleared a wildcard time they would pick up the second place on the team. Since no one has cleared that mark the 2nd place finisher will also earn a spot at the Olympics. "My goal is to make the top two at the MGC Race," said Tanigawa. "At worst 3rd place."

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

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