Skip to main content

Veteran Amateur Great Chihiro Tanaka on the Athens Classic Marathon

http://ameblo.jp/chihiroppy/entry-11402649378.html#cbox

translated by Brett Larner

Long before Yuki Kawauchi came on the scene, Kobe-based amateur Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) was one of the great originals of Japanese marathoning.  The winner of the 1997 Hokkaido Marathon, Tanaka returned from giving birth to her first daughter to run a PB of 2:29:30 for 4th at the 2002 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, for years the Japanese national record for a mother, and another Hokkaido win in 2003.  Now in her 40's and with a second daughter, Tanaka continues to run 5~6 marathons a year reliably at the 2:38~2:42 level.  Her record for 2012 so far includes a 2:38:07 win at February's Senshu International Marathon, her third-staight Senshu win, and a 2:41:14 win at August's City-to-Surf Marathon in Perth, Australia.  On Nov. 11 she ran the Athens Classic Marathon on an invite through Athens' ties with the Nagano Marathon, finishing just out of the official IAAF race report in 7th.  On the 12th Tanaka wrote about her race on her blog.

Yesterday's Athens Classic Marathon....2:47:30.....7th.

Right from the start my legs felt heavy and the pace I was actually running didn't match up with what it felt like I was running, and I had to push on through heat I wasn't used to.  I was exhausted by the time it started undulating around 10 km, and the hills just kept coming until 32 km.....Right at the end of the last climb I hit my limit.

With stiff and feeble legs my movement was getting shaky and I started having muscle spasms over and over, so even though there was a nice 10 km downhill before me I couldn't take advantage of it at all and it took everything I had just to make it to the finish line.  Today my whole body hurts.  I'm worried about what that means for the Kobe Marathon in two weeks, but I think this will end up having been great training for Kobe.  How many people get the luxury of training on an Olympic Marathon course?

By coincidence, this morning I bumped into the vice-chairman of the Japanese Federation, Keisuke Sawaki, and people from the Nagano Marathon office who were all in Athens for an AIMS symposium.  When Sawaki saw me he asked, "Did you run too?"  "Yes....."  "How fast?"  "It took me 47 minutes....."  "Oh, well, that's because that course has more than 200 m elevation change, you know.  It's tough when your muscles don't hold up to the challenge, isn't it?" he said.....I guess I should at least be sort of honored that he recognized me.

Maybe it's more accurate to say getting old is tough.  No doubt about that....As I was running yesterday I kept thinking that five years ago I ran 41 minutes here.  I've held up pretty well but even I can feel it catching with me.  But yeah, I don't want to blame yesterday on age, so in Kobe I'm going to run the absolute best I can.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
2:38 for a 40-something mother of two is pretty damn good!
Brett Larner said…
Her older daughter Nozomi won the junior 4k at the Gold Coast Marathon this year:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcmarathon/6463865187/

Most-Read This Week

The Greatest Day in Japanese Men's Marathoning History

This isn't going to be a race recap. Past Tokyo Marathon champs Dickson Chumba of Kenya and Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia running smart races, working hard after 30 km to each score a second Tokyo title, Dibaba negative splitting her way to a 2:19:51 PB just 4 seconds off the course record and Chumba running away to win in 2:05:30. London World Championships bronze medalist Amy Cragg living up to her pre-race vow to make the top three in PB time, taking 3rd in 2:21:42. Cancer survivor Satoru Kasuya delivering his best performance since almost dying five years ago, an emotional 2:14:37 for 30th.

What this is about is today, the day, the one that's been coming. Yuta Shitara getting it right, strong, unafraid, in control when he needed to be, finding what he needed when it counted, breaking the 16-year-old Japanese national record in 2:06:11 and winning a million dollar bonus for it. But not just him. Hiroto Inoue, just as strong, just as in control, never giving up even when Shita…

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…

Tokyo Marathon Announces $1,084,000 Prize Purse

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/local/081107/lcl0811071352000-n1.htm
http://www.tokyo42195.org/2009/news/post_13.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On the afternoon of Nov. 7 Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara announced the first-ever prize money purse for the 2009 Tokyo Marathon, to be awarded to the top finishers in next March's 3rd running. The complete purse totals $1,084,000 including $352,000 in prize money and $732,000 in time bonuses with a maximum potential payout of $460,000 to the men's winner.

The 1st place male and female finishers will receive $80,000, with 2nd place getting $40,000 and 3rd place $20,000. Prize money goes 10 deep, with the 10th place finisher receiving $1000. A Japanese runner who wins in a new national record will receive a $50,000 bonus, while a new world record would be good for a $300,000 bonus. Because officials hope to make the Tokyo Marathon the key domestic selection race for men's Olympic and World Championships teams, a Japanese ma…