Monday, November 23, 2009


Did a long run yesterday of 40K and had some time to think more on Rick's question "Why are Japanese runners so good?" As I was running the local loop I was past and passing Fathers and Sons jogging together, Teenage boys doing running training with their baseball clubs, Teenage girls running with their friends, and group of 20 kids, ten years old or so, holding their own little Ekiden. On top of all this there was the 2007 winner of the Gold Coast Marathon, Toyokazu Yoshimura, sprinting 3 minute Ks around this 3K loop. Is it any wonder runners here are so good.

Jack Daniels , the coach not the Kentucky Whiskey, talks about this "social aspect" in relation to Kenyan running success and it , I believe, holds for the Japanese. All these people feed off and support eachother. If you can see on a daily basis people really into running and see that there are people you know achieving real success at it then you are more willing to try it and be better at it!

I got a message from fellow ex-pat and blogger Steve Lacey this morning that also demonstrates how this suppot works here. He wrote in part:"The weather forecast in Ohtawara, for the marathon, tomorrow is for 14 degrees, fine, and no wind!! Ha ha!! Why aren't you here??????"

I wish I was!

The Chiba Ekiden is also on today, and a wonderful day for it too.

1 comment:

  1. Steve wasn't encouraging you Scott. Reading between the lines, he was saing "Ha ha scumbag, I've got ideal running conditions but when you race the roads will be icy, it'll be snowing, and you'll cop a 50kph headwind for the last 15k."

    Seriously though, I agree - it's the popularity of the sport that creates the huge base, then the talent rises to the top. Same with the East Africans.