Skip to main content

Takahashi to Make TV Commentator Debut at Tokyo Int'l Women's Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

2000 Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi (36, Team Phiten) will pay back her debt to the Tokyo International Women's Marathon on Nov. 16. Since announcing her retirement on Oct. 28, Takahashi's management office has booked her for over fifty appearances on TV and as a special guest at public events. It will all begin with Takahashi's debut as a television broadcast commentator at the Tokyo International Women's Marathon in which Takahashi was originally scheduled to compete.

This year's 30th anniversary edition of the Tokyo Int'l will be the event's final, as next year it will relocate to Yokohama. To commemorate the occasion, organizers will host a symposium titled "Women Runners' Trail of Dreams." 400 people applied to hear Takahashi speak along with a panel including marathon legends Akemi Matsuda, Nanae Sasaki, Mari Tanigawa, Junko Asari, and past winners of Tokyo.

On the day of the race Takahashi will also debut as a televsion commentator for the marathon's broadcast. Takahashi ran Tokyo three times, finishing 2nd in 2003, winning in 2005, and coming in 3rd in 2006. She knows the course intimately and will be able to provide unique inside into events as they unfold.

Takahashi's support crew Team Q, her lifestyle of staying in downtown hotels and having meals provided by sponsors, and everything to which she is accustomed is ending. From now on she will follow her own motivation from day to day, in both her training and her life. All things considered, it looks as though Takahashi's new life will be at least as busy as her old one.


Most-Read This Week

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.

Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…