The best race only for women in the world is in Japan
That in Japan there is a unique and special cult for athletics in general and for the route in particular is something well known and amply demonstrated. It is truly impressive the number of elite fondistas that the Japanese country brings out and it is even more so to see the ease with which they manage to lower certain brands (we cannot ignore Yuki Kawauchi, the concierge ‘runner’). All this has much of its explanation in the way they care for athletes and careers, the care and professionalism that is given to everything (beyond, obviously, their discipline when training and their rigor). The last ‘barbarity’ comes to us from the Okayama Half Marathon, the Sanyo Ladies Okayama Half-Marathon.
Some numbers and a demand for scandal
It is a test (as its name indicates) only for women and totally oriented for them. The ‘Canadian Running’ teammates have chatted with national record holder Rachel Cliff, an unconditional fan of running in Japan precisely for that reason, for the exquisite treatment given to women in races. Cliff has broken the Canadian Record four times and has achieved four times in Japan. "It's a barbarity. Sanyo is a race for women only and that's great, but it's also apart It has a 10k test in which the cut for women is 40 minutes" To get an idea of the level there is.
Cliff made a 1:10:06 mark and ‘alone’ could be sixth. But the fattest of all is not the mark of the athletes who made the podium (the winner entered 1:08:45), but up to 27 athletes crossed the finish line below 1h15 ’ (To get an idea, in the Canadian national distance championships only eight achieved it). A madness considering that some of the best half marathons in the world such as Paris or Copenhagen have failed to meet. But if that weren't enough, in the 10k up to 30 women dropped from 35 '.
A hare system to 'force you' to squeeze you
“They force you to give the limit. In the race we spent the first five kilometers at 16:15. The problem is that if you are not in those times you run alone. Further, there is usually only one hare, so it forces you to give everything ”, says Cliff, who adds that “they take good care of you. I was one of only two international athletes, but they treated us great. There was a previous press conference and I needed a Japanese translator. We are used in Canada to put it on the African women, so it was curious to be on the other side this time. ”