The shocking depth of Japanese women’s road running
Rachel Cliff set her fourth Canadian document of 2019 over the weekend. Cliff completed the Sanyo Ladies’ Half-Marathon in Okayama, Japan in 6th position in 1:10:06, two seconds beneath her former document of 1:10:08 that she ran on the Woodlands Half-Marathon in 2018.
Cliff loves racing in Japan and has set all 4 of her nationwide data there. She says that the depth in Japanese running is astonishing and nice to revel in first hand. “Sanyo is a women’s-only race so that part is cool, but also there’s insane depth. The 10K, which isn’t a championship event, has a cut-off for women’s entries at 40 minutes.”
In the 1/2, Cliff positioned 6th. The tournament used to be received in 1:08:45 with 27 ladies running beneath 1:15. In the 10Ok, 30 ladies went beneath 35:00. For context, on the 2018 Canadian Half-Marathon Championships there have been 8 runners general beneath 1:15, together with women and men.
What to understand when you plan to race in Japan
Cliff says that runners in Japan have one tempo: rapid. “We went out in 16:15 through 5K and if you weren’t with that pack of women at the front, there was no one for you to run with. There’s usually only one pacer. So that forces you to work hard. It forces you to really commit and go for it.”
Cliff knew that she used to be in private easiest form and is worked up along with her race, however would’ve favored to run beneath 70 mins. “I wasn’t so much focused on the record as I was running a PB. When you’re a record holder, you’re not trying to sent a new record, you’re just trying to go faster.”
Cliff says the Japanese are so supportive of distance running and proud of their races. “They take really good care of you. I was one of only two international athletes but we were treated so well. There was also a press conference ahead in the race held in Japanese so I needed a translator. We’re so used to seeing African runners with translators in Canada, so it was interesting to be on the other side of that.”
Her Olympic distance
As a long way as Cliff’s Olympic resolution is going, she stays not sure. “The Olympic decision is a tough decision, between the 10K and marathon. I’m not sure what I’ll pick but I know I’ve got to make these plans shortly.”