ROAD NEWS:Hebrides Marathon and 1 month to the Japanese Olympic Qualifying race Roundup for w/ending 12/8/19

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There might not be many marathons being run at the moment but there are certainlu plenty of training miles being logged by this pavement-pounder and by many all over the world as we ready ourselves for the autumn onslaught. In the UK we’ve had had ALL of the rain lately (conforming to stereotypes, us?! Nah, ‘course not) so I bring you this roundup amidst the distinctive smell of soggy, sweaty trainers. Nice.

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When there are not many marathons to report on, it’s nice to look round and find the interesting ones. This one is on my bucket list for being so beautiful and remote, though not for the conditions they suffered this year. A tough course, The Marathon Hebrides takes place on the Isle of Harris. This year’s brave, winning soul was Amy Hudson of Inverness Harriers in 3.32.42. It looks like her trophy was a Tarasgeir - a special peat cutting tool! Oh and they have a Ceilidh afterwards too. If you don’t know what one of those is, imagine the worst kind of dancing and alcohol levels for postmarathon legs but the most fun and you’re pretty much there.


Now the the IAAF have changed their minds again about the USA Olympic Marathon Trials and said that top three is enough, I’m back to jittery levels of excitement. But, a good running friend recently reminded me that we don’t have to wait that long for a OTQ showdown because Japan have their own trials race in just one month. Yes, you might not know the names on the start-line as well as the Hassay, Cragg, Sisson, Taylor, Hall, Flanagan, Huddle, Tuliamuk and Linden’s of this world but it is by no means an easy race. In fact, as Japan Running News reports, the Marathon Grand Championship Race it was tough even to get there.


This is the first time Japan gone for the one-race all-in system like the US and while competitors had a 2 year window to qualify, on 12 women and 31 men have managed it. That’s compared to 341 so far for the Atlanta trials. While the standard is hard in itsself, it’s not going to be easy running in such a small field. The top two finishers qualify automatically for the team with the 3rd place having to wait and see if anyone runs faster that 2:22:22 (1s quicker than the fastest time run by any of the qualifiers) in 6 of their big domestic races that remain prior to the Olympics.

Mizuki Matsuda 2:22:23
Hanami Sekine 2:23:07
Honami Maeda 2:23:48
Reia Iwade 2:23:52
Kayoko Fukushi 2:24:09
Miyuki Uehara 2:24:19
Mao Ichiyama 2:24:33
Sairi Maeda 2:25:25
Rei Ohara 2:25:46
Keiko Nogami 2:26:33
Yuka Ando 2:26:47
Ayuko Suzuki 2:28:32

Incidentally that 2:28:32 would get you 11th place in the USA qualifying list, while the 2:26:47 would rank you 7th. The top American i a 2:20-er so it’s a relatively similar field.

I’ll be previewing the race nearer the time but keep an eye on Japan Running for their profiles of the runners over the next few days.

Also, AMELIA BOONE has been talking sense again. You can read it here, though I do wonder whether the more that people write and share about this stuff even from a ‘please let’s stop talking about it point of view’… well isn’t that a bit of an echo chamber? I dunno.

Jess Learmouth and Georgia Taylor-Brown have been disqualified from the World Triathlon Olympic qualification event in Tokyo for crossing the finish line together. It’s not a running thing per-se but FastRunning is encouraging a slightly cheeky but interesting debate about whether hand-in-hand finished should be allowed in races. When is being supportive good and when is it copping out or denying people a true race? Read here:


1st Sept IAU 50k Championships

8th Sept Great North Run half marathon

15th Sept Japanese Olympic Trials race