Quote Of The Day
“Another big difference is that I was in constant wonder and amazement at the Kenyan runners. I could find little that didn’t impress me. But in Japan, while I was amazed the depth of the running culture and the passion for the sport, I also discovered problems with the sport, and I voice a number of criticisms. The key question became not why are the Japanese so good at running, but why, considering all the support, funding and passion, why are they not beating the Kenyans? …”
“… Later in life, they get jobs as runners in corporate teams and for many, motivation becomes an issue. They start doing marathons, running for themselves, and often the ekidens become more a chore than the driving force behind everything. … For me, many of these runners have simply burnt out from all the intensity of high school and university running. Physically and mentally burnt out – and this is why, despite the incredible performances of Japan’s university runners, at a senior level they fail to make an impact on the world stage. I look in some detail at how the seriousness that pervades the sport in Japan is in some ways one of the hindering aspects. Many of the corporate runners generally don’t enjoy training and coaches can be fierce and overbearing – with the athletes expected to obey without question.”
– Adharanand Finn, production editor for The Guardian and author of two books, Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth and The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running, theorizing why Japanese runners are so deep in high school and college, but then fail to win medals at the global level.
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