The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Keirin rider Keisuke Tejima dead at 33

Top keirin rider Keisuke Tejima has died. Tejima was ranked among the top 18 riders in the nation. Some websites are hinting that he commited suicide.
Tejima won the SS Cup Minori in 2008 and raced for Japan in Copenhagen.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Two months until Tokyo Marathon

I was happy to be able to run 2 hours today. But instead of occasionally being able to run a Long Slow Distance I've got to get in some solid weeks of training. It's only 6 weeks until I need to think about tapering. I just hope my knees and ankle hold out!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Tweeting

I've begun Twittering on art, architecture, design and travel in Japan. I'll be posting on bicycle design a lot as well as some running oriented stuff such as buildings used in the '64 Olympics and new shoe designs from Japanese brands.

You can find me here:

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Nengajo cards

Here in Japan Christmas is a time for couples - a bit like Valentines Day is in the West. Few people send Christmas cards. However, January 1 is a big day for families, and in the lead-up to this day the whole nation swaps postcard-style greeting cards, called nengajo.

Because of my job as a writer I tend to get bombarded with cards from all of the creative folk and press agencies that I've worked with during the year. This year is the Chinese year of the cow, so interior designer Sinato sent me a really funny card with beef steaks on it; British architect Asif Khan sent a very festive card featuring his Tetra Lights, and architects KDa opted for an excellent 'tear-along-the-dotted-lines' bull with enormous horns.

My favorite card? Well, I'm biased, but it had to be the Nike one. Instead of cows, they went for an old black and white photo. But check it out...
It reads "Don't look back, look ahead" - a quote from Nike co-founder and world-beating coach Bill Bowerman.
But does anyone know who the runner Bowerman is talking to is? Bill Delinger? Jim Bailey?

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Enjoying my running

I'm really enjoying my running at the moment. Losing 1-2 kilograms has made me realise I can go faster with less effort - it's making my track sessions a lot more enjoyable.

I got my time and result for the Okutama ekiden that was held in December, and I was pleased to see I set a new club record, and was among the fastest 25 runners for that stage.

At the track last night we did 4 x 1,600m. Hard mentally, but I ran almost exactly even splits: 5.27, 5.23, 5.25, 5.25.

This Sunday is Shibuya Ekiden, a short and fast race of 2.8km. I'm feeling a little stale, but I hope to feel good on the day - I think we can podium.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Never heard of the S107 molecule?

Some world-beating athletes may have...


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Best time of the year

January and February are my favorite months in Tokyo. The skies are blue, the weather is perfect for running and I just had my birthday. This is also when the events I like best are held: Shibuya Ekiden, CalfMan Duathlon and more.

Like many people, however, Christmas and the New Year period meant interupted training. So my weight has crept up again and my fitness is waning. Time to get serious about running again!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Running in Kobe

I'm currently down in Kobe - and I'm finding the running scene is a little different here.

First, the runners are friendly. I ran 2 hours on Saturday and an hour today and got a wave from every runner I passed. I like that.

Second, the air is better. Kobe is by the sea, so I can run along the beach, well away from traffic.

Third, there are hills within easy reach. I did a couple of hill sprints today on a climb that was the perfect length and gradient. Locating a good climb in much of Tokyo is almost impossible.

And finally, Kobe is not so concreted and tarmacked. For maybe half of my run I was able to find grass or dirt paths. Much kinder on the ankles and knees!

Speaking of ankles, my achilles is hanging in there. Not getting worse, so hopefully it's OK.

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