On Sunday 3rd June 2012, COCO supporter and fundraising extraordinaire Hideo Takano from Dorking Surrey, successfully marked his 100th marathon, finishing his 13th ComradesMarathon in a time of 9:54:39. For those unfamiliar with the Comrades Marathon it is the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon, running annually in the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Not for the feint hearted, runners have 12 hours to complete the 87Km course with a number of cut off points throughout which runners must reach by prescribed time or be forced to retire from the race.
COCO caught up with “Marathon Man” Hideo to discuss his inspirations, his feelings towards the Olympics and what his future plans are.
Why did you decide to support COCO?
I decided to support COCO because I liked everyone at COCO and their aim to improve the lives of children by supporting small community grass roots projects. I’ve also been fortunate enough to visit some of the projects supported by COCO and see the difference we can make with our fundraising.
What has been your greatest challenge throughout your 100 marathons?
You have completed marathons all over the world but which would you say has been your favourite?
I would have to say the Comrades Marathon, it is an amazing race, and it definitely lives up to its billing as the world’s most beautiful marathon. That probably explains why I’ve completed it 13 times.
You have now completed 100 marathons, what is your proudest running achievement?
I have many proud moments but my proudest would have to be completing the Brighton marathon earlier this year. I had been working hard to achieve the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon and because of my finishing time in the Brighton marathon, I finally achieved it!
Having the Olympics in London means so much for this the United Kingdom but what does it mean to you?
For me it’s a great celebration of all that is good about sport.
A lot has been said about the London games “inspiring a generation” but which current or former Olympic athlete inspires you the most and why?
Emil Zatopek (sorry Steve!) not just because he was a great athlete but because of his running philosophy. “If you want to win something, run 100 metres. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” And “A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket” are two of his more famous quotes.
Emil Zatopek was was a Czech long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. He won gold in the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters runs, but his final medal came when he decided at the last minute to compete in the first marathon of his life. He was nicknamed the “Czech Locomotive” for his multiple gold’s.
What is your favorite Olympic event and why?
You have completed 100 marathons now but what advice would you give to someone thinking about running their first marathon?
Prepare and train well. If you do then you will get your reward on race day. Most importantly don’t forget to enjoy your first marathon.
Considering how much you love running I can’t imagine you stopping at 100. What running plans have you got lined up?
There are so many interesting races to try I have trouble trying to fit them all in! Later this month I will be attempting the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix, a 100Km run across the Alps starting in Italy and finishing in France via Switzerland (yes, you have to run with your passport). And I’ll be returning to the Comrades marathon next June.
Inspired by what Hideo has achieved why not sign up to run on behalf of COCO at an up and coming running event. COCO still has guaranteed places at the Bristol Half Marathon on the 30th September 2012 you can sign up by visiting www.runbristol.co.uk. For more information on the Comrades marathon visit www.comrades.com