At the May 12 Sendai International Half Marathon, Akito Terui (25, ND Software) finished 6th overall in 1:03:01. As a member of the Kanto Student Alliance team Terui ran the fastest time on the anchor stage at the 2017 Hakone Ekiden.
Running for the Nanyo, Yamagata-based ND Software team, Terui embraces the slogan ‚From the Northeast to the World.‘ In Sendai he beat a number of athletes who have qualified for September’s MGC Race, the new trials event that will determine the marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics, marking him as a potential contender for future Olympic teams.In one of the nation’s leading half marathons Terui made his presence felt among the elite competitors. Starting off in the third group, mid-race he began to move up through the field to finish as the 4th Japanese man. Three runners he beat in the final stages, 7th-place Daichi Kamino (New Balance), 8th-place Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) and 10th-place Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu), were MGC Race qualifiers. „Beating fast guys like them gives me a lot of confidence for the future,“ Terui said.
As a fourth-year at Tokyo Kokusai University Terui ran the Hakone Ekiden’s anchor stage as part of the Kanto Student Alliance team, leading the 23,1 km leg on time in 1:10:58. Because the Alliance team wasn’t scored in the results Terui’s time did not count as the stage-winning performance, leading to it being called the ‚Phantom Stage Win.‘ „I didn’t want that to be the end of it,“ he said of his decision to continue running post-grad with the ND Software team.
From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays Terui works as a clerk for the company, running workouts together with the team’s Alexander Mutiso, 22, the winner in Sendai this year. Since joining ND Software Terui’s track and half marathon times have improved. „While staying based here in the Northeast I want to become one of the top national runners, then target international competition,“ he said. „So far I’m producing results, and it’s starting to feel like I’m catching up to and even overtaking my rivals.“
In March Terui married his co-worker Mizuki, 22. She cooks for him and supports him in other ways. „She’s a huge help,“ he smiled. Up through next year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics he plans to see how far he can go on the track, but after that he plans to shift his focus. „I want to go for the marathon at the Paris Olympics,“ he said. „I want to continue to develop and improve my times in the lead-up to that.“
Akito Terui – born May 11, 1994 in Kitakami, Iwate. 25 years old. Runs for ND Software. Played baseball for Kitakami J.H.S. before joining the track team at Senshu Prep Kitakami H.S. Finished 13th on the 2016 Hakone Ekiden Third Stage for Tokyo Kokusai University, then ran the fastest time on the anchor stage the next year for the Kanto Student Alliance team. His half marathon PB is 1:01:45. 168 cm, 54 kg. Lives with wife Mizuki.
translated by Brett Larner