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Marathon Woman Akemi Ozaki 2nd in JAL Honolulu Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

17,000 Japanese runners in a field of 28,000 took part in the 35th JAL Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 9. Ambesse Tolosa of Ethiopia won the men`s race for the 2nd year in a row with a time of 2:17:26, while Alevtina Biktimirova of Russia took the women`s title for the 1st time, winning in 2:33:07. Among Japanese runners, Akemi Ozaki (Second Wind AC) was 2nd in the women`s race in 2:34:22 and Satoru Hori of Yamanashi Prefecture ran 2:29:12 to finish a strong 6th in the men`s race in his first appearance at this event.

Marathon-loving model Rie Hasegawa, 34, ran in the 3:30 range in her 8th time to challenge the Honolulu course. Hasegawa hoped to run a 3:15 but said afterwards, "With the hills and rain making for tough conditions in the first half I just couldn`t do it this time. I love running, though, so I plan to come back to Honlulu again next year."

At 90 years plus 5 months the oldest Japanese runner in the field, Tatsuo Okawara of Annaka, Gunma Prefecture completed the marathon in a time of 8:11:56. "There is nothing in my life to look back on with regret," Okawara smiled brightly. Having begun running at the age of 60, he believes, "Running with younger people keeps me feeling young and healthy too." Having experienced a severe injury to his right leg while serving in the army during World War II, Okawara said with feeling, "Compared to my war experience, the marathon is much easier."


The Honolulu Marathon website`s race writeup.


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