translated by Brett Larner
Beijing Olympics men`s marathon team member Atsushi Sato (30, Team Chugoku Denryoku) of Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, has returned home to prepare for Beijing. On May 19th Sato arrived at Bandaihibara Kohan in Kita Shiobaramura, Fukushima, for an intensive training camp. "It`s time to get ready for this marathon. I thought that looking at Bandaihibara Kohan`s beauty would help inspire me to make a clean start," Sato smiled.
Sato`s training camp runs from the 19th through the end of the month. He previously trained in Bandaihibara Kohan while preparing for last December`s Fukuoka International Marathon, where he qualified for the Olympics. "I have a good feeling about this place," Sato said of the area as a marathon training ground.
Bandaihibara Kohan is situated at 850 m elevation. "I saw the Beijing course last month. It`s not as easy as I expected and has a fair amount of up and down, so it`s going to be important to have built up a lot of strength for this one," Sato commented. Besides training, Sato will be enjoying horseback riding and eating many of his favorite local delicacies.
Following Fukushima, he will be doing further altitude training in Niigata before running the Sapporo International Half Marathon on June 15.