translated by Brett Larner
On Feb. 24, former men's marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita (32, Team Fujitsu), held a public practice session in Chiba as he prepares for next month's Tokyo Marathon. Fujita has sworn to stage a comeback victory in memory of his late mother.
Today was the one-year anniversary of his mother Shizue's loss at age 54, the victim of a brain tumor. On the 22nd Fujita returned to his hometown of Shirakawa in Fukushima Prefecture to observe the one-year memorial ceremony. "Please watch me as I run this marathon," he prayed before her shrine.
Fujita's last marathon was the Dec. 2007 Fukuoka International Marathon, where he finished 8th. Since Team Fujitsu's win at the New Year Ekiden he has been at training camps on the southern islands of Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima, focusing on high mileage to fortify his stamina. On the 27th he will again travel to Amami Oshima.
Looking ahead, he revealed his revealed his planned path. "My goal is the World Championships [August, Berlin]. I don't want to be just top Japanese in Tokyo. I'm going to run like I can win and I'm timing my peak to be ready on race day."