translated by Brett Larner
On April 15 Rikuren announced that as part of an effort to strengthen Japan's future marathoners it will begin using young Japanese athletes as pacemakers in next year's World Championships selection edition Osaka, Yokohama and Nagoya International Women's Marathons. It will be the first time the races have made use of pacemakers. The move is intended to give up-and-coming athletes the experience of running in a major marathon and the feeling of running competitive marathon speed.
Rikuren also announced that it will be sending a crew of sprinters to the U.K.'s Loughborough University for a training camp intended to give them increased experience in an international environment.