translated by Brett Larner
TV personality Hiroshi Neko, 33, ran a PB of 2:49:28 at the Oct. 24 Niagara Falls International Marathon, finishing 10th overall and breaking his PB by more than 6 minutes. The marathon, which featured a field of just 960, began in Buffalo, NY, ran along the shores of Lake Erie, crossed the Peace Bridge into Canada and finished in front of Niagara Falls, one of the world's three great waterfalls. Neko commented afterwards, "I was feeling pretty jetlagged, but since it had rained the day before it was pretty comfortable to run. I was shooting for a 2:48 but forgot to figure the last 195 m into my pace calculation and missed it by 30 seconds. I'll work on my math and next time I'll definitely get it."
Neko began running in 2005 for his appearance in the Akasaka Mini Marathon segment of broadcaster TBS' annual "All-Star Kanshasai" program. After a strong run there he began getting coaching from women's marathon great Mari Tanigawa. Neko made his marathon debut at the 2008 Tokyo Marathon, running 3:48:57. The following year he ran several domestic and foreign races. At this year's Tokyo Marathon Neko ran an excellent 2:55:45, following up with an 8th place finish at June's Ulan Batur International Marathon in Mongolia in 3:08:22. In December he plans to run the Ankor Wat Half Marathon before returning to the Tokyo Marathon in February.
Translator's note: I was in a TV commercial with Neko last year. I didn't think he was capable of a 2:49. My respect.