translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo by Dr. Helmut Winter
Passing former Hakone Ekiden star Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) at the last moment, Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) finished 4th in yesterday's Fukuoka International Marathon, the top placing by a general division entrant. Despite the heat his time of 2:12:44 was a new PB by two minutes. "You never know what might happen until the end, so I'm really glad I didn't give up," Takada said after the race, showing obvious pleasure in his strong performance.
A native of Niigata prefecture, Takada, 29, graduated from Takushoku University before going on to JR Higashi Nihon. Experiencing knee pain in June, he recovered in time to do all his planned training for his main target race of the year, Fukuoka. A few days before the race he went out to eat with his best friend, his former Takushoku and JR teammate Arata Fujiwara (Remo System AC), a member of last year's World Championships marathon team and the top Japanese marathoner of the year. Fujiwara was very encouraging and motivating. "He told me that I was definitely going to run a good time," Takada said.
photo (c) and (p) 2010 Dr. Helmut Winter
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