translated and edited by Brett Larner
Hanamaki, Iwate native Toyoyuki Abe (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) placed 15th in his marathon debut at the Apr. 18 Boston Marathon thanks to the support of his parents and friends back home, all of them in very difficult circumstances following the devastation of last month's earthquake and tsunami. "Despite their tough situation everyone cheered me on," Abe said. "It helped me push harder than ever."
Abe has been successful as an ekiden runner, but beginning this year he has turned his focus to the marathon. He earned an invitation to Boston after finishing 2nd at February's Ome 30 km Road Race behind American Jason Lehmkuhle. Meeting his pre-race goal of a 2:15 finish as he clocked 2:15:48, Abe said of his future plans, "The next step is to work on my speed endurance and then see where that gets me."
Translator's note: Ome women's winner Hiromi Ominami (Yutic AC) and her twin sister Takami Ominami (Yutic AC), both past Rotterdam Marathon winners, also ran Boston. Both injured but running to show support for those in disaster-affected areas, Hiromi ran 2:58:31 and Takami 3:24:11.