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Fukushi to Run Osaka International Women's Marathon vs. Noguchi

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Half-marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (29, Team Wacoal) announced Dec. 18 that she will run the Jan. 29 Osaka International Women's Marathon in a bid to make the London Olympic team.  Her coach Tadayuki Nagayama commented, "We're looking forward to the race, including the chance for some payback for 2008 [where Fukushi was 19th in 2:40:54 in her debut].  Fukushi's only stab at the marathon since then was her 2:24:38 best at October's Chicago Marathon.  In Osaka she will face Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (33, Team Sysmex), who declared for Osaka some time ago.  "There's no point being nervous," said Fukushi.  "I don't know what I can do in the marathon yet."


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Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

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