translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Jan. 24 ahead of her final race at the 31st Osaka International Women's Marathon this Sunday, Jan. 29, Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) toured the new course that was introduced last year, helping with her mental preparations for the main event. At the same time, Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita (Romania) did some light running in Osaka Castle Park near the athletes' village.
Shimahara started her tour at around 6 a.m., checking out the section of the course from the turnaround at Dotonboribashi Minamizume on Midosuji Street to the finish at Nagai Stadium by car. Comparing the new course to the old one, on which she finished 3rd at the 2006 Osaka International Women's Marathon, Shimahara said, "It's very fast and looks fast. It made me think of the 2007 World Championships," [where she placed 6th].