translated by Brett Larner
The five foreign invited elite athletes for the 62nd running of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon on Feb. 3 toured the marathon's course Jan. 31 along with two of the pacers. Guided by race officials and staff members from the Oita Prefectural Sports Promotion Bureau, the runners viewed the start area in front of Umitamago near Mt. Takasaki and the change room and warmup facilities at the start. Following that they toured the course by bus, taking note of each kilometer mark and the turnaround point.
Speaking at the finish line at the newly-renovated Oita Municipal Field track, last year's runner-up Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia) commented, "I'm feeling good. I'm aiming to run 2:10 and make the top three." London Olympian Michael Shelley (Australia) added, "It's a great course, including the scenery. I plan to go for a PB [2:11:23]."