translated and edited by Brett Larner
With a best of 2:06:51, former Japanese marathoner national record holder Atsushi Fujita (Team Fujitsu) ran the Mar. 3 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon despite having fractured a rib in training just five days before the race. Fujita took painkillers before the race and started out in the lead pack but was unable to finish, dropping out at 15 km. Prior to the race he said, "This will be my last race where I go for national team-class running," but afterward he said, "I can't say anything about what comes next." Any decision he makes must be made in consultation with his corporate management and coach. "If I quit after this I'll always have regret hanging over me. If I could have my choice I'd like to settle on a retirement race," he said, betraying his lingering attachment to the sport at age 36.