translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Nov. 28 marathoner Yukiko Akaba (34, Team Hokuren) announced on her blog that she plans to retire following the 33rd edition of the Osaka International Women's Marathon on Jan. 26. That deadline for retirement was set more than a year ago. "Retiring now doesn't mean I'm just quitting," she said. "I can't realistically expect to make any more Olympic teams. If I keep going then eventually I'll just be puttering along without any clear goals. Not many people will like this decision, but it is a happy occasion and I'm thankful from the heart for all the support I've received. I will keep giving it my all until Osaka and bring my best performances to every race I have left before that."
Akaba is a graduate of Josai University. She won the 2013 National Corporate Half Marathon in 1:08:59 and was 3rd at this year's London Marathon in 2:24:43 but was not named to the Moscow World Championships team.