translated by Brett Larner
Among the 13,500 Japanese runners in the field of 35,000 at the 41st running of the Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 8, seven-year-old Haruka Masuda finished the race full of enthusiasm with her parents Shinya and Harue Masuda. Meeting Honolulu's minimum age of seven, Haruka is a second-grader at an elementary school in Nagoya. Swimming is her favorite kind of exercise, but on the suggestion of her parents, both avid runners, she decided to run Honolulu.
Running at a pace set by her father Shinya that would "let us finish in time to make the post-race party," Haruka reached the goal line ahead of schedule in 7:41:45. "The scenery was really beautiful," she said excitedly afterwards. "That was fun." However, she added that she prefers swimming and so is not sure when she will run Honolulu again.
Translator's note: The marathon world record for a seven-year-old girl is 3:51:54 held by American Jennifer Amyx.