translated by Brett Larner
London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) appeared at the Feb. 21 pre-Tokyo Marathon press conference. Fujiwara revealed that he is running Tokyo on Sunday despite still feeling the effects of influenza he contracted in early February. "I don't have good training behind me this time. My goal is to run 2:10," he said, moderating expectations. At the Feb. 2 Marugame Half he slowed badly and finished in 1:09:09 due to the influenza. "I haven't caught a cold since I was in junior high school," he said. With a fever of 38 degrees Fujiwara didn't run for an entire week and thought about pulling out of Tokyo, but taking a positive view of the situation he said, "A break from training means my body is fresh."
At December's Fukuoka International Marathon Fujiwara dropped out partway through due to hip pain, meaning he does not have a place on the Japanese team for September's Asian Games in South Korea. "I don't know how it's going to go down, but I'm looking forward to it," he said of Sunday's race.
Translator's note: Fujiwara's college roommate and fellow London Olympian Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) withdrew from Tokyo on Thursday due to having caught the flu in early February and missing training.