Winner of men’s division:
Masakazu Fujiwara: “Because it was cold, I knew fast time was not possible. So I concentrated on winning the race today. I am happy to accomplish my goal.”

To the question “Can you describe your feeling when you threw off the baseball cap at 40Km?”
“I want to tell myself this is where I should make my move. I think my decision was correct.”

“I think I was able to win the race today, because I have done very good training. My training since last summer has been good. The training went especially well after the New Year Ekiden. Furthermore, I started to understand how to peak for the race.”

“I think 2:06 marathon is possible. In order to do so, we need to go out at 1:03 half marathon, but I think I did the right training to run at such a pace.”

“I surged at 33Km to break-up the lead pack. Then I stayed behind after 35Km as planned. I have decided before the race to make my final move at 40Km, which I did. At that point I felt I can win, although I cannot explain why I thought I can win this.”

“I was not thinking much in my debut marathon (2003 Lake Biwa marathon in March). Because of everything I have done since then, I feel that this marathon is much more significant for my marathon career. I think this is the new start of my marathon career.”

“After joining Honda track team, I trained too hard for about five years and thus I had many injury problems. I think I learn self-control recently, and that is very significant.”

Winner of women’s division:
Alevtina Biktimirova: “I am very happy to win today. After finishing fourth last year, I was determined to win this year. I am happy to realize my promise.”

To the question, what was it like to run with no other women nearby?
“I feel more comfortable running with men. If I am surrounded by women, I feel like I am running against all my rivals. So it was better this way. In fact, I would like to thank all those men who ran with me.”

“I run with intent of improving my personal best today, and that is why I went out fast. However, because it was cold, I realize that it is not possible to run a personal best today. So in the last half of the race, I change my goal to winning the race.”