Athletes were lively at the pre-race press conference for elite runners.
Pre-race press conference for elite runners was held on Friday afternoon, two days before the race. The main protagonists at the press conference were Haile Gebrselassie, former world record holder at 5000m, 10000m and the marathon, and Yuki Kawauchi, the fastest Japanese in the field.
The Friday’s press conference was quite unique, unlike more formal pre-race press conferences for the other Japanese marathons. It was also very lively as athletes joked from time to time as following excerpts from the exchanges between Kawauchi and Arata Fujiwara indicates: “Lets push the pace together from 25Km (after the pace makers are gone).” “OK, but don’t tuck behind me. We will take turn at the lead.”
Great Haile Gebrselassie was philosophical at times. “In the 10000m race, we race against each other. On the other hand, at the marathon, we race against the distance.” When asked why he keeps on running at age of 38, Haile explained, “I will stop competing at some point, but I will never stop running. Running is part of my life. I eat, sleep and run.”