Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Mara Yamauchi - Outstanding British Performer in the London Marathon 2009

MARA YAMAUCHI WAS THE OUTSTANDING BRITISH PERFORMER IN THE LONDON MARATHON 2009.
She talked to Alastair Aitken for RUNNING IN LONDON and R.R.C at the London Marathon Exhibition. Mara improved her best time of 2:25:03, when winning in Osaka, to a British Over 35 best of 2:23:12 in London.


   Mara Yamauchi ran her fastest ever half marathon of 68:29 when winning the Kagawa Marugame international half marathon on the 15th of March this year.
   "That 68:29 was a PB. For me coming into the London it was good to do that'
However, she pointed out that her highlight was coming sixth in the Olympic Marathon (2:27:29) in Beijing.
       Her breakthrough to being a quality marathon runner came earlier she said
' 2005 when I made the GB team for the marathon.'
(5th in the Tokyo womens marathon in 2:27:38 and 18th in the World Half marathon Champiosnhips in 72:40).
' It was after making the Great Britain team that I really started to train harder for the marthon and have been gradually improving since then'
   She lives with her husband in Japan now
    ' Japan has a very strong tradition in the Womens Marathon. Joyce Smith won the first All Womens Marathon in Tokyo. I tried to win the last one but came third but, winning in Osaka was another highlight for me (27th of January in 2008 in 2:25:03).
   When she has come over to England she has done some training with Robin Dickson' s group at Kingsmeadow.
    ' I still keep in touch with Robin and they do have a really good group there. He really does a lot of good work.'
Looking back through the years before her Harrow club days she did have some coaching as youngster from Syliva Parker with Parkside and she went on later to win the English National Cross Country as a senior, under her maiden name in 1998 (1 Mara Myers 28:59; 2 Lucy Elliott 29:07, 3 Tara Krzywicki 219:14) Did she look back at that time with affection?
 'Yes, definetly but it was a long time ago. To win a race is very good rather than coming second or less.'
   When did Mara Yamauchi find running was something she loved to do?
        ' When I was a kid in the School Sports at Oxford High School, Summertown, Oxford. I used to love to do the longer distances but I only really got into it seriously at 29"

Alastair Aitken

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