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World Trade Bell rings Naha Marathon runners on way

Date Posted: 2003-12-11

The “World Trade Bell” rang crystal clear last Sunday morning, starting 17,218 runners on the 19th Naha Marathon Sunday morning from Onoyama Park in Naha City. Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga rang the starting signal with the bell, brought to Naha for the event from the World Friendship Hall at Busena Terrace Resort. A total of 13,392 men and 3,826 women took part in the race, with two-thirds finishing within the time limits. The winner was Tatsuya Tanikubo, who clocked his Naha Marathon third win at 2 hours 23 min. and 56 seconds. The fastest woman was Yoshimi Hoshino from Shizuoka. She finished the race in 2 hours 48 min. and 41 seconds.

The oldest man to run was Koukin Kudaka of Naha City, who completed the course in 5:39:03. Kudaka said he normally runs one hour every day, but prior to the race had practiced two hours daily for some weeks. “I’m not satisfied with my time, but I will do faster next year,” Kudaka stated after crossing the finishing line. The most senior of the female runners was 73-year-old Michiko Kawai a Tokyo resident running her third Naha Marathon. Her time was 5:39:59. She said she decided to participate in spite of a knee-injury she had suffered before. “I love Okinawan people and the weather, I wouldn’t miss this race for nothing,” Kawai said.

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