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Marathon runner Yamauchi announces retirement

Kyodo

Mara Yamauchi, winner of the 2008 Osaka Marathon and an Olympian for Britain, announced Tuesday on her blog that she will retire from racing and resume her career in the foreign service.

The 39-year-old Yamauchi, who is married to a Japanese national, has extensive connections with Japan, having served for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the British Embassy in Tokyo. Her 2 hours, 23 minute, 12 second time in the 2009 London Marathon is the second-fastest time recorded by a British woman after the 2:15:25 world record of countrywoman Paula Radcliffe.

Yamauchi represented Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she finished sixth.

“All good things must come to an end … and so it is for my career as an elite athlete and marathon runner. After careful thought, I’ve decided to retire from elite competition, and finally hang up my racing shoes,” she said in a post on her blog.