German's Richard Ringer will make his half marathon debut February 3rd in Marugame Japan

Richard Ringer wants to be careful and not commit to a time - and yet his minimum goal would be to move into the top eight on the German half marathon leaderboard.

Germany's best long-distance runner of the past few years will be at the starting line at Japan's Marugame Half Marathon on February 3rd.

Marugame is about two and a half hours drive from Kobe. Richard Ringer's new Japanese outfitter, has their headquarters in Kobe.

In the field are several runners with best times of 61 minutes. "The British Callum Hawkins won here in 2017 in exactly 60 minutes. My training has been good and there's nothing to scare me off," said the 10,000-meter European Cup winner, who also wants to test the trip to the Far East for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

He has been training in Kenya and Portugal.  "The change in training has been good for my body. Longer stretches, lower intensities, and spiked runs - a welcome change."  And the most important thing: "I trained very well, it was really great here." Although he was not spared from colds and small training breaks he thinks he is back to its previous level.

Richard can keep up with the best on the road.  In October at the Frankfurt Marathon he was a pacemaker for Arne Gabius for about 30 kilometers and in mid-November in Nijmegen (Netherlands) he clocked 43:40 minutes over 15 kilometers.  He looks confidently on his half marathon debut: "I have prepared well and must not hide," he clarifies.

posted Thursday January 31st