Skip to main content

A Strong Tailwind Spurs Q-chan On: Takahashi to Put Her Whole Running Life on the Line in Nagoya

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2008020400738

translated by Brett Larner

The winds of chance are blowing strongly. At the Osaka International Women's Marathon on Jan. 27, Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) failed spectacularly in her highly-anticipated debut marathon. Speaking about this race from her high-altitude training camp in Kunming, China, Takahashi said, "Regardless of what happened in Osaka, I will be running to win in Nagoya with the kind of time nobody will be able to criticize." The Nagoya International Women's Marathon on Mar. 9 is the last of the selection races for the Beijing Olympics team, and is open to question whether Takahashi's feeling about her race are the same in the wake of Osaka.

Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), winner of the bronze medal in the women's marathon at last summer's World Championships, has already been selected for the Beijing team. Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) is very likely to be chosen for on the strength of her course-record victory at November's Tokyo International Women's Marathon, leaving just one more spot. If Fukushi had run a fast time in Osaka then all the spots would have been filled before Nagoya. This scenario did not come to pass. The top Japanese runner in Osaka, 2nd place finisher Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya), ran only 2:25:34 to leave a big chance for Takahashi and the other Nagoya runners.

After spending much of last year doing altitude training in Boulder, Colorado, Takahashi briefly returned to Japan for meetings in Tokyo and Osaka before heading to Kunming. She originally planned to come back to Japan for a short time in January but later raised the pitch of her Nagoya preparations by deciding to remain in Kunming to train without interruption.

Takahashi turns 36 in May, a seasoned veteran who could not qualify for the Athens Olympics. "There is only one thing waiting for me. This will be my last Olympics." The world awaits the final climax of this great runner's career.

Comments

Som Tum Phet Maak said…
Nagoya will be the Japanese race of the year. Looking forward to chasing Q-chan on the Nagoya subway.
Brett Larner said…
Yes, Q-chan will have her work cut out for her with Hara and Kano having come on board, but the chance is there. Should be a good one.

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…