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Tokyo Marathon Adds Prize Money to Attract Top Runners

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20080515-00000930-san-spo

translated by Brett Larner

Drawing 30,000 runners to the streets of Tokyo, the Tokyo Marathon is set to become the first large race in Japan to offer significant prize money to top-placing elite runners. On May 14 the race`s organizing committee announced tentative plans for the addition of prize money to next year`s Tokyo Marathon in March in order to attract bigger-name overseas athletes and to reward them on a par with IAAF gold-label race standards. The move comes as Tokyo prepares its bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. Final confirmation of the planned changes is expected in June.

Last year the IAAF released a worldwide rating of road races, with 12 major events such as the London and New York marathons receiving the highest label `gold.` The Tokyo Marathon received only a `silver` rating. The IAAF standards for a gold rating include international television broadcast in at least 5 countries as well as both elite men`s and women`s fields. While New York is broadcast in 50 countries, the Tokyo Marathon`s domestic-only broadcast has contributed to low interest levels among international media.

Because Tokyo is a selection race for the Olympics and World Championships, the men`s field to date has included both world-class foreign and domestic athletes. However, the women`s field has not yet included runners of the same caliber. As Tokyo moves forward with preparations for its 2016 Olympic bid, the Tokyo Marathon has recognized the need to bring itself up to the standards necessary to make it a truly top-class international event.

Among IAAF gold-label events, the New York City Marathon offers 1st-place prize money of $130,000, while the London Marathon offers winners $55,000. The Tokyo Marathon intends from now on to offer comparable prize purses.

With 30,000 runners, the Tokyo Marathon is the largest marathon in Asia. 156,000 people applied for this year`s race. Next year running will be the event`s 3rd running. The course offers a tour of many of Tokyo`s noteworthy areas, including Ginza and Asakusa, and is an excellent course for top runners targeting a fast time.

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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
           …

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…