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Ozaki, Akaba, Matsumiya Twins, Nakao to Run London Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/091201/spg0912010000000-n1.htm
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20091201-571347.html
http://www.shimotsuke.co.jp/news/tochigi/sports/news/20091201/242397

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Nov. 30 it was announced that 2009 Berlin World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (28, Team Daiichi Seimei) and her World Championships teammate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) will run the April 25th London Marathon. Other women in the field include two-time defending champion Irina Mikitenko (Germany), 2009 World Championships gold medalist Xue Bai (China) and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist Constantina Dita (Romania).

The men's race will feature men's 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya, his identical twin brother Yuko (both of Team Konica Minolta) and 2008 World Half Marathon 5th place finisher Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku). At the forefront will be 2008 Beijing Olympics and course record holder Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya).

Both Ozaki and Akaba have been suffering injury problems, in Ozaki's case a knee problem which kept her out of last month's East Japan Jitsugyodan Ekiden Championships. Akaba commented, "I'm running because I wanted to take on a high-level overseas race. Next year I plan to race a lot, and in London I'm looking at a PB at the very least."

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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
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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
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“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…