Skip to main content

Toyo's Kashiwabara Out of National Men's Ekiden

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20110123-OHT1T00010.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Three-time Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage winner Ryuji Kashiwabara (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) has withdrawn from his planned run for the Fukushima Prefecture team at today's National Interprefectural Men's Ekiden in Hiroshima due to pain in his right knee. If he recovers in time, his next target race will be the 10 km race at the Feb. 26 Fukuoka International XC Meet.

Kashiwabara was scheduled to run the 8.5 km Third Stage, but after discussion between the Toyo and Fukushima Prefecture teams it was decided that he would be withdrawn. "If he ran in his current condition it would be a lot of unnecessary pressure, so for his own sake we pulled him," explained Toyo head coach Toshiyuki Sakai, 34. He went on to say that while Kashiwabara is currently experiencing pain in his right knee and left heel, the ailments are not serious and they have focused on him being ready for the Fukuoka International XC Meet in one month's time.

Competing off the roads on the rough surfaces and hills of a cross-country course is a point of pride for Hakone's "God of the Mountain." The Fukuoka International XC Meet is a selection race for March's World XC Championships in Spain. It may well become the staging ground for Kashiwabara's big step up to take on the world.

Translator's note: Kashiwabara's run against Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) and Yoichiro Akiyama (Team Honda) on the Third Stage was one of the highlights of last year's Interprefectural Ekiden. Kashiwabara went on to spend most of 2010 injured but despite being less than 100% still won this year's Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage in a time faster than any other athlete has ever run.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

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
           …