Skip to main content

Tokyo Marathon 3rd Placer Yuki Kawauchi Gives $72,000 BMW Prize to Mother

http://www.news-postseven.com/archives/20110310_14578.html

translated by Brett Larner

The top Japanese and 3rd place overall finisher at the 30,000+ runner Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 27 was "Public Servant Runner" Yuki Kawauchi, 24, an administrative assistant in a Saitama high school. Four days before the race was the seventh anniversary of the death of Kawauchi's father Akio, the director of scouting for a major talent agency. On the Tuesday morning after the marathon Kawauchi told his mother Mika, 46, "I have to tell dad about the race, so I'm going out for a jog," before running to his father's grave.

"I wish my husband could have seen Yuki now," said Mrs. Kawauchi. "He passed away when things were not going well and never got to see any of the improvement Yuki made in university and afterward. But I can feel that he is reaching down from heaven to give Yuki a supportive push from behind."

As the top Japanese man at the Tokyo Marathon, Kawauchi won a top of the line hybrid car from race sponsor BMW worth 6,000,000 yen [~$72,000 U.S.]. After the race he sent an email to his mother, who drives a domestically-manufactured compact car, saying, "I'm giving you the car. From now on you're going to work in a BMW."

His mother was humbled and perplexed by the gift. "I don't know what to do. At our house we only have a parking space for one car, and it would be too big a waste to get rid of the car I always drive. As a parent I'd much rather see him keep it and use it for his own transportation."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

5th-Ranked Koku Gakuin Pulls Off Last Km Upset to Win First-Ever Izumo Ekiden Title

In the modern era of systematic mass-production of quality by dominant teams like Tokai University and Aoyama Gakuin University it has been years since an underdog came through with a surprise win on Japan's university men's ekiden circuit, but that's just what happened at today's Izumo Ekiden to kick off the 2019-20 Big Three University Ekiden season.

The race was expected to be between defending champ Tokai and Buddhist powerhouse Komazawa University, with threats from AGU and fan favorites Toyo University. Like last year Tokai struggled a bit to get on its feet, lagging as a core leading quartet coalesced over the first half of the race's six stages. Running better than expected, #5-ranked Koku Gakuin University was right up in it along with AGU, Komazawa and Toyo, its second and third men Taiga Nakanishi and Yuhei Urano taking 3rd on their stages and Urano one of six men on the Third Stage to break its course record.

The leading quartet broke up into two pairs…

Hakone Champ Tokai University the Heavy Favorite at Izumo Ekiden

University men's ekiden season kicks off Monday with the Izumo Ekiden, the first race in the three-month buildup to January's Hakone Ekiden main event. Last year four-time Hakone champ Aoyama Gakuin University outran up-and-coming Tokai University at both Izumo and November's National University Ekiden but fell short of stopping Tokai at Hakone. This year AGU is significantly down on strength, while Tokai is stronger than ever. But while Tokai is the clear favorite, it's got a serious challenge coming from at least one, maybe two familiar faces.

The average stage length for Izumo's six stages is about 7.5 km, requiring a balance between 5000 m and 10000 m skills. Despite missing captain Ryoji Tatezawa Tokai leads the way in both departments, its top six 5000 m average of 13:47.22 the fastest among the seven schools with sub-14 minute averages and its 10000 m average of 28:39.35 likewise leading the way among the six sub-29 programs. Half marathon credentials don&#…

Chicago Marathon Japanese Results

After moving up to the top ranks of amateur Japanese women's marathoning with a 2:36:37 PB at this year's Tokyo Marathon, club runner Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto) took another big step with a 2:33:16 PB for 14th at the Chicago Marathon. Running almost perfectly evenly, her first 5 km 18:11 and none after that faster than 17:49 or slower than 18:17, Kaneshige managed a slight negative split with a 1:16:46 first half and 1:16:30 second half. Just short of rival club runner Haruka Yamaguchi's 2:33:09 PB in Sydney last month, with that kind of control Kaneshige looks to have plenty more room for growth.

On the men's side, four Japanese men, Minato Oishi (Toyota), Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota), Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) and Yuta Takahashi (Otsuka Seiyaku), went out in the second pack with the main leading group of American men. The fastest Japanese half marathoner so far this year, Oishi was almost as steady as Kaneshige the entire way as he opened with a 15:25 first …