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Marathoner Kawauchi Vows To Carry On As An Amateur

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/TKY201109060696.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Colleagues admire Kawauchi's World Championships team silver medal. Click photo to enlarge.

After finishing 18th at the Sept. 4 World Championships marathon in Daegu, Korea and helping the Japanese national team win a silver medal, Yuki Kawauchi returned to work at Kasukabe High School Sept. 6.  Showing up for the first time since the race as usual wearing a backpack over his white dress shirt, Kawauchi was greeted in the office by a round of enthusiastic applause and congratulations from his colleagues.  Normally working in the afternoon and evening, Kawauchi arrived at work half an hour earlier than usual.  He said that due to intense soreness in his calves and thighs he had only been able to run 30 minutes that morning.

Showing his silver medal to principal Toshio Matsuda, Kawauchi recounted his race.  "'You're the pride of Wasimiya Junior High School!' and other messages I had received from children were going around in my head in the second half of the race, and that was what powered me when I was trying to hang on in the last part.  The drink that Kasukabe High's nutritionist Koji Nakayama designed for me also became really useful after 30 km."

Principal Matsuda told him, "I think your exposure to the speed and tactical sense of the world-class athletes in this race was an invaluable experience and I hope that it will lead to bigger and better things for you."  Kawauchi told his co-workers, "I'm still convinced that the way I've done things so far, training amid other amateurs, is the right way.  There are some bitter memories, but looking to the future I want to keep going the same way, and to become a Japanese man who can compete with the rest of the world.  If I focus on London it just becomes another pressure.  I want to run one race at a time, staying true to my ideals, my theme, in every one of them."

Comments

from california: you have fans here! i haven't had time to watch the race yet, but i specifically looked for where you finished. cult following is an understatement- you are a god and an inspiration. you help us dare to dream!

40 year old 16 minute 5k guy (will never be at your level)
kiwi said…
and a following here in New Zealand also, good luck !
Tee said…
i'm also ur fans in Malaysia

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

Launched in September, 2015, Runnet Japan is an English-language branch of Runnet, Japan's dominant online entry service, catering to the international community.  The number of races offered on Runnet Japan is still limited but constantly expanding.

Other entry services like Sports Entry, TecNet and the new Sportsnavi Do still offer only Ja…

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