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Kawauchi 2nd in First Race of the Year (updated)

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/event/sports/news/20120109-OHT1T00005.htm
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/120108/spg1201081654000-n1.htm
http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/2012/01/08/0004729613.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In his first race of the year, Olympic marathon hopeful Yuki Kawauchi (24, Saitama Pref.) finished 2nd in 1:06:19 at the 13th Mari Tanigawa Half Marathon behind winner Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (32, Team Nissin Shokuhin) who ran 1:05:36.  Kawauchi declared the performance a good shakeout in the buildup to his bid for the London Olympic team at the Feb. 26 Tokyo Marathon.

Two years ago Kawauchi won the Mari Tanigawa Half Marathon in 1:06:49, and last year he was 3rd in 1:06:40.  This time, running into a strong headwind in the second half of the race Kawauchi slowed, but he still held on to make the podium in his best time on this course.  "Now I've got all three kinds of medals from this race," he laughed.  "My dream is to travel to see all the other amateur runners all across Japan.  From now on I'll go anywhere I'm invited."

Over the New Year's holidays Kawauchi joined a training camp with his old high school, Saitama's Kasukabe Higashi H.S., where he ran much more mileage than usual, banging out 50-60 km per day.  He will not run on the Saitama team at the Jan. 22 National Men's Ekiden, instead running the local Okumusashi Ekiden on Jan. 29 a week before returning to the Feb. 5 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon on the road to Tokyo.  "My goal is to run 2:07 in Tokyo," he said, "so in Marugame I'm aiming to break my PB [1:02:40 at last year's Marugame]."  As with last year, the Marugame Half will be where Kawauchi revs his engine up to go full throttle at the Tokyo Marathon, where, he said, "I want to prove that amateurs can aim for the Olympics too.  This is the year where I take it all on."

Update: Amino Vital AC runners Kaori Yoshida and Eri Hayakawa went 1-2 in the women's race in quick times of 1:11:16 and 1:12:55.  It was Yoshida's third-straight and fourth-total win at the Tanigawa Half.  Hayakawa is a three-time past winner, taking the 2004, 2006 and 2007 editions.

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Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

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
           …