translated by Brett Larner
Having broken the Third Stage record at last month's Hakone Ekiden, Yamanashi Gakuin University Kenyan senior Cosmas Ondiba is set to take a job at Nanyo City Hall in Yamagata prefecture following his graduation this spring. According to Yamanashi Gakuin University head coach Masahito Ueda, Ondiba will be a part-time worker, training with the City Hall's track and field team and running ekidens and other races. Saitama prefectural government runner Yuki Kawauchi is a big topic these days, but, said Ueda, "Ondiba will be the first Kenyan public servant runner in Japan."
Translator's note: Ondiba had an outstanding fall season as a senior, winning the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km qualifier, the Ageo City Half Marathon, and the Hakone Ekiden Third Stage, but had difficulty securing a contract from a corporate team because his PB marks are not significantly better than those of Japanese collegiate runners. It is very unusual to say the least to see a foreign citizen be hired to a government position. Nanyo City Hall employs a half-dozen other former collegiate runners from schools including Chuo Gakuin University and Jobu University.