translated and edited by Brett Larner
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A day after finishing 6th at the Fukuoka International Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (25, Saitama Pref.) announced his intent to try again for the Moscow World Championships team at the March 3rd Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, the final selection race for Moscow following the Feb. 3 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon and the Feb. 24 Tokyo Marathon. "I have committed to run Lake Biwa," said Kawauchi. "Now it's time to think about what is necessary in order to focus everything on that." Kawauchi ran his marathon debut at the 2009 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. 2013 will be his first time running Lake Biwa.
Fukuoka 4th-place finisher Arata Fujiwara (31, Miki House) was disappointed to hear that his comrade Kawauchi plans to run Lake Biwa. Fujiwara has already committed to run the Tokyo Marathon a week earlier. Having done crash training for Fukuoka "in order to run with Kawauchi," Fujiwara was positive about the race's outcome, saying, "It was really stressful and exciting, a super interesting experience." Kawauchi indicated that he has chosen Lake Biwa because Tokyo is inconvenient for his work schedule at Saitama's Kasukabe High School, where applications for incoming students are processed every year the morning after Tokyo. Fujiwara commented, "Well, if that's what he said then I can't force him, but I really hope to see him run in Tokyo."
Later the same day Federation director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh told reporters that he hopes to include both Kawauchi and Fujiwara among the ten men to be invited to a Federation-sponsored intensive marathon training camp in Nobeoka, Miyazaki next March. Having confirmed both men's interest post-race on the 2nd, Soh explained, "I want to raise the bar at every level, among corporate runners, pros, amateurs and collegiates. I think it will be very good for them to have an opportuniy to square off against each other. Together we can improve Japan's overall level." Fukuoka runner-up Hiroyuki Horibata, 26, coached by Soh at the Asahi Kasei team, welcomed the chance, saying, "Those two guys don't train with other top-notch athletes like corporate runners do, but they still get the results. I'm really curious about what they're doing. I can't wait to work with them."
The training camp will be Kawauchi's first time to work together with corporate-league runners in a Federation-sponsored program. Having built up his own unique methodology of training together with other amateurs and racing frequently, the camp will represent a change of direction. After finishing 6th in Fukuoka he announced plans to re-examine his system, saying, "I haven't been able to do 100% ideal training, so I realize that bit by bit I have to make a few changes to the way I'm doing things. If I don't look around and learn from others' knowledge and wisdom then I won't continue to make progress." Shortly afterward came the call from Soh. "I'd love to go," Kawauchi told him. "I have to keep adjusting and improving the way I train. I hope the camp will be an incentive." Prior to both Lake Biwa and the Federation training camp, Kawauchi plans to race the Feb. 17 Kumanichi 30 km Road Race.
The morning after Fukuoka Kawauchi was out at 5:00 a.m. for a two-hour run through the city. After breakfast he hurried off to Fukuoka Airport in order to catch a flight home in time for his regular afternoon work at Kasukabe H.S. "When I say I'm going to do a race it's never just a training run. I always give it the best I have that day," he said before disappearing into the morning rush hour subway crowds.