translated and edited by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner
In a match race of dramatic intensity starting at the 28 km point of Sunday's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (25, Saitama Pref.) broke London Olympics marathon 6th-place finisher Kentaro Nakamoto (30, Team Yasukawa Denki) to win in a course record 2:08:15, a 22-second improvement of his PB. Back on the site of his marathon debut for the first time, it was the seventh marathon win of his career.
He may have had a premonition of the win thanks to his own personal "muse of victory." His mother Mika Kawauchi was watching the race from Benten Bridge where some of the critical action took place. "I was half crying, half praying. Stress like this is bad for your heart," she said. She travels to see about one in ten of his races, the last time being his win at last summer's Hokkaido Marathon. The day before Beppu-Oita she attended the technical meeting along with all the corporate-league coaches. "I think it's good that he's lost some weight since Fukuoka," she said. "In high school he used to get injured all the time, but now he's got enough sense not to do too much."
Kawauchi's mother laughs about him forgetting his passport when he was leaving to run the Egyptian Marathon last month. "He can be so silly. At home he just says whatever comes to his mind without thinking, and he's always causing trouble for the rest of the family." There's no limit to the depth of a mother's love, even for an outsider like Kawauchi.