Skip to main content

Kawauchi's Mother in Beppu-Oita: "I Was Half Crying"

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/p-sp-tp0-20130204-1080685.html

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.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…