Skip to main content

Kawauchi Announces Bid For Governor of Saitama (updated)

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2013/03/30/kiji/K20130330005505240.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Like his running, Saitama's civil servant runner is set to take his moniker to the next level. Having renewed his assignment as an office worker at Kasukabe High School for the fiscal year beginning Apr. 1, at a press conference on Mar. 29 Yuki Kawauchi, 26, announced that he will run for governor of Saitama in the upcoming prefectural elections. "I want to do my best for all the people of Saitama," Kawauchi told reporters.

Although he has been courted by leaders of various political parties throughout his rise to fame as Saitama's leading citizen over the last two years, Kawauchi will run as an independent. "Political parties serve a role for people who can't think for themselves or like to follow others, but that's not who I am," Kawauchi said.  "I think there are a lot of other people like me and I want to show them that they have a voice too."  Polling in Saitama following his announcement indicated widespread support for Kawauchi.  Among adults 20 or older, 81.4% of respondents said they favor his entry into the race.

Kawauchi's announcement has caused consternation among Japan's major political parties, not least of all for current governor Kiyoshi Ueda, 64, a former member of the Democratic Party of Japan who currently sits as an independent.  A longtime Kawauchi supporter, Ueda famously dubbed him 'the Rocky of the marathon world' following Kawauchi's breakthrough run at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon.  "He's got his way of doing things and we want to respect that, but we have to see if there isn't someplace that we can compromise," commented Ueda. "I have to have a one-on-one meeting with him to make sure he understands the election procedure."

If elected, Kawauchi says he intends to keep working in the Kasukabe H.S. office and to continue his marathon career.  He is a favorite to make the Japanese marathon team for August's Moscow World Championships.  "I'm going to do everything I can to meet my competitors on the starting line in the best condition possible!" Kawauchi said.  His next race is the Apr. 7 Satte Sakura 10 Mile Road Race in Satte, Saitama.

Update: This was an April Fools' Day joke.  Kawauchi is not running for governor of Saitama.  Yet.

Comments

Sam Grotewold said…
He is just the best.
patrick voo said…
agreed sam - yuki kawauchi rocks.
IvyChang said…
HaHaHa... I got fooled. Nice try.
patrick voo said…
nice one brett - still, if wesley korir can become a member of kenyan parliament, i wouldn't put it past kawauchi to take on yet another challenge!

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …