Skip to main content

Kawauchi Gets Kurobe CR in Payback for Last Year's Runner-up Finish

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130526-OHT1T00149.htm

translated by Brett Larner

6098 people completed the May 26 Kurobe Meisui Half Marathon.  First among them was the race's star invited athlete, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't), who set a new course record of 1:03:58 in taking the win.  In 26-degree temperatures Kawauchi ran head-to-head against locally-based corporate team YKK's ace, Naohiro Yamada, 28.  Suddenly taking off at the 13 km point, Kawauchi shot away from Yamada and ran all-out for the final 8 km to secure the win and record.

The race was Kawauchi's fifth half marathon this month, but despite the accumulated fatigue and the 26-degree heat he obliterated the 1:04:46 record set in 2010 by YKK's Tetsuo Nishikawa.  "It was really hot out there," Kawauchi said afterward.  "I drank at every water station."  After finishing he poured cups of water over his head, thirstily gulping down Kurobe's famous local spring water.

YKK's "assassin" Yamada was thoroughly beaten.  "At this kind of race, the local corporate team will usually put in one or two of its best ekiden runners," Kawauchi said.  "YKK was playing for real this time, putting their best runner in."  Last year Kawauchi finished 2nd to YKK's Nishikawa in Kurobe, and from long before this year's race he was itching for payback.  At the 2007 Hakone Ekiden Kawauchi and Yamada were teammates on the Kanto Region University Select Team, Kawauchi representing Gakushuin University and Yamada running for Yamanashi Gakuin University.  Lining up against each other this year in Kurobe it was a head-to-head race from the start.

The decisive move came at the 13 km water station.  "After 12 km I could see that his upper body was starting to weave, so I took advantage of an uphill at the water station to hit him hard," Kawauchi said of his race-making surge.  Instantly opening a lead, he kept up the attack and ran full-speed the rest of the way.  "Nobody heckled me this time*, and I really appreciated hearing all the enthusiastic cheering from the people along the course.  Once I had the lead I never looked back."

In the last 23 days Kawauchi has run five half marathons including Kurobe.  "After my marathons in March and April I had a minor injury, but that's all sorted out now and there aren't any lingering problems.  The Federation is leaving me alone and letting me do what I want, so that's nice too."

Having used his serial half marathons to develop his speed, next month Kawauchi will jump back into marathons starting with the June 2 Chitose JAL International Marathon. "Thanks to the athletes from YKK I was able to run a good time here in Kurobe," he said. "More than worrying about time, my goal next month will be to get comfortable with the marathon distance again."  Everything is geared toward August's Moscow World Championships, where Kawauchi will run the marathon for the Japanese national team.

After finishing Kurobe Kawauchi was taken to the medical tent suffering from overheating, but once he recovered he was inundated with crowds of fans outside the entrance to the tent.  Smiling, he posed for pictures and shook fans' hands, thanking them for their support.  "I'm a much stronger athlete for having run this race," he told them.  "I will definitely be back in Kurobe every year that my schedule lets me."  Even as he stands on the brink of racing the best in the world Kawauchi is still thinking of the local races and people who helped him get there.

*Translator's note: Kawauchi has been heckled by a few people along the course in several recent races where he has underperformed.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

24 Hour World Champion Ishikawa Wins Berlin 100 MIler

2017 24-hour world champion Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Nichia Kagaku) won the 100 Meilen Berlin Saturday, just short of the course record but beating his nearest competition by over an hour as he finished in 13:17.41. Part of a sizable lead group in the early going, Ishikawa broke free of the competition after two hours and was on his own the rest of the way.

Projecting a finish time under 13 hours well into the race, in the later stages he slowed enough to miss the 13:06:52 course record set in 2014 but was still in a different class from the rest of the field, runner-up Stephane Ruel of France coming in in 14:25:24. Women's winner Monika Biegasiewicz of Poland won with the same kind of margin, running 15:29:48 to 2nd-placer Annette Mueller's 16:37:36.
100 Meilen Berlin Top ResultsBerlin, Germany, 8/11/18
complete results

Men
1. Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) - 13:17.41
2. Stephane Ruel (France) - 14:25:24
3. Uwe Laenger (Germany) - 14:30:53
4. Stefan Wilsdorf (Germany) - 14:55:56
5. Sas…