Skip to main content

National University Women's Invitational Ekiden to Return After Three-Year Absence Dec. 23 at Mt. Fuji

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news/130528/szk13052802030003-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

National University Athletics Federation director Kosuke Hori, 78, appeared at a press conference on May 27 together with Shizuoka prefecture governor Heita Kawakatsu, to announce that the towns of Fuji and Fujinomiya at the base of Mt. Fuji will be the new hosts of the National University Women's Invitational Ekiden this Dec. 23.  The ekiden was held in Tsukuba, Ibaraki for three years beginning in 2007, but has been suspended indefinitely since 2010.  Its return on a new course around Mt. Fuji will be its first running since then.

Governor Kawakatsu smiled broadly as he told reporters, "Dec. 23 is the Emperor's birthday, so it is going to be a very wonderful day.  His Majesty was gracious enough to send a message saying, "I am looking forward to seeing our collegiate women run in the foothills of Mount Fuji."

According to race organizers, the ekiden will be run on a 44-km course starting at Fujisan Hongu Segen shrine, passing by Fujinomiya City Hall, Fuji City Hall, Tagonoura Port and other well-known local sites before finishing at Fuji Sports Park Field in Nakano, Fuji.  The field is expected to be made up of twenty-five teams including the top ten from October's National University Women's Ekiden in Sendai and around ten regional school and select teams.  Fuji TV will broadcast the race live and nationwide.

With Mt. Fuji achieving World Heritage Site status in the four years since the ekiden's last running, organizers are also examining attaching "Mt. Fuji" to the event's official name.  Director Hori commented, "As Mt. Fuji earns recognition as a World Heritage Site, the cities of Fuji and Fujinomiya have come together to help stage this race.  With Mt. Fuji forming the backdrop for a fantastic course, we hope to generate a wave of excitement for this race all across the country.  It is absolutely essential that we continue to hold our important competitions like this one."  With the cooperation of the police department and other local bodies, organizers look forward to the National University Women's Invitational Ekiden continuing strong in years to come.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…