Skip to main content

Kawauchi and Men's Marathon Team Leave Narita for Moscow: "It's Do or Die. There is No Next Time."

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130811-00000019-nksports-spo
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130811-00000026-dal-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Promising a race of "action," Japan's strongest amateur, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) left Tokyo's Narita Airport with other members of the men's marathon and javelin squads on Aug. 11 for Moscow where he will run his second-straight World Championships marathon.  The day before, women's marathoner Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) won a bronze medal, raising spirits and creating great excitement in the Japanese athletics world. Kawauchi, who finished 18th in 2:16:11 two years ago in the Daegu World Championships, was upbeat but serious, saying with determination, "Last time I blew it.  This time is going to be full of action.  I'm in good shape, and I am going to bring everything I've done and learned up to now into play.  I'm ready to achieve my goal of finishing in the top six."  With two incredible years behind him since Daegu and more than 300 races in his career to date, Kawauchi has plenty of reason to be confident.

The biggest fear is the heat in Moscow, where temperatures as high as 37 degrees were recorded during the marathon despite expectations that the city would be cool.  Kawauchi, who has had trouble with hot conditions in the past and suggested he may quit running summer marathons depending on his results in Moscow, was airily fatalistic as he said, "It's do or die with all my heart, that's the only way to go into this.  If it goes over 30 degrees, if it's 32, 33, 36, 37 degrees, even 40 degrees, it doesn't change anything.  I'm nervous about collapsing and heatstroke and will be careful about drinking at the water stations, but no matter how painful it gets, even if I'm crawling, this one is to the death.  If I blow it this time, there is no next time."

The World Championships men's marathon is on August 17 at 8:30 p.m. Japan time.

Comments

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…

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 …

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…