Skip to main content

Kawauchi Impersonator Takashi M. to Pray at Peak of Mt. Fuji for Real Item's World Championships Victory

http://www.47news.jp/topics/entertainment/oricon/culture/131790.html

translated by Brett Larner

Saitama Prefectural Government civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi professional impersonator athlete Takashi M. (28), has announced that he intends hold a special "Mt. Fuji Prayer Marathon" on Aug. 15 to pray at the peak of Mt. Fuji for a Kawauchi victory in Saturday's Moscow World Championships Marathon.  He intends to run up the World Heritage Site mountain to Fuji Sengen Shrine at its sacred summit to offer his prayers, saying that since he cannot cheer Kawauchi on in person he wants to send his voice westward from the peak of the mountain that is the envy of the rest of the world.

Takashi M. regularly appears as Kawauchi at marathons and ekidens across Japan, gaining a reputation as the country's leading "comedian runner."  A graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, where he was the team's manager while a student, he has long known both Kawauchi and marathon great Mari Tanigawa. With Kawauchi having earned his second-straight World Championships team placing, Takashi M. thought, "I have to do something to cheer him on in my own personal style."  After some thought, he settled on the run up the World Heritage Site Mt. Fuji.  "I will send Kawauchi all my support from atop Japan's greatest mountain," he said.

The World Championships marathon starts 3:30 p.m. local time on Aug. 17, 8:30 p.m. Japan time, from Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.  Takashi M.'s plan calls for him to start up Mt. Fuji early on the morning of Aug. 15 from Subashiri Sengen Shrine on the Subashiri Route on the mountain's Shizuoka side.  With the distance from there to the summit being around 20 km, the run will end up being exactly the same distance as a half marathon. With Subashiri Sengen Shrine and the Subashiri Route included in the mountain's World Heritage Site registration, Takashi M. said, "This is the best route for offering my prayers for victory."  At the peak, he will write his wishes for Kawauchi's success on a special votive made to commemorate Mt. Fuji's registration as a World Heritage Site, leaving the votive at Fuji Sengen Shrine.

Takashi M. is also involved in organizing the Akiba Entertainment Marathon around the Imperial Palace on Sept. 8, a charity event to raise funds for HIV/AIDS research and awareness among runners.  Kawauchi's younger brother Yoshiki Kawauchi will also run.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …