Skip to main content

Kawauchi to Run Kumamoto Castle Marathon

http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20131113003.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Nov. 13 it was announced that popular civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) will run the third edition of the Kumamoto Castle Marathon Feb. 16 in Kumamoto.  In February this year Kawauchi won the event's longstanding Kumanichi 30 km division in a course record 1:29:31. On Nov. 8 Kawauchi contacted race organizers to say that he wanted to run the marathon division next year. Given that the achievements and popularity that have made him Japan's top marathon runner would lead to a surge of interest in the Kumamoto Castle Marathon, organizers were quick to make him the first invited athlete in the short history of the marathon division.

There is no doubt that organizers are banking on the 'Kawauchi Effect.'  A race spokesperson commented, "Kawauchi told us, 'Compared to other races, the crowd support in Kumamoto was fantastic.'  It seems as though he's motivated to dominate our event with course records in both the 30 km and full marathon divisions.  Thanks to his 30 km win this year our name value as an event has skyrocketed.  His coming here will no doubt serve to attract other top athletes in the future and to generate excitement among the other amateur runners who will run in the race with him."

The winner of both editions of the Kumamoto Castle Marathon to date, holder of its 2:19:30 course record and an amateur civil servant runner like Kawauchi, defending champion Shota Jige (25, Kumamura City Hall) was happy to hear that Kawauchi would be in the race.  "I'll do my best to stay with him," Jige said.  "I hope I can learn something from his running."

At the 2011 Tokyo Marathon Kawauchi outran the best of the corporate leagues to finish 3rd overall in 2:08:37 as the top Japanese finisher, immediately becoming a celebrity.  He failed to make the 2012 London Olympics team, but in February this year two weeks before his Kumanichi 30 km course record win he won the historic Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in a course record 2:08:15 to qualify for his second-straight World Championships marathon team.  Several weeks later he improved his best to 2:08:14 in Seoul, South Korea. In every race he took an assertive approach, supplementing his low-volume training by using other races as speed work in what has become the hallmark of his unique style.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

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