Skip to main content

Kawauchi Attacked by Bear in Kawauchi Village!?

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131208-00000056-nksports-spo
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20131209-OHT1T00063.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click here for a photo of the attack

The civil servant runner has been attacked by a bear.  Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) appeared as a special guest at a Dec. 8 community event in the town of Kawauchi, Fukushima to help support the village's reconstruction efforts from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.  From 10 a.m. to well into the evening he took part in a series of events one after another.  After running with local children, the main street in town was renamed 'Yuki Kawauchi Commemorative Road.'  The final event of the evening was the planting of a memorial tree.  After the tree was safely planted, up from behind Kawauchi came.....

Also taking part in the event were town mascots from across the country including 2013 National Mascot Grand Prix champion Sanomaru of Sano, Tochigi.  The Melon Bear mascot of Yubari, Hokkaido came up behind Kawauchi and noisily attacked him, biting his head.  Enjoying himself as he was swallowed whole, Kawauchi spent the rest of the time with Sanomaru, enjoying himself and saying, "This was a really fun event."

The entire town of Kawauchi evacuated at the time of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Number One nuclear accident following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan in March, 2011.  Amid fears that their village was gone forever, roughly half of its original 2800 residents have returned. After a day of unending laughs and smiles mayor Yuko Endo said, "I'll never forget our local children's joy when they heard the news that Kawauchi had agreed to come to our town.  They were jumping around in an uproar all shouting, 'No way!!!!'"  The happiest of all, however, may have been Kawauchi himself.

Click here for video of Kawauchi taking part in the Kawauchi village event.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Cheboitibin Breaks Seko's Course Record at Ome 30 km

One of Japan's longest-standing course records at its elite races fell Sunday as Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) beat the great Toshihiko Seko's 38-year-old Ome 30 km Road Race record by almost 30 seconds.

Tough and hilly with a net climb in the first half and descent on the return trip, Ome is a standard spring marathon prep run and a natural partner for April's Boston Marathon, with which it has a longstanding athlete exchange program. The 2017 Ome winner, this time out Cheboitibin was gunning for Seko's record from the start, hitting the mostly uphill 10 km completely solo in 29:47, 20 km midway through the return trip in 59:30, and saving his fastest 10 km split for the end as he crossed the finish line in 1:29:06. Seko's 1:29:32 just two months before his first Boston win had made him the only man in Ome history to break 90 minutes. With the best performance of his career Cheboitibin turned the page on that history.

With the withdrawal of Fukuoka winner

Last Chance for Tokyo 2020? - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

With just under three weeks to go the organizers of the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon's 74th running have finally released the elite field. For Japanese men it's the last chance - almost - to qualify for September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials, the last domestic race with up to six spots up for grabs for anyone under 2:11:00 or 2:10:00 and more for anyone else under 2:08:30 or averaging under 2:11:00 between Lake Biwa and another marathon in the last year and a half. The window on that last two-race option runs through April 30th so there will still be a few chances left, but realistically for most of the men at Lake Biwa this is it, all or nothing for a home soil Olympic team.

There's a good international field of twelve African-born runners of eight nationalities at the 2:06 to 2:09 level to help pull the Japanese men to hit those times. Last year's winner Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) is back, ranked 6th in a field led by 2:06 men Deribe…

Beppu-Oita Marathon to Review Staff Training After Interpreter Refers to African Athletes as "Chimpanzees"

On Feb. 14 the organizers of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon confirmed that a local woman in her fifties who served as an interpreter at this year's race had published a blog post in which she referred to the African athletes on whose behalf she had worked as "chimpanzees." The woman said she had no malicious or racist intent behind her comments, but a spokesperson for the organizers called her choice of words "inappropriate." Organizers plan to review their training and guidance procedures for all race management staff members.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon took place in the two cities on Feb. 3. According to the spokesperson, the blog to which the woman posted the comments is for members of a sports club to which she belongs to report on what they have been doing. On Feb. 10 she wrote about her work with the African athletes, posting it with public access so that anyone could read it. She described the struggle of talking to the African athletes, saying …