Skip to main content

Kawauchi Attacked by Bear in Kawauchi Village!?

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.


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Names Asian Games Marathon Team

On Mar. 16 the JAAF announced the Japanese marathon team for this August's Jakarta Asian Games. Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) and Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) make up the men's squad, with Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) and Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) named to the women's team.

A member of the Japanese national team for last summer's London World Championships, Inoue ran an all-time Japanese #4 time of 2:06:54 at February's Tokyo Marathon, the 2nd-placing Japnaese man behind national record setter Yuta Shitara (Honda). Sonoda ran a PB of 2:09:34 to finish in the top Japanese position at 2nd overall earlier in February at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.

The silver medalist at November's Asian Championships marathon, Nogami was 5th earlier this month at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in a PB of 2:26:33. Tanaka was next behind her in Nagoya in 6th in 2:27:40, the only member of the Asian Games team not to have yet qualified for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials race. A meda…