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Kawauchi's "First Choice" of a Run Commute Comes True

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/p-sp-tp0-20140330-1277695.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The stars have aligned to bring the civil servant runner the perfect training situation. Ahead of September's Asian Games marathon, the Saitama Prefectural Board of Education announced on Mar. 29 that national team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) will be transferred from Kasukabe H.S. to his hometown Kuki H.S. at the start of the new fiscal year on April 1.

Kawauchi began working for the Saitama government in 2009, and for five years he has worked as an administrative staff member at Kasukabe H.S.  With a work schedule that allowed him to train in mornings and run races on weekends, he rose at all once to the top class of Japanese marathoning.  The transfer is the first in his employment history, but at Kuki H.S. his position will be the same as his current clerical work.  Additionally, as a resident of Kuki the move will allow him to run to work, cutting down on his commute and giving him extra time to dedicate to his training.

With regard to the transfer, Board of Education director Ikuo Sekine commented, "There has been no special treatment," but when he was up for a possible transfer last year Kawauchi said that while he "did not want to be transferred," Kuki H.S. would be his "first choice."  It was only a wish, but this time it came true.

Over the weekend Kawauchi travelled to Incheon, South Korea to run the Incheon International Half Marathon and tour the Asian Games marathon course.  "It looks like there won't be any major changes to my situation," he said.  "I will still be going ahead with my race plans as scheduled."  In Incheon he placed 5th in 1:06:04.  Looking ahead after five years working at Kasukabe H.S., Kawauchi's resolve remained strong as he said, "the next five years are the main event."

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Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

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