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."