Skip to main content

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."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

Fresh off a 1:00:17 half marathon national record last weekend and a 28:55 road 10 km the one before, Yuta Shitara (Honda) lived up to expectations at today's Berlin Marathon, trying to go with the lead group and running the first part of the race alone between the first and second groups.

Whatever his plan, Shitara was swallowed up by the second pack, a good turn of events as it was travelling ahead of Japanese national record pace on track for just sub-2:06. Shitara hung with that group through 25 km before his projected time started to creep away, drifting to high-2:06 pace by 30 km, high-2:07 by 35 km, and high-2:08 by 40 km. In the end he was well short of Toshinari Takaoka's 2:06:16 national record, but with a 2:09:03 for 6th Shitara took 24 seconds off his best with the fastest Japanese men's performance in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. And just 8 days after the greatest half marathon performance in Japanese history.

『ベルリンマラソン動画 設楽悠太…

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…