translated and edited by Brett Larner
The 34th running of the Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko Road Race took place May 25 on a JAAF-certified 30 km course starting and finishing in front of the Yuda government offices in Nishiwaga-machi, Iwate. 2063 men and women from all six Tohoku prefectures and elsewhere took part, running through the fresh green of spring along the lakeside course. Conditions were excellent, with the temperature 17.7 degrees and humidity 79.4% at the start as each runner set off for the finish line at their own individual pace.
First across the line was the civil servant runner and member of this fall's Asian Games marathon team, Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't). Fans thronged the course for the chance of catching a glimpse of Kawauchi's running in person, and they were rewarded as he took more than two minutes off the course record, winning in a new record of 1:34:01. "I was really happy to hear so many supporters calling out along the way," he said.
The race's oldest competitor, Kinjiro Kawamura, 86, of Kamaishi, Iwate, returned after a two-year absence. "My own home was safe during the great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, but I hope that my running helps inspire or encourage those impacted by the disasters," he said after finishing, a broad and satisfied smile across his face.