Skip to main content

Kawauchi Caps Sixteen Weeks of Racing with All-Time Top Ten 2:47:27 Japanese 50 km National Record (updated)

by Brett Larner

Update: It appears that the IAAF's World Running website has lifted the content of this article and the linked Kawauchi Counter without permission or credit for their own piece on Kawauchi's unofficial NR published a day after this article.  I've contacted them asking for clarification of their authorship and sources.

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) capped sixteen straight weeks of racing with another shot at the longest distance in his repertoire. For the fourth-straight year Kawauchi returned to his late father’s home island of Okinoshima to pay his respects by running the Father’s Day Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon. Two years ago Kawauchi honored him by running 2:51:45, the fastest time ever by a Japanese man over a distance for which the Japanese Federation does not have an official national record. This year Kawauchi himself was honored by the residents of Okinoshima, who held a new children’s race the day before the ultra with the winner presented with the first edition of the Kawauchi Cup trophy.

Of his own race on a hot and hilly course that put him in the hospital 300 m from the finish three years ago Kawauchi spoke cautiously beforehand, saying that his goal was, “to finish feeling good,” and telling JRN, “Okinoshima is a little dangerous [to my upcoming race plans] so I’m going to take it conservatively.” All that seemed to go out the window once he started running. Despite the heat maximized by the 11:30 a.m. start time and the three 150 m - 200 m tall hills and with only his father’s memory for company, Kawauchi blazed a new 2:47:27 Japanese record, officially called so or not, four minutes better than the old record he set in 2012 and the seventh-fastest time ever run, one that positioned him as the sixth-fastest man ever over 50 km. “It was a tough race,” he said, “but I’m glad I made it to all-time #7.”

It’s worth noting that the linked list does not accept two fast times run by American Josh Cox and recognized by USATF, both marathons followed by running to a local track and doing some laps to make up the distance, as legit race performances and that including them would put Kawauchi’s mark at all-time #9. But Cox or no Cox, getting into the all-time top ten on a hard course without focusing or planning for a record shot has put up a new target for Kawauchi. “I’d like to run Lake Saroma [Japan’s premier ultra] and go for the 50 km world record,” he told JRN. Kawauchi already holds world records for the shortest time ever between sub-2:09 marathons, between sub-2:10 marathons, and for most sub-2:10 marathons in one year, but the chance to get a straight-up world record, to become the fastest person ever over one distance, has to be a powerful motivation for things to come.

But in the short term Kawauchi will take a weekend off racing for the first time since February before going to the other end of his spectrum for a 1500 m at the Saitama Track and Field Championships. A week later he returns to Australia’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon to try to become the sixth Japanese man to win a marathon outside Japan sub-2:10. Trying to stop him will be the fifth man to do it, 2010 Ottawa Marathon course record-setter Arata Fujiwara (Miki House).

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

RUNssel said…
That dude is a HERO! Always stoked…

Most-Read This Week

JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:  http://www.mgc42195.jp/
source press release:
https://www.jaaf.or.jp/news/article/12712/
translated and edited by Brett Larner

10000 m National Championships Lead Weekend Action

It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.

22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daiha…

Weekend Track Highlights

The IAAF World Relays in Yokohama were the weekend's main track action, but the first round of regional corporate championships and a few other meets brought distance action across the country.

The women's 10000 m was the highlight at the Kansai Region Corporate Championships, with Wacoal teammates Yuka Ando and Mao Ichiyama recovering from decent runs at the London Marathon last month to go 1st and 5th, Ando the fastest in 32:43.18. Their fellow MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Madoka Nakano (Noritz) was 2nd in 32:50.18, doubling the next day in the 5000 m where she was 5th in 16:07.24. Former Hakone Ekiden rivals and now teammates at NTT Nishi Nihon, Kenyans Patrick Wambui and Dominic Nyairo went 1-2 in the men's 10000 m in 28:41.84 and 28:43.86. Ryota Motegi (Sumitomo Denko) just missed the meet record in the men's 1500 m, winning in 3:44.12.

At the Chubu Region Corporate Championships Kenyans Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and Macharia Ndirangu