translated and edited by Brett Larner
Civil servant runner and Kuki, Saitama resident Yuki Kawauchi, 27, attended an elementary school track and field meet in Kuki on June 6, encouraging the 6th grade student athlete representatives from all 23 elementary schools in the city. Employed as an office worker at the prefecturally-operated Kuki High School, Kawauchi appeared at the meet before going to work. It was his second time putting in a guest appearance, having also attended last year, and like last year he ran in the 1000 m together with students from each school. As he ran he called out support and encouragement to the runners, saying, "Only one lap left! Keep pushing!"
One boy from Aoge Elementary School who ran together with Kawauchi said, "Mr. Kawauchi ran totally under control with energy to spare. He's amazing!" Another boy from Aoba Elementary School added, "He was so fast it made me wonder if he's human too!" A girl from Kurihashi Minami Elementary School added with a big smile, "I followed him to the front and that made me finish 1st!"
After running Kawauchi told the assembled children, "It is my hope that some of you here today will grow up to make Japanese National Teams in a wide variety of sports. That is my dream for you all."
It was also announced that Kawauchi will run the Nov. 23 Fukuchiyama Marathon in Kyoto. Last year Fukuchiyama was cancelled due to flooding damage from Typhoon #18. "I was very upset to hear about the destruction caused by the typhoon," he said. "I hope that by participating I can contribute to the reconstruction efforts."