Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kawauchi Wows Ascetic Monks With High-Speed Tour of Local Mountains After Half Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

Known as the civil servant runner, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) spent Aug. 4 doing a round-trip run on a winding course through the Oga peninsula's Mt. Shin, Mt. Moto and Mt. Kenashi to the coast and back.  A day earlier he won Oga's Nihonkai Melon Half Marathon in 1:06:28.  After rushing through the 20 km out-and-back course through the mountains in less than 3 hours, looking cool and refreshed Kawauchi said, "The trails were easy to run and the view was fantastic.  It's a great course."

After praying at Mt. Shin Shrine on Aug. 4, Kawauchi started running on the trail next to the shrine at 9 a.m.  Including break times along the way he returned in 2 hours and 54 minutes.  Ordinarily it takes hikers at least 5 hours just to go one way on the trail.  Nobuhiko Takeuchi, chief priest at the Mt. Shin Shrine, was shocked, commenting, "Even experienced hikers who know the trail well take 3 hours to go one way.  It's unimaginable that someone could do the full round-trip journey in under 3 hours."

Kawauchi praised the course, saying, "Lined with ancient trees, the route does indeed have the tranquility and ascetic atmosphere of Shugendo mysticism.  Except for a few fallen trees it's an outstanding place for trail running too."

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