translated by Brett Larner
The 33rd Hoppo Ryodo Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon took place Aug. 17 on the northeastern coast of Nemuro, Hokkaido. 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the half marathon division as an invited athlete, taking 1st in 1:06:12. The last time the Nosappu Misaki Half invited an athlete was nine years ago when it featured Seoul Olympian Akemi Matsuno. As a measure of the 'Kawauchi Effect,' 779 people entered the race, the most ever in the event's 33-year history.
Wearing a bib reading "Give back the Northern Territories!" [a reference to an ongoing territorial dispute with Russia involving nearby islands held by the Soviet Union and Russia since the end of World War II but still claimed by Japan] emblazoned across his chest, Kawauchi showed his strength to local fans. After finishing, he gorged himself on the local specialty, hanasaki crab soup.
At the end of the month Kawauchi plans to run a full marathon in Perth, Australia on Aug. 31. After coming back to Japan he will return to Hokkaido to take part in the Japanese Federation's men's marathon National Team training camp in preparation for the Oct. 3 Asian Games men's marathon.