Skip to main content

Kawauchi Just Misses Scoring Weekend Saitama Double, Hattori to Make Marathon Debut in Tokyo

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASGCY4W7ZGCYUTNB003.html
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20141130-00000102-spnannex-spo
http://www.hochi.co.jp/event/sports/20141130-OHT1T50268.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 3rd Hasuda Road Race took place Saturday, Nov. 29 on a course around Kurohama Park in Hasuda, Saitama, with around 3000 people showing their stuff in the event's 10 km and 3 km races.  The official representative of Saitama prefecture, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi was back again in the 3 km this year for the third-straight time, first across the finish line in 8:47 after running 8:50 last year and 8:44 two years ago in Hasuda's first running.  Before and after the race he was all smiles, high fiving other runners all around.  "I love this course," he said.  "It's always great to run here."

3 km participant Mitsuyo Kubo of Iruma, Saitama, commented, "I get to meet a fantastic runner like Mr. Kawauchi, so I enter this race every year."  For the first time the Hasuda Road Race featured a candy contest where runners could try different confections and vote for their favorite.  Kawauchi appeared at the Asahi Sports booth post-race, posing for countless pictures with his fellow runners.

A day later Kawauchi returned to the Koedo Kawagoe Half Marathon in Kawagoe, Saitama, where he set a course record of 1:04:44 last year.  This year he ran against Yuma Hattori of Saitama's own 2014 Hakone Ekiden champion Toyo University.  Hattori, 21, who took more than a minute off Kawauchi's course record to set the 30 km national university record of 1:28:52 at February's Kumanichi Road Race, got the better of Kawauchi, 27, in their first head-to-head race, winning in a new CR of 1:03:37 with Kawauchi 2nd in 1:03:39.

Hattori, a third-year at Toyo and its star member, get extra motivation for Toyo's shot at a title defense at the 2015 Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2-3 and for his marathon debut at February's Tokyo Marathon from beating 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Kawauchi.  Closely matched for the first 20 km, Kawauchi was pushed to his limits by the high-potential young Hattori.  Regularly training at 3:00 / km pace, Hattori led start to finish with Kawauchi in tow.  Kawauchi made a move to drop him with 1 km to go, but Hattori quickly returned to take the win by two seconds.  "He kind of gave me the win," Hattori laughed after the race.  "If I run in front the whole way there's no way I'm going to let you go ahead of me at the end."  Doing an extra 10 km on days when the rest of the Toyo team has done 30 km in training, Hattori was positive about making the jump from the Hakone Ekiden and his 30 km collegiate record to the marathon, saying, "My training has been going steadily."

Post-race Kawauchi appeared on-stage with other special guests to talk to race participants.  Asked about the secret of his ability to stay injury-free Kawauchi explained carefully, "Since I've started working full-time I've never had an injury that forced me to take more than three or more days off.  I start off with icing.  After the race I don't make do with just walking but instead jog, gradually picking up the pace to my usual jogging speed.  If it still feels like my legs are going to hurt after that then I take one or maybe two days off.  Like any serious person it makes me feel guilty to take time off."

Appearing alongside Kawauchi on-stage after running the race, comedian Hiroshi Neko invited Kawauchi to appear on his talk show.  Kawauchi politely declined, saying, "Yeah, well....I think I'm a little too frayed around the edges for that."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Official Statement From Corporate Federation Director Nishikawa on Anti-Doping Violation and Sanction

A statement by Koichiro Nishikawa, chairperson of the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association

At the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden organized by the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association (JITA), a prohibited substance was detected in a sample taken from Moeno Nakamura, at the time a member of the Universal Entertainment team, in an in-competition drug test. After receiving notification of this result, in accordance with the recommendations of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel, Nakamura was suspended for one year and three months beginning Nov. 26, 2017.

As the JITA not only do we hold anti-doping education sessions for athletes and coaches in partnership with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and clearly specify that our events must be carried out in strict accordance with anti-doping regulations, but as the JITA chairperson I have personally given strong emphasis to the importance of "Clean Sport." In spite of these effort…

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

On July 18 it was learned from several sources connected with the situation that a member of the 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team Universal Entertainment who left the team at the end of last season tested positive for a banned substance in a doping test carried out at the ekiden. Universal Entertainment won the national championship race, its second-ever title and first in five years. But because the athlete's result will be annulled the team will also be stripped of its title, an unprecedented situation in the ekiden's history.

According to an involved source, before the race the athlete took her own personal medicine which included the prohibited substance. The athlete denied having taking the medicine in order to enhance her performance. Team management claimed the athlete had not informed then that she was taking it, and that the situation was the result of her personal carelessness.

The Universal Entertainment team was founded under the name Aruze…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…