click photo for video highlights via asahi.com
The 34th Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon took place in Ibusuki, Kagoshima on Jan. 11. 18,150 runners from across the country took part, basking in the warm color of 10 million rapeseed flowers and cheers from local residents along the course.
2014 Asian Games bronze medalist and civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran as an invited athlete. Due to a sprained left ankle Kawauchi ran a conservative 2:24:10 but was still first across the finish line. "The crowd support along the course was wonderful and I took strength from it," he said. Chika Tawara (Fukuoka Pref.) won the women's race in 2:51:51.