translated by Brett Larner
With lingering effects from a sprained ankle, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) sat out the Jan. 25 Okumusasahi Ekiden where he had won the Fourth through Sixth Stages over the last three years. Kawauchi was scheduled to run the Second Stage this year, but he is still experiencing pain from spraining his left ankle in late December. "I haven't done real training in almost a month," he said. "This is the first time I've had an injury last this long since I started working."
Despite not running Kawauchi was busy behind the scenes, carrying a Saitama Prefectural Government banner and cheering on runners from his high school, Kasukabe Higashi H.S., from the side of the road with a loud and enthusiastic voice. He indicated that he still plans to run the Feb. 1 Saitama Ekiden next week, saying, "I want to be out there somehow."