translated and edited by Brett Larner
Civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the 9th Fukaya City Half Marathon on Feb. 22, but after experiencing pain in his left calf he finished 43rd in a personal worst 1:13:36. Coming onto the track at the end Kawauchi ran with a limp, dragging his left foot a bit as he made it to the finish line, and after finishing he had an expression of pain as he held his left calf.
Disappointed with the result, he stayed in the back of the race organizers' area to avoid the public eye. "I need to take a break," he said, raising the possibility of a long rest and recovery period. During the Feb. 15 Kochi Ryoma Marathon his left calf "felt like it was going to cramp up," and with lingering twinges he ran Fukaya with a calf support sleeve on his left leg. He began to feel pain around 5 km, and near 8 km he lost touch with the lead group. His pace reduced to "jogging speed," Kawauchi was heckled by some spectators who shouted, "Too slow!" and "Slacker!" "I guess they came to see me run, not jog, so some of that's inevitable," he said weakly.
Of the calf pain Kawauchi said, "I might have mildly pulled a muscle. I think it's probably related to the ankle sprain." In late December Kawauchi sprained his left ankle, going on to run a personal worst 2:24:18 at January's Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon. Discussing what to do about recovery he said, "I'll take some time off, then try running, going to get treatment when I take time off. If I don't do that things might get worse." He plans to see how his leg responds to acupuncture before thinking about going to get it examined.
Next week Kawauchi is entered in the Tachikawa Half, followed by the Tamana Half and the Seoul International Marathon. Cautious about the future, he said, "I entered the general division in Tachikawa so I will probably sit it out. If I run it I think I will stay near the back and do it as a pace run."