Skip to main content

Toyo University Star Yuma Hattori, 21, Going for Sub-2:10 in Debut at Tokyo Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20150203/ath15020312070002-n1.html
http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/sports/athletic/all/2015/columndtl/201502030003-spnavi
www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2015/02/03/0007710595.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo by rikujouove

In preparation for his marathon debut at the Feb. 22 Tokyo Marathon, the third selection race for August's Beijing World Championships, Toyo University third-year Yuma Hattori, 21, held an open practice session for members of the media at the Toyo campus in Kawagoe, Saitama.  In anticipation of the Tokyo Olympics still five years distant, last February at the Kumanichi 30 km Hattori, then 20, set the Japanese collegiate national record of 1:28:52, the third-best time ever over 30 km by a Japanese man.  "My ultimate goal is to medal in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," Hattori said.  "Working backwards from that goal, this is the year for me to take up the challenge."

In November Hattori scored a win on the Second Stage at the National University Men's Ekiden.  At last month's Hakone Ekiden he won a spectacular race over Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) and other rival universities' ace runners on Hakone's most competitive stage, the Second Stage, but although that victory crowned him as the best university runner in Japan it cost him a strain to his left thigh.  Since then he has run two 40 km training runs at Toyo's training camp in Futsu, Chiba, but following those he has experienced pain in his right achilles tendon that is currently preventing him from fulfilling his original training plan.  Nevertheless, his enthusiasm for his debut remains the same.  "This is one of the few races where I can experience running against a top-class international field, not just other Japanese people," he said.  "My goal is sub-2:10.  I want to run in a selection race for the Rio Olympics next year, so this marathon will be the first step."  The Japanese collegiate record and debut marathon record are 2:08:12 set by Masakazu Fujiwara (then Chuo Univ.) at the 2003 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Supporting Hattori's desire for an early marathon debut and optimistic about his star athlete's chances, Toyo University head coach Toshiyuki Sakai, 38, commented, "The foundation for running a marathon is already laid, so we don't want things to stop just with Hakone.  We want to take it back to the original concept of Hakone as a springboard to the world level.  I think he has the mindset to become internationally competitive and I want this marathon to be a stepping stone that will help lead him to the Olympics."

photo (c) 2015 M. Kawaguchi, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…