Skip to main content

ND Software Programs Men's Running Team Targeting New Year Ekiden

http://yamagata-np.jp/news/201503/13/kj_2015031300287.php

translated by Brett Larner

ND Software, makers of nursing and wellness-related software based in Nanyo, Yamagata, have announced the formation of the ND Software AC men's running team.  Alongside a core lineup of runners transferring in from strong corporate league teams, a number of athletes are transferring to ND Software from the Nanyo City Hall team which qualified for the last two straight New Year Ekiden national championships.  As a corporate team they are set on making the New Year Ekiden.

According to a company spokesperson, the new team was officially launched on April 1.  Plans call for a team of around 10 runners including those who have run the New Year Ekiden with other corporate teams and recent graduates who have experience at the Hakone Ekiden.  Team members will work alongside regular company workers, and recruitment offers have already gone out to top-level athletes across the country.  Kenyan Joseph Onsarigo, who retired from his position at a temporary employee at Nanyo City Hall in January, will be welcomed to the ND Software team along with Tetsu Takashima, who likewise retired as Nanyo City Hall head coach in January.

As holder of the naming rights to Yamagata Prefectural Sports Park Field, ND Software already has a history of contributing to society through supporting sports.  With the purpose of making further contributions to the region, the team and company will conduct running education and training sessions for local elementary and junior high school students to help develop local middle and long distance athletes, all the while working toward the goal of qualifying for the New Year Ekiden within three years.  A company spokesperson commented, "The goal is not PR for our company, but rather to highlight the city of Nanyo and Yamagata prefecture."

While several members of the Nanyo City Hall team are set to transfer to ND Software AC, the remaining members are hard at work on preparing to go for a fourth-straight win as part of the Nanyo Higashi Okitama team at the Trans-Yamagata Ekiden.  In an interview Nanyo mayor Takao Shiraiwa commented, "I hope that those athletes who want to further themselves even more will find great success in their new club environment.  Working together as a team still based here in the same city, I hope that it will lead to a positive contribution to the local community."

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…