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Kawauchi Brothers All Finish Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra

by Brett Larner

For the last four years the Okinoshima Ultramarathon has been a staple on Yuki Kawauchi's schedule, a tough and hilly race held every year on Father's Day on the west coast island where his father Ashio Kawauchi was born.  This year to mark the 10th anniversary of both Ashio's passing and the race, Kawauchi was joined by both of his younger brothers, Yoshiki and Koki.  Yoshiki, a 2:22 marathoner, made his ultra debut in the 100 km division, while Koki, the youngest of the three, joined course record holder Yuki in the 50 km.


Yoshiki's day began early, the 100 km race getting going at 5;00 a.m.  6 1/2 hours later, Yuki missed his pre-race introduction to the crowds at the 50 km start and arrived at the starting line with just 4 minutes to go, Koki giving him a perplexed, "What's up?"  Last year Yuki ran 2:47:27 in Okinoshima, inside the worldwide all-time top ten.  With cool temperatures this year he went out at 2:45 pace, not quite world record material but not far off.  The hills later in the race took their toll, but he held on to run 2:48:23, the second-best of his five runs in Okinoshima and in the worldwide all-time top twenty.  Post-race he told JRN, "For the shape I'm in this was kind of a miracle, but I'm happy with it."

Koki started more conservatively, straining late in the race but holding on to cross the line in 2nd place in 3:15:20.  After going out at just over 7 hour pace in the 100 km, Yoshiki faded, then struggled.  Still gutting it out almost 2 hours after Koki was through, Yoshiki staggered home in 11:21:52, putting the finishing touch on the brothers' Father's Day tribute.

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
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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…

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…