translated by Brett Larner
Civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov't) won the Kitakami Marathon in Iwate today, smashing the course record with a mark of 2:13:21. "This year I haven't been able to run good times because of my injury problems," he said. "This is the first time in a long time that I've been able to run like myself. This was a good race. I was targeting 2:14, so I think running 2:13 was very good."
Despite heavy rain and a tough, hilly course Kawauchi ran with strength, picking up the pace over the second half. Lingering effects of the ankle sprain he suffered last December were nowhere to be seen. 2nd place was 7 minutes behind. The Rio Olympics lie ahead. "Before that," he said, "there are the selection races. I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about them, but today, without any pace makers, I ran my best time this season, so I'm confident I can perform in my selection race too."
Including the 5 km and 10 km division, a total of 3088 people took part in the Kitakami Marathon.
Translator's note: This was Kawauchi's second-fastest marathon of 2015, his fastest having come in April at the Zurich Marathon where he ran 2:12:13 for 2nd.