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Kawauchi Breaks World Record for Half Marathon in a Suit by 18 Minutes

by Brett Larner

A week after his Olympic dreams ended with a 2:11:53 finish at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) took to the streets of his hometown of Kuki, Saitama to run the Kuki Half Marathon.  A special guest of race organizers, Kawauchi treated local fans by portraying his role as the Civil Servant Runner in a literal way, running the race wearing a full suit including tie, vest, belt and dress socks.

The official Guinness World Record for a half marathon in a suit is 1:24:41 by American Gihan Amarasiriwardena last December.  Dueling with his longtime friend and rival Saeki Makino (DNPL), runners from Heisei Kokusai University and his younger brothers Yoshiki and Koki, Kawauchi ran 1:06:42 for 3rd behind Makino and one HKU runner.  "Kuki isn't a certified course, so this won't be an official Guinness World Record," Kawauchi told JRN post-race.  "But I'm glad that I could break the Guinness World Record unofficially.  I got pretty sweaty and tired out there, but the people along the course loved it."

Race organizers also set up a display of Kawauchi's bib numbers from his races around the world to showcase a local boy's achievements for his fans. Two bibs from his youngest brother Koki also made the display.

Left two columns, top to bottom: "From Hakone to the World."
  • 2011 Daegu World Championships, South Korea
  • 2012 Kavarna World Half Marathon Championships, Bulgaria
  • 2013 Moscow World Championships, Russia
  • 2014 Incheon Asian Games, South Korea
  • 2007 and 2009 Hakone Ekiden, Japan
 Third column, top to bottom: "America and Africa"
  • 2013, 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathon, U.S.A.
  • 2015 Cape Town Marathon, South Africa
  • 2013 Luxor Marathon, Egypt
Fourth column, top to bottom: "Australia"
  • 2013, 2014 and 2015 Gold Coast Marathon
  • 2012 Sydney Marathon
  • 2014 City to Surf Perth Marathon
  • 2013 Melbourne Marathon
Fifth and sixth columns: "Europe and Asia"
  • 2015 Zurich Marathon, Switzerland
  • 2014 Hamburg Marathon, Germany
  • 2013 Great North Run half marathon, U.K.
  • 2014 Athens Classic Marathon (Koki Kawauchi), Greece
  • 2015 Ankor Empire Marathon (Koki Kawauchi), Cambodia
  • 2015 Bitburger Silvesterlauf 8 km, Germany
  • 2013 Seoul Marathon, South Korea
  • 2012 Dusseldorf Marathon, Germany
  • 2013 San Silvestre Vallecana 10 km, Spain
  • 2014 Cursa dels Nassos 10 km, Spain
Kawauchi's next addition to that board comes next weekend at Taiwan's New Taipei City Wanjinshi Marathon.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Anonymous said…
I wish I were fast enough to attempt something so funny!

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