Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kawauchi Wins Inaugural Kawauchi Half Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

Yuki Kawauchi Road in Kawauchi, Fukushima

Held to inspire former residents to return to the area after the nearby TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident five years ago, the village of Kawauchi held the first "Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon - From Reconstruction to Creation" on April 30.  The course started and finished at the village heliport.  1188 runners from across the country gathered to celebrate the village's revival as they ran through its springtime streets.

The event's organizing committee was made up of local government and board of education members with support from the Fukushima Minyu Newspaper and other sponsors.  The race's purpose was to transmit the vitality and charm of the reconstructing Kawauchi village to the rest of the nation in hopes of helping to reverse the area's population decline.  Leading the half marathon was the world-famous "Civil Servant Runner" Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), who ran along with his two younger brothers.  Kawauchi wowed everyone by winning in 1:05:40, shaking hands and posing for pictures with other participants after the race.

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