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Kawauchi Breaks Own Course Record at Fukushima's Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20170501/ddl/k07/050/032000c

translated and edited by Brett Larner


The second running of the Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon took place April 30 in the village of Kawauchi, Fukushima. 1500 runners from across the country traversed the roads through mountains in full spring bloom and enjoyed the villagers' hospitality. The event had its beginnings in a local elementary school student saying, "I want to do something to convey the goodness of our village to the outside world." 1200 people took part in its first running last year.

As a result of the huge response to its success, 300 locals joined the village cheering section this year. The welcome runners receive from every member of the local community is unique to the village of Kawauchi. Along the course local elementary school students performed yosakoi synchronized dancing and cheered runners on, and in the finish area members of the Village Women's Society served bowls of hot pork soup.


Sharing his name with the village, London World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (30) and women's marathoner Kaori Yoshida (35) both took part as special guests. Kawauchi broke his own course record to win the half marathon in 1:05:31, with Yoshida winning the women's 10 km in 36:09. According to the ARRS database, this was Kawauchi's 69th time running under 1:06:00, a new world record.

Sendai-area company worker Kimihiko Sato, 51, took part in the half marathon.  Wiping the sweat from his brow he commented, "The warm and enthusiastic support along the course made it a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the peaceful scenery.  I want to run it again."

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