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Kawauchi to Run 2018 Boston Marathon

A John Hancock press release.

BOSTON, MA, December 21, 2017—

John Hancock said today that Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi has been invited to participate in the company’s 2018 Boston Marathon Elite Team.

During a visit to Boston the last week of December, Kawauchi will train on the Boston Marathon course. And on New Year’s Day, he will to attempt to break the world record for most sub-2:20 marathons ever run. Currently the co-record holder with American Doug Kurtis, each having run 75 marathons under the 2:20 mark, Kawauchi will attempt to break the record at the USATF certified Marshfield Road Runners New Year’s Day Marathon.

“I can think of nothing better than breaking the record in Marshfield on New Year’s Day and then improving that record in Boston on Patriots’ Day,” said Kawauchi. “There is no place more appropriate than Boston for writing new pages in marathoning history.”

An international icon for his high-volume, high-quality racing, Kawauchi is a self-coached amateur who works full-time. His personal best marathon time is 2:08:41, he has won 30 career marathons, and he has competed on several Japanese national teams, including three IAAF World Marathon Championships. He holds the Japanese record in the 50K and world records for running the most sub-2:12 marathons (25), sub-2:13 (40), sub-2:14 (48), sub-2:15 (53), sub-2:16 (62), sub-2:17 (67), sub-2:18 (71) and sub-2:19 (74).

The 2018 Boston Marathon marks the 33rd year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary race. The complete elite international field will be announced in early January. For additional information about the elite athlete program and sponsorship, please visit www.johnhancock.com/bostonmarathon/sportspartnerships.html or follow us @jhboston26 and @johnhancockUSA on Twitter.

About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were over $1 trillion (US$806 billion) as of September 30, 2017. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.

One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports approximately 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. We also offer advice through Signator, a network of independent financial advisors. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

photo © 2017 Mike Trees, all rights reserved

Comments

Matt said…
Go Yuki, I think this may actually be a great course for him with usually key competition from US which is frankly not on par with Yuki. Galen is a great runner but probably will not be able to go below 2:10...
Simón Río said…
Great great great! What wonderful news to start the day! I'll be there as well so the fact of running in the same race again with Yuki (after Zürich 2016) will be a huge motivation! Hope to see you there as well, Brett.
Best wishes for both of you two!
Metts said…
I think GR is sub 2:10 talent but not 2:05 or less.He is a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, probably not BMW, Mercedes talent. Yes I I hope Yuki runs great. And maybe even a PB. Ran my PB on the course in the famous 83 race.

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2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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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
           …