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Kawauchi Outruns 103 Teams to Win Yashio Isshu Ekiden



2017 London World Championships marathon 9th-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) gave local club and high school runners something to remember when he ran Sunday's Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden solo against 103 six-runner teams. Kawauchi spent most of the 20.0 km race in 2nd, briefly taking the lead at the end of the 3.9 km Second Stage before falling behind after a Third Stage course record run by Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.).

Down 13 seconds, Kawauchi came back to split a time 14 seconds faster for the 2.7 km Fifth Stage than its fastest ekiden runner, Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A). Now ahead of Matsudo and out front alone, Kawauchi saved his biggest running for last, dropping a 2:40 final km to split 14 seconds under the 12:34 course record for the 4.0 km anchor stage. Desperate to catch him, Matsudo anchor Shunsuke Matsui went 6 seconds under the old record to become its official new holder but couldn't match Kawauchi's closing speed.

Kawauchi's final time of 1:01:03 was just 35 seconds off the overall ekiden course record, a solid performance kicking off three straight weeks of ekiden action ahead of his runs for the Saitama Prefectural Government at next weekend's Okumusashi Ekiden and the Saitama Ekiden a week later.

53rd Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden

Yashio, Saitama, 1/21/18
103 teams + 1 solo runner, 6 stages, 20.0 km
click here for complete results

Top Overall Results
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:01:03
2. Matsudo Track and Field Association - 1:01:24
3. Kasukabe H.S. A - 1:01:55

Top Individual Stage Performances
First Stage - 4.3 km
1. Tomohiro Ono (Yashio ST) - 12:40 - CR
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 12:46
3. Takashi Mino (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 12:48

Second Stage - 3.8 km
1. Kohei Uchigi (Kasukabe H.S. A) - 11:37
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 11:46
3. Satoshi Ikezawa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 11:52

Third Stage - 2.9 km
1. Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 8:40 - CR
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 9:01
3. Ryosuke Kaneda (Senshu Prep Matsudo H.S.) - 9:03

Fourth Stage - 2.3 km
1. Junichiro Hayashida (Senshu Prep Matsudo H.S.) - 7:04
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 7:09
3. Koji Someya (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 7:12

Fifth Stage - 2.7 km
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 8:01
2. Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A) - 8:15
3. Masatatsu Chikyu (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 8:24

Sixth Stage - 4.0 km
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 12:20 (CR)
2. Shunsuke Matsui (Matsudo T&F Assoc.) - 12:28 - CR
3. Hyogo Kojima (Kasukabe H.S. A) - 12:33

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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