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Kawauchi Passes 44 People at Saitama Ekiden



Civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the 12.1 km Third Stage at the 6-stage, 42.195 km Saitama Ekiden Sunday in Kumagaya, Saitama. Delivering a fast run, he passed 44 people en route to the handoff. "That was a lot of fun," he said afterward with a sweaty smile.

Starting far back from the lead, Kawauchi mowed down runners all three division as he moved up through the field. HIs time of 36:54 ranked him 4th on his stage, where Ageo City Half Marathon course record setter Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) took a minute and a half off his own record with a new mark of 34:34. Wearing clear sunglasses to block the headwind, Kawauchi said, "All I was thinking about was moving forward and pulling the team's position up all by myself."

Last weekend Kawauchi was beaten by high schooler Ryu Hashimoto (Tokyo Nogyo Daisan H.S.) in finishing 6th on the opening stage at the Okumusashi Ekiden. He didn't win his stage either then or in Saitama, but, he said, "I don't have any injuries and I'm not in too bad shape." Next weekend he races the Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon.

85th Saitama Ekiden

Kumagaya, Saitama, 2/4/18
6 stages, 42.195 km, 80 teams
click here for complete results

Top Team Results
1. Nihon Yakka Univ. - 2:09:29 (open)
2. Saitama Sakae H.S. - 2:10:38 (H.S.)
3. Shindengen Kogyo - 2:12:16 (open)
4. Musashino Gakuin Univ. - 2:12:43 (open)
5. Hanasaki Tokuhara H.S. - 2:13:08 (H.S.)

Top Individual Stage Performances
First Stage (6.595 km) - Tomoki Ichimura (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 19:45
Second Stage (3.1 km) - Shinba Sato (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 9:24
Third Stage (12.1 km)
1. Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakku Univ.) - 34:34 - CR
2. Titus Wanbua (Musashino Gakuin Univ.) - 36:38
3. Rui Watanabe (Shindengen Kogyo) - 36:46
4. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 36:54
5. Ryu Hashimoto (Tokyo Nogyo Daisan H.S.) - 37:21
Fourth Stage (3.9 km) - Tetta Shiratori (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:04
Fifth Stage (10.5 km) - Shoya Hayata (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 33:11
Sixth Stage (6.0 km) - Naoki Yamada (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 18:21

source article: 
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20180204-OHT1T50078.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner

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