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Kawauchi Holds Off Koizumi for Seventh Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km Win

After giving it a miss last year to prepare for the London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Hokkaido's Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km to rack up his seventh win. This year Kawauchi faced some competition from members of the Raffine corporate men's team, but within the first few kilometers he was already on his own. At 10 km he was 23 seconds up on Raffine's Hiroki Kai with Kai's teammate Yoshiki Koizumi another 13 second behind.

Koizumi, who broke 2:14 for the first time at this year's Tokyo Marathon, sped up after 10 km to overtake Kai and cut 14 seconds off Kawauchi's lead, but over the hilly last 10 km he couldn't manage to close the gap. Kawauchi was first across the line in 1:34:34, splitting it right down the middle with the 4th-fastest of his 7 Kushiro wins to date and seemingly back on track after a string of lackluster runs since May's Nobeyama 71 km. Koizumi was next in 1:35:05, just missing his 30 km split time from Tokyo. Kai hung on to 3rd in 1:35:51.

Kawauchi will be back in Hokkaido in 3 weeks to run the Nemuro Seaside Half Marathon before running back-to-back marathons in New Caledonia and Wakkanai, Hokkaido the two weekends following that.

46th Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km

Kushiro, Hokkaido, 7/29/18

1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:34:34
2. Yoshiki Koizumi (Raffine) - 1:35:05
3. Hiroki Kai (Raffine) - 1:35:51

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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