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Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record


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, pleased with his performance on a warm and sunny day. “That was hard,” he deadpanned post-race.


2nd place in Nobeyama was 5:11:43, good enough to win there most years but half an hour behind this time. Next weekend Kawauchi plans to run Iwate’s Kinshuko Half Marathon as a final tune-up before heading to Stockholm to try to improve on his 6th-place finish there last year.




photos and video by @Dogsorcaravan
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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