Skip to main content

Kawauchi Takes Over Ten Minutes Off Egyptian Marathon Course Record

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130118-OHT1T00141.htm

translated by Brett Larner

According to the organizers of the Jan. 18 Egyptian Marathon in Luxor, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) won in a course record 2:12:24.  Going out alone right from the beginning he built a large lead by the time he crossed the finish line.  "This was the 20th anniversary of this race and my 20th marathon.  It felt like fate," he said with satisfaction.

Kawauchi missed his originally-scheduled flight from Japan after forgetting his passport at home and ended up buying a replacement ticket himself.  "I kind of panicked over my own mistake, and that has given me something to reflect on," he said.  "But it seems like I was able to turn that feeling into something I could use in my running."

To try to earn a place on the Japanese marathon team for August's Moscow World Championships Kawauchi plans to run the Feb. 3 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon and the Mar. 3 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Translator's note: The former Egyptian Marathon course record was 2:22:32 set in 2001 by Egypt's Mohamed El Moursy.  The year before that, former Japanese national record holder Takeyuki Nakayama won in a then-course record 2:23:18.  Kawauchi's time was also a new Egyptian all-comers' record by more than seven minutes.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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, please…

What Value Does Four-Straight Hakone Ekiden Titles Have for Aoyama Gakuin's Athletes and Staff?

An editorial by Nikkan Gendai.

Nothing rings in the New Year like the Hakone Ekiden. With TV viewership ratings around 30% it's one of the most popular sports programs in Japan. The king of that cash cow is Aoyama Gakuin University, winning four-straight Hakone titles since its first victory in 2015. But no matter how well its students perform, every school in Hakone gets the same share of the proceeds, a uniform 2,000,000 yen [~$18,000 USD at current exchange rates].

The AGU team currently includes 44 athletes on its roster. Although athletes can get preferential admission, their tuition is the same as for other students and there are no exemptions or reductions. First year tuition in the Department of Social and Information Studies is around 1,520,000 yen [~$14,000 USD], and with additional fees including dormitory and training camp expenses the burden upon students' parents is considerable.

By comparison, in the United States the NCAA has made its collegiate sports a succes…

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…