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All Three Kawauchi Brothers Running Sunday's Okinoshima Ultramarathon to Honor Tenth Anniversary of Father's Death

http://www.hochi.co.jp/dosports/running/20150617-OHT1T50097.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In thin air between 1500 m and 1700 m, the Kawauchi brothers ran together over tough challenging hills of Nagano.  With their mother Mika Kawauchi, 51, watching, her oldest son Yuki, 28, won the June 14 Venus Half Marathon in 1:10:39.  A day earlier on the 13th, Yuki and the older of his two younger brothers, Yoshiki, 24, ran the neighboring Megamiko Cup Ekiden, a warmup for the Venus Half, together with friends as part of the four-member "Team Kawamoto," raising the excitement level at the race with a come-from-behind win.

The Kawauchi brothers ran the ekiden together with two friends, brothers Ryusuke and Yuta Sakamoto, 35 and 28, respectively, combining their family names to create the Team Kawamoto name.  With each member running the same 2.3 km loop, Yoshiki started the second stage in 5th, running 6:58 and passing four people to take the lead before handing off to Yuki, who blazed a 6:33 split and opened a huge lead that helped Team Kawamoto take the win in 29:11.  Spectators around the handoff area shook their heads in admiration, saying, "So fast!" and "Their form is so light and beautiful!" as they watched the Kawauchi brothers, whose running seemed from a different dimension.  It was the first time in their lives that Yoshiki had handed off the tasuki to his older brother in an ekiden.  "I've handed off to my brother's impersonator M. Takashi before, but it's different when you're dealing with the real thing," Yoshiki said excitedly after his run.  "I was kind of nervous."

Click here for a great pic of the brothers' handoff.

On the 14th Yuki ran the Venus Half side-by-side with last year's winner Junichi Ushiyama, 31, until near the 17 km point, but Ushiyama stayed close even after that to make it a tough race all the way to the end.  "Mr. Ushiyama works at Chino City Hall, so I definitely did not want to lose to a fellow civil servant," Yuki said of his winning run.  "There were major hills on the course.  Even though I was running under 3 minutes per km on the downhills, on the last uphill with about 2 km to go my pace slowed to about 4:20."

In a familiar sight, Yuki collapsed just after crossing the finish line in the half marathon, gasping for breath as he lay on the ground.  A nearby woman watching the race gave him a bottle of sports drink, and after taking repeated drinks from it he slowly got back to his feet, bowing deeply and smiling to surrounding fans who showered him with congratulations on his win.  Yoshiki finished 13th in 1:24:09, a personal worst, but he was upbeat as he said, "Hills get pretty intense when you run in thinner air at this kind of altitude.  This was awesome training."

The Venus Half Marathon was Yuki's 28th race of the year.  Six of those have been marathons, with wins at January's Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon, February's Kochi Ryoma Marathon and May's Kurobe Meisui Marathon and a season-best 2:12:13 while finishing 2nd at April's Zurich Marathon.  His blueprint for the year leading up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics centers on "winning December's Fukuoka International Marathon [Olympic selection race], then breaking my PB [2:08:14] at the Seoul International Marathon next March before taking on the Olympics," he said.

This Sunday, June 21, the brothers' battlefield shifts from the Shinshu Highlands to the islands of the Sea of Japan as Yuki returns to the Okinoshima Ultramarathon to run its hilly 50 km race.  In memory of their father Ashio Kawauchi, who was born on the island of Okinoshima and passed away 10 years ago at age 59, this year all three Kawauchi brothers will run the race's tenth edition, Yoshiki in the 100 km division and their youngest brother Koki joining Yuki in the 50 km.  "It's a strange coincidence, but the Okinoshima Ultra started the year our father passed away," said Yoshiki.  "This will be my first ultra so I'm going to give it everything I've got."  Like the eldest brother he is, Yuki tried to hide his concern for his younger siblings as he said, "Not just me, but if Yoshiki and Koki have great runs too the people of the island will be very excited."

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The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…