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Kawauchi Wins Nijuken Doro Half Marathon, Set to Decide Olympic Trial Plans in Cape Town

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150906-00000122-nksports-spo
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/1534420.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Sept. 6 Rio Olympic team hopeful and amateur running hero Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov’t) galloped through the home of the thoroughbred. Kawauchi won Sunday’s Nijuken Doro Half Marathon in Shin-Hidakamachi, Hokkaido, crossing the finish line in 1:05:32. With the town famous for producing thoroughbred racehorses, ranches filled the area around the course. “I come to Hokkaido a lot but this is my first time in the Hidaka region,” Kawauchi said. “Even when I was running I noticed horses all around. It was a lot of fun to run somewhere with a feeling of wide open space. I haven’t run very good times lately so I’m happy with my time here today.”

Kawauchi also talked about his plans for the lead-up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, saying that he is currently considering running one of two Rio selection races, either the Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon or the Mar. 6 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. He will make a decision about which race to run based on his performance at the Sept. 20 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in South Africa. “If I clear my target there then I’ll run Fukuoka,” he said. “My target time is between 2:10 and 2:12. In Fukuoka if I can’t run 2:07 then I won’t be able to be competitive in the race. As a step toward that, 2:10 to 2:12 in Cape Town. If I can’t clear that then I’ll run Lake Biwa.” With regard to his reasons for running Cape Town Kawauchi cited his Olympic ambitions, saying, “It’s in the southern hemisphere, it’s a long flight there and there’s a significant time difference. It’s an ideal rehearsal for Rio.”

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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
           …