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

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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