Skip to main content

Kawauchi Breaks World Record for Half Marathon in a Suit by 18 Minutes

by Brett Larner


A week after his Olympic dreams ended with a 2:11:53 finish at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) took to the streets of his hometown of Kuki, Saitama to run the Kuki Half Marathon.  A special guest of race organizers, Kawauchi treated local fans by portraying his role as the Civil Servant Runner in a literal way, running the race wearing a full suit including tie, vest, belt and dress socks.


The official Guinness World Record for a half marathon in a suit is 1:24:41 by American Gihan Amarasiriwardena last December.  Dueling with his longtime friend and rival Saeki Makino (DNPL), runners from Heisei Kokusai University and his younger brothers Yoshiki and Koki, Kawauchi ran 1:06:42 for 3rd behind Makino and one HKU runner.  "Kuki isn't a certified course, so this won't be an official Guinness World Record," Kawauchi told JRN post-race.  "But I'm glad that I could break the Guinness World Record unofficially.  I got pretty sweaty and tired out there, but the people along the course loved it."


Race organizers also set up a display of Kawauchi's bib numbers from his races around the world to showcase a local boy's achievements for his fans. Two bibs from his youngest brother Koki also made the display.


Left two columns, top to bottom: "From Hakone to the World."
  • 2011 Daegu World Championships, South Korea
  • 2012 Kavarna World Half Marathon Championships, Bulgaria
  • 2013 Moscow World Championships, Russia
  • 2014 Incheon Asian Games, South Korea
  • 2007 and 2009 Hakone Ekiden, Japan
 Third column, top to bottom: "America and Africa"
  • 2013, 2014 and 2015 New York City Marathon, U.S.A.
  • 2015 Cape Town Marathon, South Africa
  • 2013 Luxor Marathon, Egypt
Fourth column, top to bottom: "Australia"
  • 2013, 2014 and 2015 Gold Coast Marathon
  • 2012 Sydney Marathon
  • 2014 City to Surf Perth Marathon
  • 2013 Melbourne Marathon
Fifth and sixth columns: "Europe and Asia"
  • 2015 Zurich Marathon, Switzerland
  • 2014 Hamburg Marathon, Germany
  • 2013 Great North Run half marathon, U.K.
  • 2014 Athens Classic Marathon (Koki Kawauchi), Greece
  • 2015 Ankor Empire Marathon (Koki Kawauchi), Cambodia
  • 2015 Bitburger Silvesterlauf 8 km, Germany
  • 2013 Seoul Marathon, South Korea
  • 2012 Dusseldorf Marathon, Germany
  • 2013 San Silvestre Vallecana 10 km, Spain
  • 2014 Cursa dels Nassos 10 km, Spain
Kawauchi's next addition to that board comes next weekend at Taiwan's New Taipei City Wanjinshi Marathon.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
I wish I were fast enough to attempt something so funny!

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…