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Fujimoto Wins Fifth Okukuma Half Marathon

by Brett Larner
click lower photo for video courtesy of TKU


Two weeks after they clashed on the New Year Ekiden's opening stage, Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) got payback for his one second loss to newcomer Atsuya Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), beating Imai by ten seconds to win the 5th running of the Okukuma Road Race half marathon in 1:03:51.  Imai led a solid showing of three men from the Koichi Morishita-coached Toyota Kyushu team in the top five, with only Junpei Nishi of the New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei team joining Fujimoto in breaking up the Toyota Kyushu hegemony.  Running his second half marathon of the year, last year's runner-up Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in 1:04:17. Takeru Kobayakawa of Hakone Ekiden runner-up Toyo University was the top collegiate runner at 8th in 1:04:39.


5th Okukuma Road Race
Okukuma, Kumamoto, 1/15/17

Men's Half Marathon
1. Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 1:03:51
2. Atsuya Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:01
3. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:07
4. Junpei Nishi (Asahi Kasei) - 1:04:12
5. Daijiro Nakahira (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:13
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:17
7. Junichi Tsubouchi (Kurosaki Harima) - 1:04:18
8. Takeru Kobayakawa (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:39
9. Akira Akazaki (Takushoku Univ.) - 1:04:44
10. Ikkyo Yoshidome (Soka Univ.) - 1:04:45

© 2017 Brett Larner
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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…