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Kawauchi 6th in French Debut at Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes


Returning to its regular starting point on the Promenade des Anglais this year for its tenth anniversary running, France's Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes experienced wild winds and rain for much of the race. Running in France for the first time, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) hoped to become the first non-African winner in event history. Staying in the middle of a lead pack of five Kenyans and two Ethiopians, Kawauchi and the rest of the group were just off the planned sub-2:10 pace through halfway as pacer Cosmas Birech struggled to deal with winds that shifted in every direction. Daniel Yator was the first casualty of the tough conditions.

At 22 km the course moved away from the open beachfront, blocking the wind enough for Birech to pick it up to the planned 3:04/km. But as he did Kawauchi found himself unable to respond, and within a kilometer he had dropped ten seconds off the lead sextet. From there it was a struggle for him to hold off Yator, who beat Kawauchi at June's Stockholm Marathon, and to try to get forwardly mobile again.

The lead group dropped former Honda runner Asmeraw Mengistu heading into the hills after 25 km and remained a quintet all the way until 39 km. Ethiopian Dejene Kelkilew went to the front for the first time and began to push, and the rest of the group dropped off one by one until Kelkilew was left by himself in the final kilometer to win in 2:12:09. The next three finishers, all Kenyan, came through in 10-15 second intervals, with Emmanuel Sikuku rounding out the top five a ways back in 2:13:52.


Kawauchi lost two minutes to the lead group by 30 km, but from there to the finish the margin didn't change dramatically. With his characteristic strength over the last 2 to 3 km he ran down Megistu to finish 6th in 2:15:02, the 59th sub-2:16 of his career. "I'm not sure what was wrong," he told reporters after the race. "After 10 km my legs weren't moving right and I had to push it to cope with the wind. When it got faster at 22 km I didn't have another gear. It was really a struggle from there all the way to the finish. I came here to win, so it's hard to find any satisfaction in this result."


In the women's race, first-timer Tejitu Siyum led compatriots Meseret Gola and Tigist Shetu in an Ethiopian sweep of the podium, winning her debut in a 2:33:21 time solid for the conditions. French women fronted by Aline Camboulives' 2:45:50 filled out the rest of the top ten.

10th Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes

Nice, France, 11/5/17

Men
1. Dejene Kelkilew (Ethiopia) - 2:12:09
2. Cosmas Birech (Kenya) - 2:12:20
3. Alfred Kering (Kenya) - 2:12:31
4. Alex Bartilol (Kenya) - 2:12:46
5. Emmanuel Sikuku (Kenya) - 2:13:52
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:15:02
7. Asmeraw Mengistu (Ethiopia) - 2:15:47
8. Daniel Yator (Kenya) - 2:20:11

Women
1. Tejitu Siyum (Ethiopia) - 2:33:21 - debut
2. Meseret Gola (Ethiopia) - 2:36:36
3. Tigist Shetu (Ethiopia) - 2:43:59
4. Aline Camboulives (France) - 2:45:50
5. Agnes Portier (France) - 2:53:48 - debut

text, photos and video © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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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.'"


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