Skip to main content

Nakamoto and Kawauchi to Run Boston

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) will run the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Kawauchi holds world records for everything from most career sub-2:12 marathons to most sub-2:20, while Nakamoto is Japan's best championships marathoner of modern times with four top 10 finishes at the Olympics and World Championships.

Longtime rivals, their duel at the 2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was one of the classics of Japanese marathoning, both running sub-2:09 PBs as Kawauchi set a still-standing course record of 2:08:15. The pair has a 3-3 record in the marathon so far, their most recent meeting coming at last summer's London World Championships where Kawauchi ran Nakamoto down in the last kilometer to take 9th. Boston will be their 7th and likely final face-off.


2018 Boston Marathon 
John Hancock Elite Athlete Team
Boston, U.S.A., 4/16/18
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) - 2:04:11 (Dubai 2017)
Lemi Berhanu (Ethiopia) - 2:04:33 (Dubai 2016)
Norbert Kigen (Kenya) - 2:05:13 (Amsterdam 2017)
Evans Chebet (Kenya) - 2:05:30 (Valencia 2017)
Felix Kandie (Kenya) - 2:06:03 (Seoul 2017)
Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 2:06:27 (Amsterdam 2016)
Philemon Rono (Kenya) - 2:06:52 (Toronto Waterfront 2017)
Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands) - 2:08:16 (Amsterdam 2017)
Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 2:08:19 (Amsterdam 2016)
Arne Gabius (Germany) - 2:08:33 (Frankfurt 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) - 2:09:17a (Boston 2015)
Galen Rupp (U.S.A.) - 2:09:20 (Chicago 2017)
Kentaro Nakamoto (Japan) - 2:09:32 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Reid Coolsaet (Canada) - 2:10:28 (Berlin 2015)
Stephen Sambu (Kenya) - 2:11:07 (Chicago 2017)
Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) - 2:11:20a (Boston 2015)
Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 2:11:23 (New York 2016)
Lusapho April (South Africa) - 2:11:27 (Hannover 2016)
Eric Gillis (Canada) - 2:11:31 (Toronto Waterfront 2015)
Elkanah Kibet (U.S.A.) - 2:11:31 (Chicago 2015)
Tim Ritchie (U.S.A.) - 2:11:56a (Cal Int'l 2017)
Shadrack Biwott (U.S.A.) - 2:12:01 (New York 2016)
Scott Smith (U.S.A.) - 2:12:21 (Frankfurt 2017)
Ryan Vail (U.S.A.) - 2:12:40 (Berlin 2017)
Andrew Bumbalough (U.S.A.) - 2:13:58 (Tokyo 2017)

photos © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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…