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Kawauchi Breaks Own Course Record at Fukushima's Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20170501/ddl/k07/050/032000c

translated and edited by Brett Larner


The second running of the Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon took place April 30 in the village of Kawauchi, Fukushima. 1500 runners from across the country traversed the roads through mountains in full spring bloom and enjoyed the villagers' hospitality. The event had its beginnings in a local elementary school student saying, "I want to do something to convey the goodness of our village to the outside world." 1200 people took part in its first running last year.

As a result of the huge response to its success, 300 locals joined the village cheering section this year. The welcome runners receive from every member of the local community is unique to the village of Kawauchi. Along the course local elementary school students performed yosakoi synchronized dancing and cheered runners on, and in the finish area members of the Village Women's Society served bowls of hot pork soup.


Sharing his name with the village, London World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (30) and women's marathoner Kaori Yoshida (35) both took part as special guests. Kawauchi broke his own course record to win the half marathon in 1:05:31, with Yoshida winning the women's 10 km in 36:09. According to the ARRS database, this was Kawauchi's 69th time running under 1:06:00, a new world record.

Sendai-area company worker Kimihiko Sato, 51, took part in the half marathon.  Wiping the sweat from his brow he commented, "The warm and enthusiastic support along the course made it a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the peaceful scenery.  I want to run it again."

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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
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…