translated and edited by Brett Larner
2014 Asian Games marathon national team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) laid out a new goal on Apr. 26: the sub-20 marathon. To date Kawauchi has run 34 marathons, going sub-20, 2:19:59 or better, in 33 of them and sub-10 in 6. If he runs sub-10 in his next marathon, the May 4 Hamburg Marathon, he will surpass national record holder Toshinari Takaoka to become the Japanese man with the most career sub-10s. The new goal Kawauchi is adding to Hamburg is something he saw on a website: the Japanese record for most sub-20 marathons. "Apparently Takeshi Soh has the sub-20 record at 34 times," he said. "Including two races on uncertified courses, I'm going to tie that number in Hamburg."
Just before the interview Kawauchi ran the 1500 m at the Nittai University Time Trials meet. Running it for some final sharpening of his speed, Kawauchi led most of the way before getting dropped on the last lap and finishing 12th in 3:54.87. "This was supposed to be practice for the last kick in my marathon. I wanted them to pull me along so I could see how well I could hang on, but yeah, those college kids used a marathoner like me as a pacer and then threw me away like a piece of trash," he sighed. But despite it not being the outcome he hoped for, he was cheerful and joking around after the race. "Hey," he said, "that was still the second-fastest I've ever run."