Japan’s “civil servant runner” wins Egyptian Marathon, runs Japanese Ekiden in 72 hour stretchJanuary 21, 2013
By Michael Doyle
Japan’s “Citizen Runner” has had one heck of a week.
Yuki Kawauchi has become well known around the world for being a world class marathoner while working a full-time job as a civil servant.
Kawauchi was in the news last week when it was revealed that he’d missed his flight to a marathon in Egypt. The 25-year-old had to fork out $9,000 of his own money to get a last minute flight in time to make the race.
He then won the Egyptian Marathon, and blew the course record away by over 10 minutes, with a 2:12:24.
That on its own is quite the feat, but Kawauchi decided to follow it up by immediately travelling back to Japan. There he raced in the Saitama Ekiden on his civil servant team, finishing in second place on the 11.9K third stage of the race in 36:54.
All of this was accomplished in less than 72 hours.
Kawauchi is known for packing in impressive races. He raced a total of nine marathons in 2012, winning five of them. In 2011, he won the Sydney Marathon in a course record 2:11:52, and then followed that six days later with a 3:50 1,500m and then the following day he ran a PB 13:58 5000m race.
Kawauchi has a tall order in front of him in order to qualify for a spot on the Japanese team that’s heading to the world championships summer. He will need to run a sub-2:10, and plans on running not one but two marathons in order to give himself a shot at the time. He will first tackle the Beppu Oita Mainichi Marathon on Feb. 3, and then follow it with the Lake Biwa Marathon exactly one month later if he does not hit the standard.