The JapanRunningNews.com site reports that Boston Marathon defending champion Yuki Kawauchi’s mother, Mika Kawauchi, is also running the Boston Marathon this year. She will start in Wave 4.
Mika is an accomplished middle distance runner, and according to a story in the New York Times last October, she was Yuki’s first coach. The B.A.A. invited her to race at Boston this year. “We are excited to have her run this year,” says B.A.A. communications manager Chris Lotsbom, whom we reached by email today, “and believe it is the first time a parent of a defending champion has competed in the same race their son/daughter was racing in as defending champion.”
#EliteSpotlight: Against many of the world’s most accomplished marathoners last year, Yuki Kawauchi prevailed through rain and wind to become the first Japanese champion in 31 years. He returns in 2 weeks to defend his title as part of the @johnhancockusa Elite Athlete Team. pic.twitter.com/B4OzHXOehe
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 1, 2019
What few people know is that the Kawauchis are a running family. Yuki’s brothers Koki and Yoshiki are both runners. Mika ran her first marathon at Gold Coast in Australia in 2016 at age 52, finishing in 3:53.
Yuki runs the Gold Coast every year and has stood on the podium four times. (He has an ongoing rivalry with Kenyan runner Kenneth Mungara, who holds the course record and Australian all-comers record of 2:08:42, set in 2015). The four Kawauchis all raced at the Gold Coast together last year, Mika and Yoshiki running the Southern Cross University 10K, and Koki the half-marathon. Mika finished in 46:27, for eighth in her age group. (Yuki finished a disappointing ninth in the marathon.)
Current weather predictions are predicting similar to 2018’s race. Please keep an eye on extended forecast, dress accordingly: extra layers, gloves, hats, and waterproof gear. @BAA will continue to update entrants through emails and social media. Stay informed and be prepared!
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) April 10, 2019
The current forecast for Monday in Boston is scattered thunderstorms, temperatures between 7 and 13 C, and 26 K/hr winds from the southeast. If that holds, we figure Yuki’s chances are pretty good. Imagine the possibilities: Yuki wins the Boston Marathon again, and gets to watch his mom finish. It doesn’t get much better than that, for either of them.