Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi runs 50th sub-2:16 marathon

Yuki Kawauchi ran 2:12:45 at a Japan marathon on Sunday breaking 2:16 for the 50th time in his impressive athletics career. (Photo: @ayespeko via Twitter.)

Yuki Kawauchi

No one knows sub-2:16 marathon consistency more than Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi.

The popular marathoner, known as the “citizen runner,” ran 2:12:45 at the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon two weeks after finishing third at the Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship. He finished third at the Sunday marathon near the southern tip of Japan.

According to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, Sunday’s 2:12:45 clocking was Kawauchi’s 34th sub-2:13, 40th sub-2:14 and 50th sub-2:16 performances of his career. Brett Larner of Japan Running News reports that all three of those statistics are new world records. Of those times, his personal best is 2:08:14. He works full-time for the government of Saitama Prefecture while being a world class runner, hence the “citizen runner” nickname.


Kawauchi has been a busy man in 2016 completing nine marathons, all equal to or faster than 2:15:14, among a lengthy list of half-marathons and other distances. He set the Japanese 50K record earlier this year. He has also represented Japan internationally including at the IAAF World Championships and IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships.

RELATED: Throwback: Yuki Kawauchi first to run sub-2:10 twice in two weeks.

The 29-year-old has won more than US$160,000 in career prize money, according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. In addition to his 50 sub-2:16 marathons, Kawauchi has also broken the 2:20 barrier 63 times in his career.

According to ARRS numbers, Kawauchi ran his first sub-2:20 marathon during his debut, the Beppu-Ōita Marathon on Feb. 1, 2009. Other interesting Kawauchi stats include 10 sub-2:10 performances, three sub-2:09s and a 1:06 half-marathon while wearing a suit.

RELATED: Japanese half-marathon sees a jaw-dropping 360-plus runners break 1:10.

For comparison, the Canadian men’s marathon record is 2:10:09, set 41 years ago by Jerome Drayton in Fukuoka, Japan.