NAGANO – Yuki Kawauchi pulled away from Russia’s Alexey Sokolov with around 2 km left to win the Nagano Marathon on Sunday.
Kawauchi won the race for the first time when he cut the tape at Minami Nagano Athletic Park in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 27 seconds. Sokolov clocked 2:15:31 and Hirokatsu Kurosaki took third place in 2:17:28.
Kawauchi, dubbed the “Citizen Runner” by Japanese media because he balances his running career with his day job as a public officer with the Saitama prefectural government, is a strong contender to represent Japan at this summer’s world championships in Moscow.
He outdueled London Olympian Kentaro Nakamoto in February to win the Beppu-Oita Marathon, one of the races used in determining the men who will run for Japan in Moscow.