Kawauchi wins Beppu-Oita Marathon


Yuki Kawauchi outdueled London Olympian Kentaro Nakamoto to win Sunday’s Beppu-Oita Marathon in a race-record time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 15 seconds.

The pair burst away from the field after 28 km, and Kawauchi put Nakamoto in the rearview mirror after the 40-km mark. Nakamoto, who was sixth at last summer’s Olympic marathon, finished 20 seconds back in second place.

“Today was really a great time,” said Kawauchi, who balances his running career with his day job as a public officer with Saitama’s prefectural government. “He was an Olympian in London, so I wouldn’t have been ashamed to lose to him. I just kept pushing forward.”

Kawauchi’s time was a personal best, surpassing the 2:08:37 he ran when he finished third in the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. Nakamoto’s time was also a personal best.

“I was hoping for a victory, so of course I feel disappointed,” said Nakamoto. “I need to be able to turn on the speed in the last 2 km. I wanted to compete (with Kawauchi) at a high level. But because of him I was able to produce a good time. He has become a rival I don’t want to lose to.”

The Beppu-Oita race is one of the marathons used in determining the men who will represent Japan in the next world athletics championships.

  • Hiroki Sano

    I can’t understand how much stamina he has in his body. He went to Egypt to take part in a marathon race. It was just about a two weeks ago. Ordinal runners do no run two marathons in such a short span because the damage from the race is tremendously severe. I ran a marathon in Japan two years ago, then it took for three weeks to cure me of all my muscle damages. So, his resilience and energy is beyond the reach of my imagination. He is changing the world of marathon in Japan.