Tag Archives: Panda

10 reasons Yuki Kawauchi, Boston marathon winner, should be your favourite runner

Yuki warmed up for the Boston Marathon by running in his home race, the Kuki half marathon, dressed as a panda. He had previously set an unofficial world record in the same race for 13.1miles in a three piece suit. In his panda costume, he ran 1hr 10min 03sec, finishing second, and beating his brother Yoshiki.

  1. Yuki holds plenty of other world records too, including the most sub 2hr 12min marathons by one person: 25 of them. He also has the world record for the most sub 2hr 20min marathons: an astonishing 79.
  2. Yuki beat some of the favourites in Boston, including the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Galen Rupp, but he isn’t a full-time athlete. He fits his training around working 40 hours a week as a government clerk, from 1pm-9pm. Which surely gives hope to all us.
  3. Because he works full time, doesn’t belong to one of the Japanese teams and accepts no corporate sponsorship, his nickname is the “citizen runner”.
  4. Unlike almost every other elite runner, he only runs once a day – he works 40 hours a week, from 1pm – 9pm every day. On his days off he frequently does long runs of upwards of 50km at a jogging pace.
Running in a business suit: yet another of Yuki’s records
5. When he finished 14th at the Tokyo marathon in 2012, failing to qualify for the Japanese team for the         Olympics in London, he shaved his head by way of apology. “I felt that I had to give everyone who supported me a sign of my remorse. “It’s better that my shame be exposed for everyone to see” he said.
6. His PB is 2hr 08min 14sec. Only three American men (Khalid Khannouchi, Ryan Hall and Dathan Ritzenhein) have faster times, and only one British (Steve Jones). He may be an amateur runner, but his times are not.
7.  He’s aiming to run 100 marathons under 2hr 20 before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He has run four so far this year, winning all of them. His race calendaris pretty full …
8. When he was six, Yuki ran 7:30 for 1500m. His mother, a former runner herself, decided to coach him and had him running daily time trials in his local park. Every day he was to beat his personal record, and if he missed by 30 seconds or more, he had to run an extra lap. If he missed by more than a minute, two extra laps.
Marshfield’s freezing conditions
9. On New Year’s Day this year he ran and won the Marshfield Road Runners NYD marathon in 2:18.59. The temperature during the race was -23 C. It is thought to be the coldest sub 2:20min marathon ever run.
10. Because of his job, he’s not allowed to accept sponsorship money. He can, however, accept prize money (he’ll get $150k for winning Boston). He’s supposed to be back at work on Wednesday. He’ll be racing again this weekend, in a half marathon back in Japan.