Unlike most marathoners, Yuki Kawauchi, who made the ING New York City Marathon his ninth 26.2-miler of the year, did not take it easy the day after the race.
According to Brett Larner, editor of Japan Running News, Kawauchi woke up at 5:00 a.m. and headed out for an 18K (11.4-mile) run before leaving his hotel at 7:15 for a flight back to Tokyo—dressed in a three-piece suit and tie, because he had to head straight to work from Narita International Airport.
Unlike most of Japan’s top distance runners, Kawauchi does not run for a corporate sponsor. Instead, he is a full-time administrator at a high school, and he tries to schedule his racing so that he misses as little work as possible. His usual shift is 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., so Kawauchi planned to work half a day upon his return.
Kawauchi’s style and determination have made him a folk hero in his native Japan, and his 2013 results have added to the legend: He ran a personal best of 2:08:14 on March 17 in the Dong-A Marathon in Seoul, just six weeks after recording a 2:08:15 victory in the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, and he has won five of the nine marathons in which he has competed so far this year with two remaining: the Fukuoka International Marathon on December 1 and the Hofu-Yomiuri Marathon on December 15.
He wasn’t thrilled with his place or time in NYC—11th, 2:12:29—but said he learned a lot from watching some of the top pro athletes, such as winner Geoffrey Mutai and runner-up Tsegaye Kebede, during the race.
“With this behind me, I think I could do a lot better next year if they wanted me back,” he told Japan Running News, in a story here.
Photo Credit: PhotoRun