He was racing the ultra to train for the upcoming world championships.
A member of the 2011 Japanese World Championship Marathon team, Yuki Kawauchi, collapsed short of the finish line at the Okinoshima 50K ultramarathon on June 19. Kawauchi has been receiving a lot of press lately due to the fact that he is an amateur runner who holds down a full-time job while training.
In last February’s Tokyo Marathon, he came in third place (2:08:37), which thrust him into the spotlight and booked him a ticket on the Japanese World Championship team.
He had been racing the ultra to prepare for the upcoming world championships. According to a report posted on the Japan Running News Web site, Kawauchi had been leading the whole race until he began to repeatedly fall. With 600 meters to go, he lost consciousness.
A spectator later recalled that he was “bent over, leaning forward. He was weaving back and forth and looked like he was out cold on his feet.”
Officials confirmed later that Kawauchi suffered from heat stroke.
For More: Japan Running News