Japanese “Blue Collar” Runner Keeps On Marathoning

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 16, 2011
  • Updated Dec. 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM UTC
Yuki Kawauchi likes to think he is a model for all amateurs. Photo: Run Long Dude

He wants to be an example for all amateurs.

Yuki Kawauchi likes to think he is a model for all amateurs. Photo: Run Long Dude

One of Japan’s running underdogs, Yuki Kawauichi, is a force to be reckoned with. In an interview with Japan Running News, the third-place finisher at the Fukuoka Marathon earlier this month says that he will be taking on the 26.2-mile distance again–very soon.

“I’m still sore,” he says of his condition. “My thighs and whatnot are still stiff and inflexible.”

Kawauchi is a “citizen runner,” which means he holds down a five-day-a-week job while training for the marathon. In other words, he’s not a pro. But earlier this year he ran 2:08:37 at the Tokyo Marathon, finishing third.

He said he is running the marathon this weekend for the love of the sport. “Without that I get bored,” he admitted. “I feel that I have to do this at least once a month,” he says.

With just two weeks separating marathons, the shortest span in his career, Kawauchi says he has people telling him that he is doing too much.

Self-coached, Kawauchi is the stereotypical amateur. “Since I’ve been able to come this far I hope it shows other amateurs the possibilities for what they can do,” he says.  ”I think I have been inspiring others to work harder.”

For More: Japan Running News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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