Monday, February 28, 2011

Guts and spirit!

Tokyo 2011

You may already be aware of Mr. Yuki Kawauchi's amazing run coming in 3rd in yesterdays Tokyo Marathon. Brett Larner writes about it in detail on his blog "Japan Running News" But here I'd like to relate it to my/our struggle as we go about preparations for various races.

Yuki Kawauchi is, for mine, a real inspiration showing talent determination and spirit.

Below taken from Brett larner's, great, site.

Kawauchi's marathon progression:

2:19:26 - 20th, Beppu-Oita, 2/1/09
2:18:18 - 19th, Tokyo, 3/22/09
2:17:33 - 13th, Fukuoka, 12/6/09
2:12:36 - 4th, Tokyo, 2/28/10
2:17:54 - 10th, Fukuoka, 12/5/10
2:08:37 - 3rd, Tokyo, 2/27/11

That is amazing and should give us all great hope!

He has done what he did yesterday in a way that the lazy would say is impossible, and many would say is improbable. Firstly, he did not take up offers from sports schools and corporations and took a "normal" path to get a full time job, in the local government, on his academic merits. He now does his own coaching, writes his own running schedules and trains when he can while working a 9hr a day job. How many sub 2:10 runners in our countries would take and remain on that route? People that know him are saying they can't imagine him driving the new BMW that he won yesterday, and he probably went (jogged) to work today, just like everyone else.

He ran 6:52 for the final 2.195 km yesterday, the fastest overall, this was another sign of his guts and determination. Truly inspired!

While I'm really interested in training methodology and lap up anything that I think will help me to run faster, this man shows us what we all know deep down is the key to better running, although we sometimes lose sight of it.

It's about guts, talent, determination and passion and anything else is really nothing more than spectacle cleaning!


  1. Some people are just a league apart from us mere mortals. Very impressive!

  2. Well, the point is, he's a mere mortal like us, he just works very hard and believes in himself. So if we do the same....

  3. Yes Bob, that is excactly what I reckon and what I took away from it.

    Still, Char is also right in that talent sometimes means not having to make excuses like most of us do!

  4. Scott,

    Are you running the Osaka Marathon this October? I am tempted, but was surprised to see that they will close the entry by 15 March.

    Decision, decision....:)

  5. Yes, I've applied! Should be OK. We'll know by the end of April.

    Do it Sling san!

  6. Good post.
    He will probably not be driving his new car as he does not have a parking spot!!

  7. Great stuff :]
    The guys got BALLS!

  8. I need to learn more about this gentleman. Age group etc…

    Sounds amazing.


  9. Nearly sprayed coffee over my keyboard reading Jon's comment about the parking spot!

    I love these stories Scott. Especially him still working solid full-time hours while improving from 2:19 to 2:08. Just like the old days of Derek Clayton, Ron Clarke et al, who worked normal jobs. No excuses, just get out there and do it!

  10. Enjoying the video of Kawauchi's last 6.5k (via the Twitter link) - good stuff!

    Interesting background. Not sure I'd like those work hours - lunchtime to 9pm! So that means he's a once a day runner, at least Monday to Friday. I wonder what his training program is like? Says he "couldn't keep up" with workouts set in high school.

  11. Scott, not sure if you have caught up with 'Marathon Exploits' the tale of a Plus 3hour Marathon guy, going sub 2n30 (in fact 2h28m20s)in just eight years!
    Not to take anything away from Kawauchi's achievement but for the closer to mere mortal runners dreams this takes some beating!

  12. well done Yuki. An inspiration to us all. I've done the marathon the last 2 years and the Half the 2 years before that in the Perth City to Surf. not sure what I'll do in 2011 too far ahead...but probably will do it as a training run again, or maybe go with my family on a shorter race instead...Not a race I target much in recent years, as the hills make it very hard to attack PB's...Its a massive event! hope the time in Perth is good. enjoyed your article in R4YL recently. way to go!