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Marathon Great Seko at JAAF Event: "There Is No God"

JAAF marathon development project leader Toshihiko Seko, 60, and three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara, 50, appeared together June 7 at the JAAF's kickoff meeting for its 2020 Tokyo Olympics-centered marathon development plan. Speaking frankly, the pair caused a stir in the Japanese athletics world.

Concerning Japan's biggest race Seko said, "The Hakone Ekiden is a local competition. If you have some success you're treated like you rule everything under the sun. Even athletes who haven't done anything particularly special get coverage in the media. They're quick to earn the label "God," but that is a misunderstanding. I tell you: there is no God." With the top corporate league coaches looking on he continued, "Toyota, Konica, Nissin Shokuhin, Fujitsu, they have to do better with the talented athletes they have. I'm not kidding. For real."

Hara was just as sharp in his words, saying, "There is no lateral connection at all between the Kanto Region University Athletics Association, the National University Athletics Association, the corporate leagues in the current athletics world. No consistency [in development]. Everyone is just doing whatever is most expedient for them."

After the event Hara continued, saying, "Seko has been named leader. If we miss this opportunity there will be no hope of reviving Japanese marathoning. I hope Seko will be man enough for the job." Seko answered defiantly, saying, "Give me your support. I'm a man who speaks his mind." United together, the pair form the ultimate tag team to help bring Japanese marathoning back from the grave.

source article: https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170607-00000095-dal-spo
translated by Brett Larner

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Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
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Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
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“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


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