Photos courtesy: Boston Marathon
In May, Boston Marathon winner Mr. Yuki Kawauchi will make his Canadian debut, competing at BMO Vancouver Marathon. Last April, Kawauchi became the first Japanese runner to win the Boston Marathon since the late 1980s. With his 40-hour work week, Kawauchi’s accomplishments run deep and include world records such as the most sub-2:11 marathons (20 times) along with 12 sub-2:16 marathons, the most in one calendar year. As the only marathon in town, the BMO Vancouver Marathon draws over 17,000 runners from more than 60 countries, including last year’s winner, Zheng Zhiling who became the first Chinese runner to win and will return this year. We caught up with Kawauchi to find out a little more about his training and why he choose Vancouver as his Canadian marathon debut.
iRun: What is it about marathon that you so enjoy?
Yuki Kawauchi: It lets me expand my own possibilities through travel and meeting people.
iRun: How have you balanced full-time work with your training and racing schedule?
YK: Since I worked a full-time job I had to use races as workouts, so most of them served that purpose. I’m very careful about recovery as well. When I was young my parents made me run hard every day, so my body grew up used to it and I think that has helped me later.
As of April I’ll be a full-time runner. For the ten years before that I worked from after 12:00 to about 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, so I always had my mornings free to do my training. Having that kind of constraint made me focus on using the time I had the most effectively I could. Most weekends I used races as my main workout for the week.
iRun: Of all your accomplishments, which ones are your favourites?
YK: Winning the 2018 Boston Marathon. The 2010 and 2011 Tokyo Marathons and 2013 Beppu-Oita Marathon were all breakthrough races for me as well, and I am proud to have represented Japan at three World Championships and one World Half Marathon.
iRun: What do you think about when you think of Canada?
YK: Maple syrup and ginger ale.
iRun: Why have you chosen Vancouver, British Columbia and the BMO Vancouver Marathon, for your Canadian debut?
YK: One of my running friends had done Vancouver before, so when I was invited this time I talked to him about it and had a good impression.
iRun: Where in Vancouver do you want to visit outside of racing?
YK: I’d like to run in the Capilano valley.
iRun: What goes through your mind during a race?
YK: It depends on the race. For example, sometimes I might look at the situation and competitors around me and think, “At what point should I start racing?”