Mr. Yuki Kawauchi and fiancé Yuko Mizuguchi had quite the experience in Vancouver, BC, Canada, early in May. The engaged elites made their Canadian Marathon debuts at Canada’s top destination race, the BMO Vancouver Marathon, and the both captured wins, Yuki in a new course record!
Here’s a look back at some of their experiences. It started by seeing Kits beach and a stunning Vancouver sunset.
“The scenery was about the best I’ve ever seen during a Marathon,” added Yuki Kawauchi post-race. Photo: RUNVAN®
“It was incredibly beautiful seeing the ocean and the mountains,” adds Yuko Mizuguchi. Photo: RUNVAN®
When they arrived, the two went for a run at Kits beach with returning champ and local Robin Watson. Kawauchi ran the first half of the course the next day, and then the second half of the course the day after.
Yuki and fellow elites ran the Seawall as a shake-out before the big race. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Yuki Kawauchi and Saeki Makino of Japan re-connect in Canada. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Saeki Makino of Japan finished the BMO Vancouver Marathon fourth four years ago, and it was that positive experience Saeki shared with Kawauchi that led the two to meet in Canada this year. Kawauchi would go on to win and Makino took fourth once again, just 15 seconds off a podium spot this time.
Yuki enjoyed taking in the sights, sounds and history of the City all week. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
The Elites receive a special course talk from event officials. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Yuki Kawauchi, returning champ Robin Watson, course record holder Kim Doerksen, and elite Margarita Quintero from Mexico, amoung others, provided a special Elite Athlete Panel to the general public on Saturday at the Expo. They then had their own course tour from RUNVAN® officials, the non-profit event organizers.
Kawauchi stocked up on his staple, Japanese curry with rice the night before the race. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Catching some last minute zzzzs on the way to the Start. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Dadi and Kawauchi both broke the course record, held formerly by Chelimo who trails here. Photo: Morris / RUNVAN®
Ethiopia’s Feyera Gemeda Dadi actually led the strong international field through 35KM and Kawauchi credits his new course record in part to the strong push from Dadi and Kenya’s Luka Chelimo, the former course record holder who finished third.
Kawauchi’s 2:15:01 time in Vancouver is faster than his winning time at the Boston Marathon. Photo: Darryl Dyck / RUNVAN®
Yuki Kawauchi fly to a new course record at the 2019 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Congrats to Yuki and Yuko on a rare couple’s championship! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Talk about exhaustion. This man pushed himself! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
On-course Yuki Kawauchi is a complete competitor. Off-course he’s all smiles.
Yuko & Yuki were constantly snapping photos, here on Granville Island. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
The two enjoyed the local markets and a special treat post-race. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bride Park offered lots of great photo opps. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
The engaged elites planned their wedding just two weeks after the Marathon. Photo: Morris / RUNVAN®
Yuki Kawauchi and Yuko Mizuguchi take in Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Look up and forward says Kawauchi, who held on tight across the suspension bridge. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Feeling good, but hold on! Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Kawauchi always angling for the shot. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Super natural, British Columbia. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
The day after the race, a few of the elites decided to tackle the Grouse Grind. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Jose Guadalupe De Jesus Puga from Mexico actually ran the grind in 30 minutes, the day after the Marathon! Jose says with a month of training and knowing the route better, he may be able to get that time down to 25 minutes. With four months of training, Jose suggests he could challenge the course record of 23 minutes. We don’t doubt him. The elite from Mexico finished eleventh on the Marathon this year.
Yuki says the grind was his favourite Vancouver experience outside of the race itself. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Kawauchi said he’d do the grind in a relaxed pace, but the competitor in him completed it in just 32 minutes, the day after crushing the Marathon course record! Yuko decided to catch the gondola ride up to the top.
Margarita Quintero of Mexico also did the grind in a t-shirt and jeans, no less. Photo: Christopher Morris / RUNVAN®
Before taking in another burger, Yuki and Yuko went to the bear sanctuary. Photo: Morris / RUNVAN®
From ‘the Peak of Vancouver’ on Grouse Mountain, Yuki and Yuko take in another stunning sunset. Photo: Christopher Morris
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Yuki and Yuko provided a video recap interview which we’ll share shortly.