Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi reportedly broke the world record for most sub-2:20 marathons by winning a 26.2-mile race in Massachusetts on Monday in single-digit temperatures.
Kawauchi, 30, ran his 76th marathon under 2:20 in winning the Marshfield Marathon in 2:18:59 wearing full-body tights. American Doug Kurtis ran sub-2:20 a total of 75 times.
It may have also been the fastest marathon in weather that cold.
“At 5 km [3.1 miles] I was already all alone and so cold that I couldn’t move my legs,” Kawauchi said, according to Japan Running News. “When I saw my 5 km split it was the first time in a race I’ve ever thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’
“After this I think I could do pretty well going after the Antarctica record.”
Kawauchi was dubbed Japan’s “Citizen Runner” several years ago because he worked a full-time job in his local government.
He debuted in the marathon in 2009, which means he has averaged eight sub-2:20 marathons per year.
He has never competed at the Olympics but is certainly fast enough to make Japan’s team. He was ninth at the world championships in London on Aug. 6 and sixth at the 2015 New York City Marathon.
Kawauchi is entered in the Boston Marathon on April 18.
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