Nao Kazami JPN

Nao Kazami, a celebrated athlete from Japan, has left an indelible mark on the world of ultramarathon running. His journey from a track and field enthusiast to a record-breaking ultramarathon runner is a testament to his unwavering dedication and exceptional talent.

Kazami's athletic journey began in junior high school, where he first delved into track and field. His passion and commitment led him to compete in the Junior Olympics, where he showcased his prowess in the Class A 1500m event. Throughout high school, he continued to excel, earning a spot in the National Athletic Meet. His athletic journey continued into university, where he was part of the prestigious Hakone Ekiden long-distance relay team for four consecutive years, demonstrating his enduring stamina and determination.

Following his university years, Kazami embarked on a professional career, spending four years as part of a businessman team. Despite the demands of his professional life, his love for running never waned. After retiring from his corporate role in 2010, he dedicated four years to nurturing the next generation of athletes as a track and field instructor for elementary school students, embodying a spirit of mentorship and giving back to the sport he cherished.

Nao Kazami, the accomplished ultramarathon runner from Japan, has consistently showcased his exceptional talent and endurance in various international competitions. In 2016, he represented Japan at the IAU 50km World Championship in Qatar, securing an impressive 4th place with a time of 2:57:47. The following year, Kazami participated in the Lake Saroma 100 Km Ultramarathon in Japan, finishing in 3rd place with a time of 6:33:52. However, it was in June 2018 that Kazami made history by breaking the male 100km world record after two decades, achieving a remarkable time of 6:09:14 at the Lake Saroma 100km Ultramarathon. His achievements extended to the IAU 100km World Championship in Croatia, where he finished 6th with a time of 6:42:30. In 2019, Kazami continued to excel, finishing 9th at the IAU 50km World Championship in Romania with a time of 2:51:27 and securing a podium finish at the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, becoming the first Asian athlete to achieve 3rd place. His remarkable performances continued in 2022, as he finished 6th at the IAU 100km World Championship in Germany with a time of 6:21:43. In 2023, Kazami participated in the IAU 100km Asia and Oceania Championships in India, securing 5th place with a time of 7:22:13. Throughout these competitions, Kazami consistently demonstrated his unwavering dedication and exceptional skill on the global stage, solidifying his status as a top-tier ultramarathon runner.

Throughout his career, Kazami has achieved remarkable personal bests, both during his tenure with the businessman team and as a citizen runner. His feats include an impressive marathon time of 2:13:13, a 50km record of 2:51:27, and a 100km milestone of 6:09:14, showcasing his versatility and dominance across various distances.

Nao Kazami's story is a testament to the transformative power of dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment, leaving an enduring legacy in the realm of ultramarathon running.

Nao is winner of 2018 IAU Athlete of the Year Award.


Mr. Takazu

IAU Communication Committee

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