Olympic silver medalist Jaouad Gharib is the clear favorite going into the race.
The Fukuoka Marathon will be held this weekend in Japan. At the top of the list of elites running the race is Jaouad Gharib of Morocco. Gharib is the silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic Marathon in Beijing. Gharib’s biggest competition comes from Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia. Kebede was the runner up last year’s Fukuoka Marathon as well as the Boston Marathon.
Also in the mix is the 2005 winner, Dmytro Baranovskyy of Ukraine. Baranovskvy’s three fastest times have been run at the Fukuoka Marathon. In 2006, he outkicked Gharib to finish second behind Haile Gebrselassie.
Japan has two 2:07 marathoners on the start list: Tomoaki Kunichika and Toshinari Suwa. But according to Japan Running News, neither of these runner is expected to “factor into the action.”
The Fukuoka Marathon was established in 1947. Past winners include Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Sammy Wanjiru, and Haile Gebrselassie.
Tsegay Kebede owns the course record, 2:05:18, which he ran in the 2008 edition of the race.
For More: Japan Running News