Ethiopia Versus Kenya At The Lake Biwa Marathon

Wilson Kipsang hopes to break the tape at the Lake Biwa Marathon. Photo: IAAF

The race’s stacked field puts the course record in jeopardy.

The oldest continuous marathon in Japan (66 years) is taking place this weekend. And like most large marathons in the world, runners from Ethiopia and Kenya will be duking it out for the win. At the top of the favorite list is Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang who has a 2:04:57 PR that was logged in last year’s Frankfurt Marathon.

Deriba Merga, a former Boston Marathon champion, should give Kipsang a run for the money. The Ethiopian ran 2:06:38 at the 2008 London Marathon. Merga is on a roll this year, having won the RAK Half Marathon in a brisk 59:24.

However, Kipsang owns four sub-hour half marathons in his career.

Winning aside, the ten-year-old course record at Lake Biwa (2:07:34) may fall.

Behind the Ethiopian and Kenyan front runners will be a large contingent of Japanese marathoners who are hoping to qualify for the Japanese team at the World Championships in South Korea this summer. In the mix are Masashi Hayashi, Kensuke Takahashi, Kentaro Nakamoto and Satoshi Yoshii.

For More: IAAF

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