The Kenyan clocked 2:06:58 in the race’s 66th edition.
Joseph Gitau was the first runner to cross the finish line at one of Japan’s most-famous road races, the Fukuoka Marathon.
The Kenyan, who lives in Japan and trains with a Japanese corporate team, put forth a speedy effort, coming across the line in 2:06:58,which was the sixth-fastest time in the race’s history.
Sunday’s race was Gitau’s third marathon start. Three years ago, he dropped out of Fukuoka and came in a relatively pedestrian 2:21:54 at the Hokkaido Marathon.
Japan’s own Hiroyuki Horibata took second in the race. “I was confident of finishing first among Japanese,” Horibata said. “During the race I was feeling confident until 30 kilometers, but I was unsure of myself after that point. I am disappointed that I did not run 2:07.”
One of the other runners in the field, Haile Gebrselassie, had owned the world record in the 26.2-mile distance. However, Gebrselassie ended up dropping out of the race at the 32-kilometer mark.
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