He surged with 100 meters left.
Before the start of the 68th annual Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan on Sunday, Kenyan Vincent Kipruto was the pre-race favorite. He lived up to expectations, winning the race in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 34 seconds.
The race wasn’t a cakewalk for the world silver medalist, however. Kipruto had to work for it.
The race’s finish takes place on a track and by that point, the winner wasn’t decided as Kipruto was trying to hold off rival Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia. With one lap to go, Jufar surged ahead, but Kipruto countered and regained the lead with 100m to go.
“At 41K I felt confident that I could win the race,” said Kipruto.
Kipruto is a 2:05 marathoner. The relatively slow finishing times at Lake Biwa are best explained by the chilly temperatures.
“It was cold,” Kipruto recalled. “It was really windy, so I did not want to make a move early.”
Jufar’s time was 2:08:37, while third place went to James Mwangi of Kenya (2:08:48).