Tokyo Marathon —Legesse Conquers The Elements

A lot of rain fell but failed to deter Berhanu Legesse in his first marathon win. (MANAMIN)

TOKYO, JAPAN, March 03—A 24-year-old with a solid track background (5000 PR of 13:08.88), Berhanu Legesse picked up his first 26-mile win at the Tokyo Marathon, outpacing the field in heavy weather by exactly 2:00 with his 2:04:48 clocking. Rain, heavy at times, fell throughout with temperatures in the 40s, yet the pacemakers did their best to keep the pace hot in the year’s first World Marathon Major. Legesse passed halfway with plenty of company in 1:02:02 but even 6-time 10,000 Ranker Bedan Muchiri couldn’t stay with the Ethiopian’s second half of 1:02:46. Running into the wind over the last 7K, Muchiri had to settle for a 2:06:48 PR, with Dickson Chumba, winner here the past 2 years, nearly another 2:00 back at 2:08:44.

Kenenisa Bekele, now 2½ years removed from his 2:03:03 PR, withdrew before the race with injury, and Japanese record holder Suguru Osako pulled off the course injured around 30K.

The women’s leaders stuck closer together. Ruti Aga, the runner-up in Tokyo and Berlin last year, also scored her first win at the distance, timed in 2:20:44 after zipping through the half in 1:09:44. Her Ethiopian compatriots Helen Tola (2:21:01 PR) and Shure Demise (2:21:05) followed not far behind with 5-time World Ranker Florence Kiplagat 4th in 2:21:50.


Men’s Results

1. Berhanu Legesse (Eth) 2:04:48 (1:02:02/1:02:46); 2. Bedan Muchiri (Ken) 2:06:48 PR; 3. Dickson Chumba (Ken) 2:08:44; 4. Simon Kariuki (Ken) 2:09:41 PR; 5. Kensuke Horio (Jpn) 2:10:21 PR; 6. Masato Imai (Jpn) 2:10:30; 7. Takuya Fujikawa (Jpn) 2:10:35 PR; 8. Daichi Kamino (Jpn) 2:11:05; 9. Ryu Takaku (Jpn) 2:11:49; 10. Tadashi Isshiki (Jpn) 2:12:21; 11. Shohei Otsuka (Jpn) 2:12:36; 12. Ryo Kuchimachi (Jpn) 2:13:30 PR;… 55. Matt Llano (US) 2:20:51.

Women’s Results

1. Ruti Aga (Eth) 2:20:40 (1:09:44/1:11:04); 2. Helen Tola (Eth) 2:21:01 PR; 3. Shure Demise (Eth) 2:21:05; 4. Florence Kiplagat (Ken) 2:21:50; 5. Bedatu Hirpa (Eth) 2:23:43; 6. Ababel Yeshaneh (Eth) 2:24:02 PR; 7. Mao Ichiyama (Jpn) 2:24:33 PR; 8. Joan Chelimo (Ken) 2:26:24 PR; 9. Rose Chelimo (Bhr) 2:30:35; 10. Ruth Chebitok (Ken) 2:31:19.

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