Skip to main content

Hamburg Marathon Results - Kawauchi Runs Historic Seventh Sub-2:10

by Brett Larner

Despite gusty winds and intermittent rain the Haspa Hamburg Marathon saw fast times all around, particularly on the men's side where Ethiopian-born Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) negative-splitted a PB 2:06:44 for the win over pre-race favorite Eric Ndiema (Kenya). Through halfway in 1:03:32, Dechasa and Ndiema were alone and side-by-side by 35 km before Dechasa threw down and opened a 17-second gap for the win. First-timer Philemon Rono (Kenya) was another 7 seconds back in 2:07:08, a solid debut to get onto the podium.

Further back, Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), appearing with support from JRN, ran a rare time trial performance, sticking close to dedicated pacer Wilfred Kigen (Kenya) on track to just break 2:09 in a bid both to deal with the jet lag issues that have so far troubled his international racing and, if successful, to surpass national record holder Toshinari Takaoka and become the first Japanese man to clear 2:10 seven times in his career.  Kigen took Kawauchi through halfway on-track in 1:04:23 before faltering slightly after 25 km, his average pace dropping from the targeted 3:03~3:04/km to 3:10 but going well beyond his promised 30 km to 35 km.

With his departure Kawauchi, looking uncharacteristically relaxed and comfortable, took things down to 2:58/km, guaranteeing himself to clear his target time and cutting up the distance to a line of stragglers from the lead pack ahead.  With a 6:45 from 40 km to the finish Kawauchi had the fastest closing split in the field, 3 seconds better than winner Dechasa.  Kawauchi crossed the line in 9th in 2:09:36, his fastest time in Europe or North America by three minutes and, coming at the end of a four-week streak that saw him set course records at the Saga Sakura Marathon and Tokushima Marathon, cementing his place in the history books as the first Japanese man with seven sub-2:10 marathons to his name.  He also achieved a minor secondary goal, tying legend Takeshi Soh's Japanese record of 34 career sub-2:20 marathons.



"I'm very, very happy with 2:09:36," he told reporters post-race.  "Up to now I've never been able to run the way I wanted in European or North American races, but I set myself a goal here and cleared it easily. It gives me a lot of confidence to have overcome the jet lag issue like this.  I know 2:09 is not that big a deal by world standards but this gives me a lot of confidence to go after something more ambitious like 2:06 and 2:07 when I race here in the future.  If I come back to Hamburg I'll definitely go with the lead pack!"

"I'd also like to say a special thanks to Wilfred Kigen for his pacing.  I only expected him to go to 30 km so I'm very grateful that he stayed with me to 35 km.  Without him there for those 5 km I don't know if I would have been able to get this result today. Thank you, Wilfred."

In the women's race, 2:21 runner Georgina Rono (Kenya) did the expected, outclassing the field for the win in 2:26:47.  Leading a pack of six at halfway, Rono waited until 30 km to make her move.  Putting down a hard surge, by 35 km she was 24 seconds ahead of the debuting Winny Jepkorir (Kenya) and her top rival, Ethiopia Dinknesh Mekash.  Rono's lead only grew over the final stretch of the race, but Mekash made it a quality race for 2nd as she overtook and dropped Jepkorir for 2nd.  Mekash crossed the finish line 42 seconds back from Rono in 2:27:29, Jepkorir another 28 seconds back just under the 2:28 line in 2:27:57.

29th Hamburg Marathon
Hamburg, Germany, 5/4/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) - 2:06:44 - PB
2. Eric Ndiema (Kenya) - 2:07:01
3. Philemon Rono (Kenya) - 2:07:08 - debut
4. Belay Asefa (Ethiopia) - 2:07:11 - PB
5. Laban Korir (Kenya) - 2:08:05
6. John Mwangangi (Kenya) - 2:08:06 - PB
7. Felix Keny (Kenya) - 2:09:04
8. Lucas Rotich (Kenya) - 2:09:22 - debut
9. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:36
10. Bonsa Dida (Ethiopia) - 2:12:33 - debut

Women
1. Georgina Rono (Kenya) - 2:26:47
2. Dinknesh Mekash (Ethiopia) - 2:27:29
3. Winny Jepkorir (Kenya) - 2:27:57 - debut
4. Melkam Gizaw (Ethiopia) - 2:28:14
5. Yinli He (China) - 2:28:56
6. Filomena Costa (Portugal) - 2:31:08 - PB
7. Chao Yue (China) - 2:31:10
8. Mercy Kibarus (Kenya) - 2:31:42
9. Katharina Heinig (Germany) - 2:33:56 - PB
10. Dorothy Peixoto (Portugal) - 2:36:51 - debut

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Brett Larner said…
Thanks to Dr. Helmut Winter for the stat on Kawauchi's closing split.
Anna Novick said…
"I know 2:09 is not that big a deal by world standard"
Yes it is...considering you do it 7-times and at the end of a four-week streak on top of jetlag and a full-time work schedule.
A huuuuge congratulations, Yuki!
Brett Larner said…
Some fun with stats regarding Kawauchi's run in Hamburg:

-fastest closing split in Hamburg, 6:45 vs. winner Shumi Dechasa's 6:48.

-1st Japanese man to run sub-2:10 seven times in career. (2:08:14, 2:08:15, 2:08:37, 2:09:05, 2:09:15, 2:09:36, 2:09:57)

-tied Japanese record of 34 career sub-2:20 marathons.

-fastest performance of '14 by Japanese man outside Japan. Previous top mark was Ryo Yamamoto's 2:10:59 for 6th in Vienna.

-fastest performance with significant jet lag. Previous best was 2:12:24 at Egyptian Marathon '13.

-fastest performance in Europe. Previous best was 2:12:58 in Dusseldorf '12.

-Apart from his PB run in Seoul last year, only second Japanese man in last five years to go sub-2:10 overseas: Arata Fujiwara - 2:09:34, Ottawa '10, Yuki Kawauchi - 2:09:36, Hamburg '14 (not beating Fujiwara's time was the only sign of disappointment Kawauchi showed this time)

-fifth Japanese man to go sub-2:10 in Germany but first to do it somewhere other than Berlin: Takayuki Inubushi - 2:06:57, Berlin '99, Shinichi Watanabe - 2:09:32, Berlin '04, Yuki Kawauchi - 2:09:36, Hamburg '14, Kazuhiro Matsuda - 2:09:49, Berlin '03, Kurao Umeki - 2:09:52, Berlin '03

-Hamburg was one of the top 4 marathons in the world this season for depth. Tokyo had 14 men sub-2:10, Dubai had ten, and London and Hamburg each had nine. 9th place in London was 2:08:26, in Tokyo 2:08:51, Hamburg 2:09:36 and Dubai 2:09:50.
TokyoRacer said…
Yes, a very nice achievement. And nice to break up the pack of Kenyans and Ethiopians in the top ten.

Two Chinese women in the top ten...that's interesting. And interesting that they chose Hamburg for their overseas marathon.
Brett Larner said…
TR--

The Chinese women are coached by the Italian Renato Canova. He has them and others in Europe a bit these days.

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…