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

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

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


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…

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

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Dominates Asian Cross Country Championships

Japan dominated the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships Thursday in Guiyang, China, winning all four team gold medals to hold the hosts China back to silver in every race.

Japan's only individual gold came in the Junior Women's race, one of its usual areas of strength. Yuna Wada led a Japanese sweep of the top four positions to win the 6 km race in 20:43 with scoring teammates Ririka Hironaka and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu just behind.

Wada Yuna of Japan wins Junior Women’s 6km cross country race of 14th Asian Cross Country Championship . Japan also won Team championship — Asian Athletics (@asianathletics) March 15, 2018
With the meet also serving as China's National Championships Chinese athletes won the individual gold in the other three races, Dan Li, Cairen Suolong and Jianhua Peng all showing better closing speed to beat their Japanese rivals by 3~4 seconds. Li won the Senior Women's 8 km by 3 seconds over Japan's Yukari Abe, leadi…