by Brett Larner
Running just his second career marathon, Toyo University graduate Hiroyuki Yamamoto followed up on his 2:11:48 debut at Beppu-Oita last year with a 2:11:49 for 4th at the New York City Marathon. Always in the lead pack until he wasn't, always looking smooth, confident and relaxed, Yamamoto's placing was the best-ever by a Japanese man in New York, his time also up near the top of the Japanese lists in New York.
2015 World Champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea) smoked a 2:07:51 for the win, the third-fastsest winning time in NYC history, while this year's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon winner Lucas Rotich (Kenya) was 2nd. The perpetual Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) held Yamamoto off for 3rd in 2:11:23. In an admittedly weaker than usual field, Yamamoto's best-ever Japanese placing was also arguably the best performance by a Japanese man in any of the World Marathon Majors events since Kurao Umeki's 3rd-place finish at the 2006 Berlin Marathon. In the women's race, Mary Keitany (Kenya) scored her third-straight New York City Marathon win in 2:24:26. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) ran a 2:28:01 best for 2nd, while in 3rd Molly Huddle (U.S.A.) ran a good 2:28:13 debut.
Porto Marathon's 2:09:51 course record, serial marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) took 2nd in just 2:14:32, nearly three minutes behind winner Samuel Theuri Mwaniki (Kenya). The pre-race favorite, Kawauchi lost touch with the lead pack within the first 10 km, running as low as 8th overall before inching his way up through the field over the last 10 km. "I don't know," he told JRN post-race. "After this I don't know if I can run 3:00/km pace at Fukuoka."
The Porto women's race was more dramatic. Running her third career marathon and first outside Africa, Loice Chebet Kiptoo (Kenya) ran side-by-side with #1-ranked Guteni Shone (Ethiopia) through 20 km before pulling away on the most technical part of the course. Kiptoo pushed on until 27 km when she began to show signs of trouble, her stride changing and pace fading. Running with a cadre of 3~4 male pacers behind her, local Filomena Costa (Portugal) began to make up ground, pulling to within 10 seconds. After the 31 km turnaround to the long straightaway to the finish, however, Costa stalled, never able to close the last 10 seconds to the win. Kiptoo dug deep to fight Costa off, breaking the course record in 2:29:13, the first win in her short marathon career to date. Costa slowed and was run down by compatriot Catarina Ribeiro, both breaking 2:31 and clearing the London World Championships qualifying standard. On the podium Kiptoo wept openly, the personal significance of her first European win clear to every person in attendance.
New York City Marathon
New York, USA, 11/6/16
click here for complete results
1. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea) - 2:07:51
2. Lucas Rotich (Kenya) - 2:08:53
3. Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 2:11:23
4. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 2:11:49
5. Shadrack Biwott (U.S.A.) - 2:12:01
1. Mary Keitany (Kenya) - 2:24:26
2. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) - 2:28:01
3. Molly Huddle (U.S.A.) - 2:28:13
4. Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya) - 2:29:08
5. Diane Nukuri (Burundi) - 2:33:04
Porto, Portugal, 11/6/16
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1. Samuel Theuri Mwaniki (Kenya) - 2:11:48
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:14:32
3. Jose Moreira (Portugal) - 2:16:11
4. Matthew Kipkore Kiprotich (Kenya) - 2:17:38
5. Gilbert Kipkemboi Maina (Kenya) - 2:19:25
1. Loice Chebet Kiptoo (Kenya) - 2:29:13 - CR
2. Catarina Ribeiro (Portugal) - 2:30:10
3. Filomena Costa (Portugal) - 2:30:27
4. Pamela Kipchoge (Kenya) - 2:36:42
5. Guteni Shone (Ethiopia) - 2:38:23
© 2016 Brett Larner
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