Skip to main content

Kawauchi 6th in French Debut at Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes


Returning to its regular starting point on the Promenade des Anglais this year for its tenth anniversary running, France's Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes experienced wild winds and rain for much of the race. Running in France for the first time, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) hoped to become the first non-African winner in event history. Staying in the middle of a lead pack of five Kenyans and two Ethiopians, Kawauchi and the rest of the group were just off the planned sub-2:10 pace through halfway as pacer Cosmas Birech struggled to deal with winds that shifted in every direction. Daniel Yator was the first casualty of the tough conditions.

At 22 km the course moved away from the open beachfront, blocking the wind enough for Birech to pick it up to the planned 3:04/km. But as he did Kawauchi found himself unable to respond, and within a kilometer he had dropped ten seconds off the lead sextet. From there it was a struggle for him to hold off Yator, who beat Kawauchi at June's Stockholm Marathon, and to try to get forwardly mobile again.

The lead group dropped former Honda runner Asmeraw Mengistu heading into the hills after 25 km and remained a quintet all the way until 39 km. Ethiopian Dejene Kelkilew went to the front for the first time and began to push, and the rest of the group dropped off one by one until Kelkilew was left by himself in the final kilometer to win in 2:12:09. The next three finishers, all Kenyan, came through in 10-15 second intervals, with Emmanuel Sikuku rounding out the top five a ways back in 2:13:52.


Kawauchi lost two minutes to the lead group by 30 km, but from there to the finish the margin didn't change dramatically. With his characteristic strength over the last 2 to 3 km he ran down Megistu to finish 6th in 2:15:02, the 59th sub-2:16 of his career. "I'm not sure what was wrong," he told reporters after the race. "After 10 km my legs weren't moving right and I had to push it to cope with the wind. When it got faster at 22 km I didn't have another gear. It was really a struggle from there all the way to the finish. I came here to win, so it's hard to find any satisfaction in this result."


In the women's race, first-timer Tejitu Siyum led compatriots Meseret Gola and Tigist Shetu in an Ethiopian sweep of the podium, winning her debut in a 2:33:21 time solid for the conditions. French women fronted by Aline Camboulives' 2:45:50 filled out the rest of the top ten.

10th Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Nice-Cannes

Nice, France, 11/5/17

Men
1. Dejene Kelkilew (Ethiopia) - 2:12:09
2. Cosmas Birech (Kenya) - 2:12:20
3. Alfred Kering (Kenya) - 2:12:31
4. Alex Bartilol (Kenya) - 2:12:46
5. Emmanuel Sikuku (Kenya) - 2:13:52
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:15:02
7. Asmeraw Mengistu (Ethiopia) - 2:15:47
8. Daniel Yator (Kenya) - 2:20:11

Women
1. Tejitu Siyum (Ethiopia) - 2:33:21 - debut
2. Meseret Gola (Ethiopia) - 2:36:36
3. Tigist Shetu (Ethiopia) - 2:43:59
4. Aline Camboulives (France) - 2:45:50
5. Agnes Portier (France) - 2:53:48 - debut

text, photos and video © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Fukushi Leads Wacoal to Top of Wild National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier

In one of the wildest elite-level ekidens in memory, half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi ran her best race in almost 3 years to anchor the Wacoal team to the win at the Princess Ekiden, the qualifying race for next month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships.

The field of 27 teams raced 6 stages totaling 42.195 km for one of 14 spots at Nationals alongside last year's top 8. Things were complicated by the disqualification of 2017 national champion Universal Entertainment, which found itself back at the Princess Ekiden to requalify. Sayaka Sato got things off to a good start for Sekisui Kagaku, winning the 7.0 km First Stage in 22:36 just off the CR. 4 seconds back was Shiori Yano, whose Canon AC Kyushu team missed Nationals by a minute last year. and another 5 seconds behind was Miku Daido of the debuting Iwatani Sangyo team.



Coached by marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi's former coach Hisakazu Hirose, Iwatani Sangyo's next …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Weekend Road Race Roundup

Saturday's Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon was the main event of the weekend, but between that and early ekiden season track time trials across the country there were a few other notable results at home and abroad.

In Sendai, the second running of the Tohoku Miyagi Fukko Marathon took place, an event launched last year to commemorate those lost in the 2011 tsunami and to show the area's recovery. In its first running organizers brought in then-future 2:06 man Hiroto Inoue to lead the field. This year it was 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winnerTakuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), who took more than 5 minutes off the course record with a workout-effort 2:18:37 for the win. Aki Odagiri (Takemura Seisakusho) won the women's race in 2:46:07.

In Toyama, 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the Namerikawa Hotaruika Half Marathon a week after a disappointing run at the Chicago Marathon. Running completely solo he won in 1:05:18, beating 2nd place b…