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It is a busy marathon weekend with the California International Marathon, Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championships, and the Valencia Marathon all taking place on Sunday. In Valencia, it was a pair of Kenyans taking the ace in Lawrence Cherono and Nancy Jelegat.

Men’s race

Tokyo Olympian Lawrence Cherono took the men’s race, but it was a pack of four who took it to the line for a very exciting finish for spectators. Just 13 seconds separated the top-four. Cherono won in the time of 2:05:12. The final 500 metres resulted in a hard finish effort by second-place Chalu Deso of Ethiopia, while his fellow countryman Philemon Kacheran took third and pre-race favourite Geoffrey Kamworor finished fourth in a new personal best of 2:05:23.

Cherono took fourth during the Tokyo Olympic marathon that was run in Sapporo this summer. Kamworor is the former half-marathon record holder at 58:01. He was excepted to challenge for this win and he did, however, was outkicked to the line.

Kamworor’s previous best was from 2012 where he ran 2:06:12 in Berlin. He is a three-time winner of the World Cross Country Championships and is a three-time World Half Marathon Championships winner.

The 33-year-old Cherono finished fourth during the Rio Olympic Games marathon. His personal best is 2:03:04 from the 2020 Valencia Marathon where he finished second to Evans Chebet 2:03:04 to 2:03:00. In that same race, Deso clocked a 2:04:53. Kacheran’s best was from the 2019 running of Valencia, where he clocked a 2:06:05 finish time.

Cherono and Deso exchanged leads throughout the latter stages of the race. Kacheran, could not be blamed for playing a more patient game having already run two marathons in 2021. He caught up to the leaders at approximately 1:55:00 into the race.

Women’s race

Nancy Jelegat improved her marathon best by nearly 17 minutes to take the win clocking a 2:19:31 finish. Her personal best coming in was just 2:36:22. The 35-year-old had run that time in Treviso, Italy in 2019 for the win. An indication that she had improved greatly was her running the Berlin Half Marathon this past August in the time of 65:21.

Ethiopia’s Etagegne Woldu recorded a 2:20:16 and Beyenu Degefa a 2:23:04 finish to take second and third place respectively.

Woldu is a bronze medallist from the 2015 Qingzhen, Guiyang, China World Cross Country Championships in the U20 race.

Valencia was a debut for both Woldu and Degefa, who also both happen to be from Ethiopia. Degafa came in with a 68:15 half-marathon personal best.

Fukuoka Marathon

Michael Githae was victorious at the 75th and final edition of Fukuoka International Marathon on Sunday (5), winning the World Athletics Elite Label road race in 2:07:51.

Githae, who runs for Suzuki track team, improved his previous best of 2:08:17, which he set when finishing fourth at last year’s Fukuoka Marathon. Japan’s Kyohei Hosoya finished second, 25 seconds adrift of Githae.

The pacers, led by 2012 Olympian Yuki Sato, directed the huge lead pack through 5km (14:47), 10km (29:39), 15km (44:30) and 20km (59:24) in what turned out to be something of a race of attrition. Yuta Shitara was one of the athletes to fall out of contention before the halfway stage; the former national marathon record-holder dropped out at 20km.

Read more at World Athletics>>

Results

1 Michael Githae (KEN) 2:07:51
2 Kyohei Hosoya (JPN) 2:08:16
3 James Rungaru (KEN) 2:08:25
4 Shohei Otsuka (JPN) 2:08:33
5 Ryu Takaku (JPN) 2:08:38
6 Daisuke Uekado (JPN) 2:08:56
7 Kohei Futaoka (JPN) 2:09:14
8 Masaya Taguchi (JPN) 2:09:35
9 Toshiki Sadakata (JPN) 2:10:31
10 Takuma Kumagai (JPN) 2:10:41
11 Ryota Komori (JPN) 2:11:32
12 Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:11:33

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