The 2018 Tokyo Marathon was one exciting race to watch online


Chumba_Dickson-Toronto17.jpgDickson Chumba, photo by

Dibaba_Birhane-Berlin16.jpgBirhane Dibaba, photo by

The 2018 Tokyo Marathon had exciting races on both men's and women's elite races, as well as the deepest performances by Japanese marathoning history. Perhaps the investment by the JAA, giving the new NR holder the equivalent of $1 million US (actually $996,000, but who really is going to argue with that?), was a strong inducement, but that is for another column.

Justin Lagat, our writer covering Kenya, was up at 3 am local time to watch the race, and fast asleep a little after 5 am. Here's his thoughts on the race, along with two fine instagram posts from the Running Statistician.

The 2018 Tokyo Marathon was one exciting race to watch online.

Kenya's Dickson Chumba and Ethiopia's Birhane Dibaba became the winners in the first Abbott World Marathon major race this year. It was almost a repeat of 2014 where Chumba had won the men's race while Dibaba had finished second in the women's race. It was a great day for Yuta Shitara as well as he set a new national record.

According to Chumba who has frequented the race since it became part of the world marathon majors in 2014 and finishing third in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the conditions were good and have always been for him here. He said he will continue participating in the Tokyo Marathon in the future and now aims to run 2:04 next year.

The race had started out in a fast pace that had the world record in perspective. But, the first casualty of the fast pace became Wilson Kipsang himself, who had requested the fast pace. As the leading pack approached the 15km point, Kipsang began to struggle a bit losing some ground before he suddenly stopped. Later, on his Twitter account, he wrote, "I really wanted to go fast, but after suffering from stomach problems the last 2 days before the race, I didn't have the power to run a decent race today. I'm dissappointed, I was really ready for it. I really wanted to go fast, but after suffering from stomach problems the last 2 days before the race, I didn't have the power to run a decent race today. I'm disappointed. I was really ready for it. #speechless #thanksfans #willbeback"

Dickson Chumba made a well calculated move after around 36km and he was soon in a leading pack of three including Gideon Kipketer and Amos Kipruto. The pack didn't last long as the athletes were soon in a single file at the 37km point. Chumba continued to rapidly build a safe gap at the front as though he knew what was about to happen behind them. Well, Yuta Shitara was about to engage a different gear and start overtaking athletes in the single file ahead of him, one at a time.

Chumba safely crossed the finish line in 2:05:30 ahead of Shitara who overtook five runners in the last few kilometers to finish second in a new national record of 2:06:11. It was a great day for the home fans in Tokyo as six Japanese runners finished in the top ten positions. Amos Kipruto of Kenya finished third in 2:06:33.

JAPANESE MARATHONING IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN THE SPORT -- -- On Sunday, we saw an incredible 2:06:11 national record from Yuta Shitara for second-place behind winner Dickson Chumba (2:05:30) be the highlight of the 2018 edition of the Tokyo Marathon. It is the best finish by a Japanese man in Tokyo. He led six of his countrymen below 2:09, nine below 2:10, and another four more below 2:11, all records. Hiroto Inoue finished fifth in 2:06:54, joining four other Japanese men to have clocked under 2:07. Last year, Shitara debuted here with a 2:09:27 finish--beginning on world record pace for the first half (61:55)! This time he was much more experienced at the distance after improving his best to 2:09:03 on a wet day in Berlin, only one week after running a half marathon in 60:17 for the Japanese national record. Another great new talent to the distance right now is Suguru Osako, who last December ran 2:07:19 at Fukuoka to produce the fastest time by a Japanese man in a decade. -- -- ▪️JAPAN MARATHON A-T LIST --MEN-- [Top 5]▪️ | 1- 2:06:11 🇯🇵 26 Yuta SHITARA | 2018 Tokyo JPN 2- 2:06:16 🇯🇵 32 Toshinari TAKAOKA | 2002 Chicago IL/USA 3- 2:06:51 🇯🇵 24 Atsushi FUJITA | 2000 Fukuoka JPN 4- 2:06:54 🇯🇵 25 Hiroto INOUE | 2018 Tokyo JPN 5- 2:06:57 🇯🇵 27 Takayuki INUBUSHI | 1999 Berlin GER -- -- RACE SPLITS - [JAP 🇯🇵] YUTA SHITARA'S NR MARATHON AT TOKYO (🇯🇵) ・・ 1st/2nd Halves: 1:02:43 / 1:03:28 = 2:06:11 ・・ CKPT - Clock Time | 5km Split | 10km Split 05km - 14:51 | 14:51 | 10km - 29:44 | 14:53 | 29:44 15km - 44:36 | 14:52 | 20km - 59:27 | 14:51 | 29:43 HALF 1:02:43 | ( 2:05:26 Overall M-Pace ) 25km 1:14:24 | 14:57 | 30km 1:29:20 | 14:56 | 29:53 35km 1:44:20 | 15:00 | 40km 1:59:31 | 15:11 | 30:11 FULL🏁 2:06:11 | ( ~4:48.7/mi [~2:59.4/km] ) ・・ Last 2.2K in 6:40 min (15:11 5km pace) -- -- #TokyoMarathon #TokyoMarathon2018 #iaaf #wmm #worldmarathonmajors #japanrunning #milesplit #letsrun #flotrack #usatf #runnerspace #worlderunners #worldrunners #goat #nikeplus #justdoit #nikerunning #tracknation #trackandfield #track #raceday #runnershigh #runnerslife #tracklife #trackday #runner #run #runners #running

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Dibaba had a great race in the women's event as she ran alone at the front shortly after shaking off Ruti Aga at the 35km mark. Her winning time of 2:19:51 was so close to the course record time of 2:19:47 set by Sarah Jepchirchir last year. Aga finished second in 2:21:19 while Amy Cragg finished third in 2:21:42. It was not a great day for the Kenyan women in this race as the fastest one, Helah Kiprop, took fifth place.

Waking up at 3am in the morning and searching through many internet links in Japanese language to find a good live coverage of the event did pay for the Kenyan fans and for all the marathon fans across the world after watching such an exciting race. As I went back to sleep at 5am, I kept wishing it was just but a bad dream for Wilson Kipsang, but at the same time feeling happy for Dickson Chumba.

AMY CRAGG BECOMES 5TH AMERICAN WOMAN UNDER 2:22 AT 2018 TOKYO MARATHON; KNOCKS OVER 5-MINUTES OFF BEST TIME -- -- USA's Amy Cragg, the 2016 Olympic Trials champion, finally lowered her 2:27:03 PB that dated back to the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon when she debuted. Sunday morning, the 34-year-old targeted her best time and successfully improved it to 2:21:42 for 3rd in the race behind champion Berhane Dibaba (2:19:51) and Ruti Aga (2:21:19). Cragg trains with 2017 New York City champ Shalane Flanagan (2:21:14 PB) and has ever since she joined the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club in 2015. Last year in the IAAF London World Championships, she took home the bronze medal by digging deep in the final stages to become the first American to medal in the event for 34 years. Cragg missed the 2012 Olympic Marathon team by 1 spot but made it in the 10,000m where she went on to run a 31:10.69 PB in London. Her best time for the half marathon (1:08:27) also came in Japan at last year's Marugame International Half Marathon -- -- ◾️U.S. MARATHON A-T LIST --WOMEN-- [Top 5]◾️ 1- 2:19:36 🇺🇸 33 Deena KASTOR (ASICS) | 2006 London GBR 2- 2:20:57 🇺🇸 26 Jordan HASAY (Nike) | 2017 Chicago IL/USA 3- 2:21:14 🇺🇸 33 Shalane FLANAGAN (Nike) | 2014 Berlin GER 4- 2:21:21 🇺🇸 28 Joan SAMUELSON (Nike) | 1985 Chicago IL/USA 5- 2:21:42 🇺🇸 34 Amy CRAGG (Nike) | 2018 Tokyo JPN -- -- RACE SPLITS - [USA 🇺🇸] AMY CRAGG'S PB MARATHON AT TOKYO (🇯🇵) ・・ 1st/2nd Halves: 1:10:20 / 1:11:22 = 2:21:42 ・・ CKPT - Clock Time | 5km Split | 10km Split 05km - 16:39 | 16:39 | 10km - 33:17 | 16:38 | 33:17 15km - 49:59 | 16:42 | 20km 1:06:37 | 16:38 | 33:20 HALF 1:10:20 | ( 2:20:40 Overall M-Pace ) 25km 1:23:17 | 16:40 | 30km 1:39:53 | 16:36 | 33:16 35km 1:56:26 | 16:33 | 40km 2:13:57 | 17:31 | 34:04 FULL🏁 2:21:42 | ( ~5:24.2/mi [~3:21.4/km] ) ・・ Last 2.2K in 7:45 min (17:39 5km pace) -- -- #TokyoMarathon #TokyoMarathon2018 #iaaf #wmm #worldmarathonmajors #bowermantc #milesplit #letsrun #flotrack #usatf #runnerspace #worlderunners #worldrunners #goat #nikeplus #justdoit #nikerunning #tracknation #trackandfield #track #raceday #runnershigh #runnerslife #tracklife #trackday #runner #run #runners #running

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