Breaking away from Daniel Njenga, 2:06 marathon runner, at 41Km, Ahmed Baday of Morocco won the 60th annual Beppu-Oita Marathon, Japan in 2:10:14, a personal best.
The women ran this race for the first time since 1981 and the race was won by Chiyuki Mochizuki with 2:39:57, breaking the womens’ course record of 2:48;52 set back in 1978 by Kiyoko Obata.
The Beppu-Oita Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Permit race.
Baday’s previous personal best was 2:10:58, recorded in the Marrakech marathon last January.
“I am very happy with my best time,” said Baday. This was the winners first race in Japan and he was happy to win a marathon for the first time, having finished third in the last two marathons. Baday’s time, 2:10:14, is the 18th fastest time in Beppu, but perhaps more importantly for him, his winning time was one second better than the time his countryman Adil Annani recorded when he won the Beppu-Oita marathon in 2009. Baday is the second Moroccan to win in Beppu, after Annani.
Kenya’s Daniel Njenga who had been at the front of the race with Baday ever since the final pace maker dropped out at 30km, finished second for the third time in Beppu, having finished second in 2002 and 2010. At least his time, 2:10:24, is the fastest time he ever recorded in Beppu.
The battle for the first Japanese, and possible berth for the World Championships marathon team, was won by Kazuhiro Maeda, who finished third in 2:10:29, personal best by more than 30 seconds. He broke away from Fujita at 33Km and closed dramatically in the final 2Km but fell short of catching Njenga by five seconds. Unfortunately, although Maeda was the first Japanese in the race, since he did not crack 2:09:30, his place on the marathon team is uncertain. He must wait after Tokyo and Lake Biwa.
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
Weather: partly cloudy; temperature: 10.4C
1) Ahmed Baday (MAR) 2:10:14
2) Daniel Njenga (KEN) 2:10:24
3) Kazuhiro Maeda 2:10:29
4) Harun Njoroge (KEN) 2:11:43
5) Atsushi Fujita 2:12:26
6) Yuki Moriwaki 2:12:34
7) Masaki Shimoju 2:13:07
8) Jeffrey Hunt (AUS) 2:13:14
9) Ken-ichiro Setoguchi 2:15:01
10) Tomonori Onitsuka 2:16:52
5Km 14:55 Gert Thys
10Km 30:26 (15:31) Thys
15Km 45:45 (15:19) Thys
20Km 1:01:06 (15:21) Thys
25Km 1:16:12 (15:06) Thys
30Km 1:31:40 (15:28) Njenga
35Km 1:47:11 (15:31) Baday
40Km 2:03:06 (15:55) Njenga