Berlin runner up and the fastest man to never win a marathon, Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto, can now remove that caveat after winning the 2013 Tokyo Marathon in a new course record 2:06:50.
Kimetto was the strong pre-race favourite in the best field ever assembled for a Tokyo Marathon, a reflection of its upgraded status to a World Marathon Major. Known as a strong finisher, Kimetto hung with the lead pack through halfway in a modest 64:22 until putting in surges of 14:20 for the 5km between 30 and 35km and 14:35 to cover 35km to 40km mark.
He was followed by compatriot Michael Kipyego and had a six second gap at that mark, but Kimetto then kicked to cover the last 2.195km in 6:34 and break the course record by 33 seconds. Kipyego, the 2012 winner, also snuck in the course record finishing in 2:06:58. The Kenyan trifecta was completed when Bernard Kipyego crossed in third (2:07:53).
‘Maybe I can go to the world championships or Berlin,’ Kimetto said.
‘Maybe if I go to Berlin, I can break the world record.’
The course record was even more impressive considering the race was held in blustery headwinds that affected many of the runners.
On the women’s side it was Ethiopia who claimed bragging rights, with Aberu Kebede crossing first in 2:25:34 and compatriot Yeshi Esayias second in 2:26:01. The fastest female in the field, Germany’s Irina Mikitenko crossed third in 2:26:41.