BOSTON — Yuki Kawauchi seemed like just another spotlight-seeking, early front-runner when he darted out to take the lead at the start of Monday’s Boston Marathon.

It turns out the veteran Japanese marathoner saved plenty for the finish, as well.

Kawauchi battled a steady headwind and blinding wet conditions to surge with a mile to go, overtaking Geoffrey Kirui to win his first Boston Marathon.

“I’ve been running for 26 years, and in 26 years this is by far the best day of my life,” Kawauchi said afterward through an interpreter.

Kawauchi crossed the finish line in a time of 2:15:58. He becomes the first Japanese man to win Boston since Seko Toshihiko took the title in 1987. He is the first Asian runner to win the race since Korea’s Lee Bong-Ju in 2001.

Kawauchi joked that the wind and cold were the “best conditions possible.”

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui was second in 2:18:23, followed by American Shadrack Biwott in 2:18:35. Biwott’s result marked a huge day for the American men which placed three runners in the top 5. It marks the second straight year that six American men placed in the top 10. Tyler Pennel — who grew up in Golden and competed at Western State — was fourth (2:18:57) and Andrew Bumbalough finished fifth (2:19:52).

Meanwhile, the usually strong Kenyan team had only Kirui in the top 10.

It is the first major title for Kawauchi, who lists Bill “Boston Billy” Rodgers — a four-time winner of the race — as one of his mentors. It was also the person who Kawauchi says encouraged him to run Boston.

The last time a Japanese runner finished on top of the podium at the Boston Marathon was the same year Kawauchi was born.

“I can’t help but feel the hand of fate in this,” he said.

He’s also hoping this can be …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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