The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is coming up on Sunday, December 2, and it typically attracts a deep field of international elites. Fukuoka was where Jerome Drayton, back in 1975, set the Canadian record that stood for 43 years until broken by Cam Levins at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 7.
Last year’s winner, Sondre Moen of Norway, who set a new European record of 2:05:48, has been injured and is not entered this year.
Japan alone has 10 men entered who have personal best times of under 2:10, including 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi. (100K world record-holder Nao Kazami and 2018 100K World Championships runner-up Takehiko Gyoba are also entered.)
Here are the other international elites entered, and their sub-2:10 PBs:
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, 23 (Eritrea) 2:07:46
Yemane Tsegaye, 33 (Ethiopia) 2:04:48
Vincent Kipruto, 31 (Kenya) 2:05:13
Amanuel Mesel, 27 (Eritrea) 2:08:17
The UK’s Callum Hawkins, who collapsed from heat exhaustion at the 2018 Commonwealth Games marathon on Australia’s Gold Coast only 2K from the finish line, but who posted a 1:01:00 at the Valencia Half-Marathon last weekend is also entered. Hawkins’ PB is 2:10:17.
The Japanese athletes with sub-2:10 PBs are:
Yuta Shitara, 26 (2:06:11)
Takuya Noguchi, 30 (2:08:59)
Yuki Kawauchi, 31 (2:08:14)
Kentaro Nakamoto, 35 (2:08:35)
Hayato Sonoda, 39 (2:09:34)
Kohei Ogino, 28 (2:09:36)
Yuma Hattori, 25 (2:09:46)
Jo Fukuda, 27 (2:09:52)
Satoru Sasaki, 33 (2:08:56)