Japan’s Kawauchi wins Boston marathon in spectacular upset

The runner known for serial marathoning overtakes reigning champ Geoffrey Kirui in final minutes of a battle against the elements

April 16th, 2018 by | Posted in Runs & Races | Tags: , ,

In a surprising upset, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi has won the Boston marathon.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui, last year’s winner, placed second. The U.S.’s Shadrack Biwott was third.

The race pitted runners against 40-km/h gusts and driving rain as much as against each other. The Japanese phenom, who has developed a cult following for running many marathons per year (and most of them under 2:20, as he holds the world record for doing so 79 times, and counting). 

His opening 4:37 mile pushed the 31-year-old to an early lead, before being reeled in by the big chase pack. Several kilometres later, Kawauchi surged again, taking the lead and forcing others, including reigning champ Geoffrey Kirui, to go after him. 

When the lead pack caught Kawauchi again, it did not seem possible that he would be able to surge again. At that point, Kirui took over, and built a multi-second lead into the Newton hills. 

Seemingly out of nowhere, Kawauchi re-emerged, and caught the struggling Kirui in just a few kilometres to go. From there, Kawauchi bore down, running hard all the way to Boylston St., for the biggest win of his career.

Kawauchi is the first Japanese winner of the Boston Marathon since 1987.

Canadian Reid Coolsaet had a strong finish, placing ninth overall in 2:25:02. 

And Krista DuChene produced one of the great runs by a Canadian in Boston, getting on the podium with an astonishing third place finish.