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Kawauchi wins New Caledonia Marathon

Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi won Sunday's marathon on the Pacific island in 2:18:18, but was too distracted by the scenery to break the course record

Yuki Kawauchi

Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi was the winner at the New Caledonia Marathon yesterday in a time of 2:18:18, about a minute and a half off the course record. The marathon winds through the bays around Nouméa, the capital of the chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean 1000 kilometres off the coast of Australia.

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Yuki Kawauchi
Photo: @CGreeny_11/Twitter

Kawauchi first ran this marathon for the first time 10 years ago. It’s a small race, and there was really no competition for Kawauchi, who led from the start. In his typically humble way, he admitted to the Japanese Hochi sports site he was going for the course record, but he was so distracted by the beautiful scenery that he “lost track of time.”

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Kawauchi famously won this year’s Boston Marathon in some of the most appalling weather conditions the race has ever seen. He plans to race the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7 against some of the biggest names in marathon running, including Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, and Geoffrey Kirui, who Kawauchi defeated at Boston this year. (But knowing Kawauchi, he probably has several other marathons lined up before then.)

New Caledonia is a French territory popular among scuba divers for the barrier reef that surrounds the main island, Grand Terre.