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Dog on the loose ruins marathoner’s chance at a stage victory

A runner in Japan in contention for a podium position at one of the nation's most popular races was taken down by a dog on the loose.

Dog on the loose

Disaster struck when a Kenyan runner in podium contention was taken down by a dog on the loose

A long-distance runner in Japan was in contention for the stage lead at the prestigious New Year Ekiden Championship when he was tripped up — not by a fellow runner but rather by a dog on the loose.

Paul Kuira, a Kenyan athlete based out of Japan, ended up finishing 12th, 26 seconds behind the rest of the pack despite being in contention for a podium position before falling to the ground.

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The New Year Ekiden Championship is a 100-kilometre annual road race between Japan’s corporate running teams and is broadcasted live on television across the nation.

The race takes place on Jan. 1 each year in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture and is divided into seven legs, ranging from 8.3 kilometres to 22 kilometres.

According to Japan Running News, Kuira, 25, was running for Konica Minolta’s corporate team and was seen limping for the remainder of the stage after his knees took the worst of the fall.

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The eight-runner chase pack were all vying for the lead as the eventual winner had a sizable gap in the latter stages of the race when the dog on the loose incident took place.

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Full footage of the incident can be seen below: