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Articles tagged #Kenneth Mungara
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Yuta Shitara sets new course record at the Gold Coast Marathon even when weather conditions were not ideal

The second fastest Japanese marathon runner in history became the fastest runner in Gold Coast Marathon history when Yuta Shitara won the IAAF Gold Label race in 2:07:50 this morning.

The 27-year-old had an exciting duel with placegetters Barnabus Kiptum of Kenya and Zane Robertson of New Zealand over the final 12km before making his move with 2km remaining.

It was the eighth win by Japanese men in the 41-year history of the event and bettered the race record and Australian all comers record previously held by Kenyan Kenneth Mungara (2:08:42).

Shitara takes home $20,000 in victory prize money and an additional $10,000 time bonus for his record-breaking effort today.

Kiptum, the winner of the Hong Kong Marathon in February, finished second in a personal best 2:08:02, while marathon debutant Robertson placed third in 2:08:19.

It was an extra special result for Robertson as his time was a New Zealand record, bettering the previous mark of his brother Jake (2:08:26, Lake Biwa, 2018), and he was crowned the IAAF Oceania Area Marathon Champion for 2019.

The first Australian across the line was Victorian Liam Adams in sixth place clocking a pb 2:11:36 – a bittersweet result for the 32-year-old as it was an agonising six seconds outside the 2020 Olympic qualification standard.

Dual world champion over 1500m and 5000m on the track Bernard Lagat (USA) improved his marathon pr to 2:12:10 for seventh place, while 2013 race winner Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) placed 13th in 2:15:32.

"It's definitely a confidence builder, and I have had a lot of things to make me confident, but this is a big one heading into the Japanese Olympic trials," said Shitara.

Shitara, who stayed with the lead group of four throughout the race, said although he was not aiming for a particular time or result, the win showed his training had paid off.

“We did a lot of training, and I think that helped," he said in a post-race interview.

Weather conditions on the Gold Coast were less than ideal, with athletes in both the full- and half-marathons battling headwinds and heavy rain.

"Honestly, I'd like to be able to run together with Yuta but I'm still not good enough," Kimura said.

Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir (KEN) held off a strong finishing burst from Tasmanian Milly Clark (AUS/TAS) to take the women’s Gold Coast Marathon.

The 27-year-old broke away from the 30km mark and then lasted to break the tape in 2:27:56, with Clark second (2:28:08) and Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu (ERI) third in 2:28:57.

This year’s eight Gold Coast Marathon races attracted a total of 26,287 entries, including 3,678 overseas competitors, as the event continues to achieve a long-term upward trend.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Well done. 7/10 10:05 pm


Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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Kenyan Kenneth Mungara, Bernard lagat, Zane Robertson and Yuki Kawauchi are ready to compete at Gold Coast Marathon

Can the man dubbed ‘King Kenneth’ by race organizers, Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara, continue to hold back the years to achieve a fourth victory on the Gold Coast? Has Bernard ‘Kip’ Lagat learned enough from a humbling marathon debut in New York last year to mount a credible challenge? Can New Zealand’s Zane Robertson, who missed last year’s Commonwealth Games marathon on the Gold Coast through injury, atone with a victory this time and perhaps take the family record off twin brother Jake into the bargain?

First, let’s take Mungara, as befits an athlete who is the defending champion and holds the race and Australian all-comers’ records with his 2:08:42 in 2015. Sunday will be precisely two months before his 46th birthday, but he shows no signs of slowing down. Should he win again, Mungara will join Pat Carroll, who himself has the credentials to be considered king of the Gold Coast, and Margaret Reddan as four-time winners of the event.

He may not even be first in category. Bernard Lagat turns 45 in December. By any measure, Lagat is the best all-round distance runner to compete in the Gold Coast race. A silver and bronze Olympic medallist at 1500m and second-fastest ever at the event, world over 1500m and 5000m in Osaka in 2007 – he sits comfortably in any conversation of track distances up to, and including, the 10,000m. The marathon is another matter. His debut of 2:17:20 in New York last year was a harsh learning experience and left him with something to prove.

“One of the most important things I learned from running the New York Marathon,” Lagat said when his Gold Coast commitment was announced, “was the experience of ‘hitting the wall’. A lot of people warned me about it and told me to watch for it, but nothing quite teaches you like living through that experience… I panicked a bit, questioned myself if I could finish.”

If Lagat has conquered those doubts, he could be a big factor on the Gold Coast.

Zane Roberston believes he could have won the Commonwealth Games race. A half-marathon PB of 59:47 suggest that is more than just idle talk. He was happy to talk up his chances pre-race.

“First and foremost, I always target the win,’ Robertson said. “I want to run as fast as the pacemakers allow and once they step off the road anything can be possible. Perhaps a new Oceania record?”

Robert de Castella holds the Oceania record at 2:07:51, his winning time the first year the Boston marathon went open in 1986. Of equal note, Zane’s twin brother Jake holds the New Zealand, and family, record at 2:08:26.

The Gold Coast race also serves as the Oceania championships, so the Oceania champion will accrue valuable rankings points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kenyan pair Ezekiel Chebii and Philip Sanga Kimutai both boast personal bests of 2:06:07, the former from 2016 in Amsterdam, the latter from 2011 in Frankfurt. But the man with the most recent 2:06-clocking is Japan’s Yuta Shitara who ran a national record 2:06:11 in Tokyo last year, a mark subsequently bettered by Suguru Osako’s 2:05:50 in Chicago. Along with the indefatigable Yuki Kawauchi, he gives Japan a strong hand in what has been traditionally a strong race for them.

(07/05/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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New Zealand-born Zane Robertson eagerly awaiting marathon debut at Gold Coast

When you want to be the best at something, you surround yourself with the best. That was New Zealand-born Zane Robertson’s thinking when he and twin brother Jake Robertson shunned US athletics scholarships and moved to Kenya at age 17 to immerse themselves in one of the culture that produces the world’s best runners.

Dubbed ‘Elvis’ by the Kenyans for once dying his hair black, the 29-year-old New Zealand 10,000m national record holder and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medallist has chosen to make his marathon debut at the Gold Coast Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 7 July.

After a groin injury ruled him out of his first marathon at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Robertson is hungry to make amends on the same flat and fast course.

“Missing out last year when I was in crazy shape was devastating. I watched the race from Kenya and couldn’t stop thinking about how I could have won,” Robertson said.

“By coming to the Gold Coast Marathon, I feel I can replace that loss of mine.”

Robertson, who has a half marathon PB of 59:47, is not letting last year’s disappointment faze him in the lead up to his first attempt at 42.195km.

“The mind is such a powerful thing in sport, especially in long distance races,” he said.

“If you don't believe in yourself, you've already lost. I always feel confident; if I don't, I won't race.”

Robertson is upbeat about his potential in this year’s event, despite toeing the line alongside a stellar line up in the men’s marathon including 2013 champion and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and three-time Gold Coast Marathon champion and race record holder Kenneth Mungara of Kenya.

“First and foremost, I always target the win. I want to run as fast as the pacemakers allow and once they step off the road anything can be possible. Perhaps a new Oceania record?” Robertson said. 

Robertson and his brother have now spent over a decade in Kenya and Ethiopia learning what makes the best runners tick and while the jury is out on whether it is nature or nurture, he’s confident the lessons learnt both on and off the track will stand him in good stead for a fast marathon time.

“I’ve learnt to live a runner’s life - which means to have discipline when you’re training, and to relax and recover when you’re not,” he said.

Twin brother Jake placed third on debut at last year’s Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan in an impressive 2:08:26, a time 16 seconds faster than Mungara’s Gold Coast Marathon race record of 2:08:42 set in 2015.

But despite his brother seemingly throwing down the gauntlet, Zane remains assured the pair have moved past sibling rivalry.

“We realised that this world is so much bigger than that and the challenge is not with each other but against ourselves to be better than we were yesterday,” he said.

(05/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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Mika Kawauchi the mom of Yuki Kawauchi is going to be running the Boston Marathon this year

The JapanRunningNews.com site reports that Boston Marathon defending champion Yuki Kawauchi’s mother, Mika Kawauchi, is also running the Boston Marathon this year. She will start in Wave four.

Mika is an accomplished middle distance runner, and according to a story in the New York Times last October, she was Yuki’s first coach.

The B.A.A. invited her to race at Boston this year. “We are excited to have her run this year,” says B.A.A. communications manager Chris Lotsbom, whom we reached by email today, “and believe it is the first time a parent of a defending champion has competed in the same race their son/daughter was racing in as defending champion.”

What few people know is that the Kawauchis are a running family. Yuki’s brothers Koki and Yoshiki are both runners. Mika ran her first marathon at Gold Coast in Australia in 2016 at age 52, finishing in 3:53.

Yuki runs the Gold Coast every year and has stood on the podium four times. (He has an ongoing rivalry with Kenyan runner Kenneth Mungara, who holds the course record and Australian all-comers record of 2:08:42, set in 2015).

The four Kawauchis all raced at the Gold Coast together last year, Mika and Yoshiki running the Southern Cross University 10K, and Koki the half-marathon. Mika finished in 46:27, for eighth in her age group. 

(04/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Kenyan Kenneth Mungara and Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, who produced one of the closest finishes in the event’s 40-year history, will once again face each other

The 2019 Gold Coast Marathon is shaping up to be an exciting one with the announcement today that long term rivals Kenyan Kenneth Mungara and Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, who produced one of the closest finishes in the event’s 40-year history, will once again face each other.

Mungara edged out Kawauchi by just one second to win the 2016 Gold Coast Marathon in a finish that came down to the wire with a sprint between the pair in the finish chute, creating an unforgettable highlight on the event’s timeline.

Gold Coast Marathon CEO Cameron Hart confirmed that both Mungara and Kawauchi have entered the prestigious IAFF Gold Label Road Race event to be held on Sunday 7 July.

“I’m thrilled to welcome both men back to the Gold Coast this year, and along with the rest of the elite field which will be announced shortly, these great runners will put the race record under threat and vindicate our position as Australia’s fastest marathon,” Mr Hart said.

“The duels between these two on the Gold Coast have created one of the great rivalries in sport in this country and based on recent form, we’re in for another mouth-watering battle.

“Our ability to attract first-class international elite runners is a testament to the standard of our event and our flat, fast course located in one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.”

Kawauchi was previously known for shunning sponsorship in favour of continuing his full-time job in administration at a high school near Tokyo whilst running marathons outside of work hours, however he has recently accepted sponsorship deals, including with ASICS.

“This coming Gold Coast Marathon is my first marathon as a professional runner so I’m coming into it having plenty time to focus on my training,” Kawauchi said.

“I’m challenging myself to achieve my personal best and I’m confident I can place better than recent years. I am familiar with the course and I know how to manage my race at the Gold Coast Marathon.”

(04/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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What happend to Yuki Kawauchi? He did run his 80th sub 2:20 marathon at the Gold Coast!

It was hot and humid at the Gold Coast Marathon (Australia) July 1.  It was 65 degrees with 100% humidity.  Not the best conditions for running a marathon.  Yuki Kawauchi said,  "I could not run well." 

He finished 9th clocking 2:14:50.  (Kenneth Mungara won clocking 2:09:49, Kenta Murayama second 2:09:50 and Jo Fukuda third 2:09:52.)  

Yuki posted on Facebook, "But, I achieved my 80th time of sub 2:20 at this race."    "The Australian people were kind to me," Yuki says.

(Photo: Yuki with fan/marathoner Dion Finocchiaro.  Dion ran 2:24:36 a PR for him.  Maybe meeting Yuki gave him that extra push?) 

Yuki's next marathon is going to be the New Caledonia International Marathon August 26.  Their site says, "This is an Olympic-level world-class marathon as runners battle for victory along a spectacularly scenic route winding around Noumea's bays." 

Yuki posted on Facebook, "This race is my important memorial marathon.Because this race was my first oversea race. If I didn't run this race 10 years ago, I might not run oversea races like now.   

I want to build a course record."  Where is this marathon?  Their site says, "Surrounded by the vast expanse of the South Pacific, New Caledonia, with a surface area of 18,564 km², lies to the east of Australia and south of the thousands of islands and archipelagos making up Melanesia and Micronesia."       

(07/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi may face rain at the Gold Coast Marathon but nothing like Boston

This Sunday, Yuki Kawauchi is likely to face the rain again as he competes in the 40th edition of Australian’s Gold Coast marathon, an IAAF Gold Label event. But nothing like what runners experienced in Boston with the biting winds and slippery roads. Mild and relatively still weather is forecast for race morning. It will be warm – with the temperature tipped to rise to just over 68F (20C) but nothing like as hot as the Commonwealth marathoners experienced. Kawauchi will be competing in his seventh straight Gold Coast marathon and chasing his second victory. His only win came in 2013, but he has three more podium finishes and has never finished outside the top eight. Kawauchi will need to be on his A-game, however, as two other recent winners are in this year’s line-up – last year’s victor, Takuya Noguchi and race record holder and two-time winner Kenneth Mungara. Actually, there are at least five former winners starting in this 40th edition of the race – Eric Sigmont, winner of the inaugural race in 1979, and 1990 Commonwealth Games 5000 metres champion Andrew Lloyd, who won in 1980, are also in the field. (06/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Master Runner Kenyan´s Mungara knows the course well and hopes to win the Commonwealth Games Marathon

Kenneth Mungara will be one of the oldest competitors in the Commonwealth Games Marathon but irrespective of his 44 years, Kenya’s Mungara will be the one to beat on the streets Sunday in Australia. The current Gold Coast Marathon race record holder (2:08:42), Mungara made a late start to marathon taking up the sport 11 years ago. A former barber, the veteran runner swapped the scissors with joggers after cutting the hair of other athletes. “I believed I could run well,” Mungara says. “I watched other runners coming to my barber shop, I observed them, and I thought I can beat them in running. “That is how it all started.” However the modest Kenyan doesn't believe that experience will give him a significant advantage saying: “Everyone running is a winner and this is the game in which one needs to play well all the time, otherwise winning is not possible. It is about the training for the race and then racing well. He has run 20 marathons since his debut in 2006. Three of the races have been on the stretch of road between Runaway Bay and Burleigh with his first win coming in 2015. The world masters record holder (40-45), also claimed first place on the Gold Coast upon his return in 2016 before settling for second place last year. The Commonwealth Games marathon course runs on the same roads he knows well. Everything will have to go right for Mungara since there is a very strong elite field. (04/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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