Fukuoka Marathon


The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship (福岡国際マラソン, Fukuoka Kokusai Marason) is an IAAF Gold Label international men's marathon race held in Fukuoka, Japan since 1947. It is usually held on the first Sunday in December.

Fukuoka Marathon
The Fukuoka Marathon monument at Hakata Station with footprints of past winners
DateEarly December
LocationFukuoka, Japan
Event typeRoad
DistanceMarathon
Established1947 (74 years ago) (1947)
Course records2:05:18 (2009)
Tsegaye Kebede
Official siteFukuoka Marathon
Participants67 (2020)
370 (2019)
291 (2018)

The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009 to best his own record from the previous year.[1]

History


In its early years, the race had a rotating venue format, but these races are contained within the Fukuoka history as they all shared a common organiser and sponsor (the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper). The inaugural edition was launched in 1947 as the "Kanaguri Prize Asahi Marathon" (金栗賞朝日マラソン, Kanaguri-Shō Asahi Marason) and was held in Kumamoto. The 1951 was the first of the race series to be held in Fukuoka. Foreign runners were invited for the first time in 1954 and Reinaldo Gorno of Argentina subsequently became the first non-Japanese winner. The competition was renamed as the "Asahi International Marathon" (朝日国際マラソン, Asahi Kokusai Marason) the following year and Finland's Veikko Karvonen became the first European victor. In 1956 the race reverted to a national race between Japanese men, but foreign runners were reintroduced for later editions.[2]

The 1959 edition saw Fukuoka instated was the permanent host city for the marathon race and Japanese runner Kurao Hiroshima became the first two-time winner that year. Water stations for runners were introduced along the course for the first time in 1961. The last race to be held outside of Fukuoka came in 1963, when a special pre-Olympic edition was held in Tokyo as a way of testing the marathon course for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Recognising the Fukuoka Marathon's increasingly international nature, the event was renamed in 1966 to the "International Marathon Championship" (国際マラソン選手権, Kokusai Marason Senshuken).[2] A year later, the course saw its first world record performance as Australian Derek Clayton knocked over two minutes off the previous record to win the race in 2:09:36.4 hours.[3] Frank Shorter had three straight wins in 1971 to 1973 and a fourth win came in 1974, the same year that the race took on its current title of the "Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship" (福岡国際マラソン選手権, Fukuoka Kokusai Marason Senshuken).[4]

In 1980, Toshihiko Seko won in a time of 2:09:45 hours, just four seconds ahead of Takeshi So. This represented the first time that two men had completed the marathon distance under two hours and ten minutes at the same competition.[5] The second world record of the competition's history came in 1981 and it was again an Australian runner, this time Robert de Castella, whose time of 2:08:18 hours became the new world standard.[3]

In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers restricted the number of participants to about 100 runners.[6][7][lower-alpha 1]

The Fukuoka Marathon is the third-longest running competition of its type in Japan, being established two years after the Lake Biwa Marathon and one year after the Kochi Marathon. This makes it the tenth longest running annual marathon race in recorded history.[8] The competition has hosted the men's marathon championship race numerous times: it first held the event in 1955 and then hosted the race on a biennial basis from 1963 to 1997. It now hosts the national championship race once every three years, on a rotational basis alongside the Lake Biwa and Tokyo Marathons.[9]

Qualification


Male runners who have achieved the following times in an official event of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) or a race for members of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in a certain period, and who are aged 19 years or older on the day of the race can apply for the race.[10]

Group A:

  1. Marathon: under 2 hours 27 minutes
  2. 30 km road race: under 1 hour 35 minutes
  3. Half-marathon: under 1 hour 05 minutes

Group B:

  1. Marathon: under 2 hours 35 minutes
  2. 30 km road race: under 1 hour 45 minutes
  3. Half-marathon: under 1 hour 10 minutes

Winners


Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede is the current course record holder.
Samuel Wanjiru won in 2007 and went on to take the 2008 Olympic marathon title.
Gezahegne Abera is a three-time race winner
Robert de Castella (right) of Australia set a world record at the 1981 edition.
Frank Shorter had a record four straight wins in Fukuoka from 1971 to 1974.

Key:

   Course record
   Japanese championship race
Ed. Date Winner Country Time[lower-alpha 2] Notes Rf.
74 2020.12.06 Yūya Yoshida  Japan 2:07:05
73 2019.12.01 Taku Fujimoto  Japan 2:09:36
72 2018.12.02 Yuma Hattori  Japan 2:07:27
71 2017.12.03 Sondre Nordstad Moen  Norway 2:05:48
70 2016.12.04 Yemane Tsegay  Ethiopia 2:08:48
69 2015.12.06 Patrick Makau  Kenya 2:08:18
68 2014.12.07 Patrick Makau  Kenya 2:08:22
67 2013.12.01 Martin Mathathi  Kenya 2:07:16
66 2012.12.02 Joseph Gitau  Kenya 2:06:58
65 2011.12.04 Josephat Ndambiri  Kenya 2:07:36 [11]
64 2010.12.05 Jaouad Gharib  Morocco 2:08:24
63 2009.12.06 Tsegaye Kebede  Ethiopia 2:05:18
62 2008.12.07 Tsegaye Kebede  Ethiopia 2:06:10
61 2007.12.02 Samuel Wanjiru  Kenya 2:06:39
60 2006.12.03 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 2:06:52
59 2005.12.04 Dmytro Baranovskyy  Ukraine 2:08:29
58 2004.12.05 Tsuyoshi Ogata  Japan 2:09:10
57 2003.12.07 Tomoaki Kunichika  Japan 2:07:52
56 2002.12.01 Gezahegne Abera  Ethiopia 2:09:13
55 2001.12.02 Gezahegne Abera  Ethiopia 2:09:25
54 2000.12.03 Atsushi Fujita  Japan 2:06:51 NR
53 1999.12.05 Gezahegne Abera  Ethiopia 2:07:54
52 1998.12.06 Jackson Kabiga  Kenya 2:08:42
51 1997.12.07 Josia Thugwane  South Africa 2:07:28
50 1996.12.01 Lee Bong-ju  South Korea 2:10:48
49 1995.12.03 Luíz Antônio  Brazil 2:09:30
48 1994.12.04 Boay Akonay  Tanzania 2:09:45
47 1993.12.05 Dionicio Cerón  Mexico 2:08:51
46 1992.12.06 Tena Negere  Ethiopia 2:09:04
45 1991.12.01 Shuichi Morita  Japan 2:10:58 Current course layout introduced
44 1990.12.02 Belayneh Dinsamo  Ethiopia 2:11:35
43 1989.12.03 Manuel Matias  Portugal 2:12:54
42 1988.12.04 Toshihiro Shibutani  Japan 2:11:04
41 1987.12.06 Takeyuki Nakayama  Japan 2:08:18
40 1986.12.07 Juma Ikangaa  Tanzania 2:10:06
39 1985.12.01 Hisatoshi Shintaku  Japan 2:09:51 Course layout changed
38 1984.12.02 Takeyuki Nakayama  Japan 2:10:00
37 1983.12.04 Toshihiko Seko  Japan 2:08:52
36 1982.12.05 Paul Ballinger  New Zealand 2:10:15
35 1981.12.06 Robert de Castella  Australia 2:08:18 WR
34 1980.12.07 Toshihiko Seko  Japan 2:09:45
33 1979.12.02 Toshihiko Seko  Japan 2:10:35
32 1978.12.03 Toshihiko Seko  Japan 2:10:21
31 1977.12.04 Bill Rodgers  United States 2:10:56
30 1976.12.05 Jerome Drayton  Canada 2:12:35
29 1975.12.07 Jerome Drayton  Canada 2:10:09
28 1974.12.08 Frank Shorter  United States 2:11:32
27 1973.12.02 Frank Shorter  United States 2:11:45
26 1972.12.03 Frank Shorter  United States 2:10:30
25 1971.12.05 Frank Shorter  United States 2:12:51
24 1970.12.06 Akio Usami  Japan 2:10:38
23 1969.12.07 Jerome Drayton  Canada 2:11:13
22 1968.12.08 Bill Adcocks  England 2:10:48
21 1967.12.03 Derek Clayton  Australia 2:09:37 WR
20 1966.11.27 Mike Ryan  New Zealand 2:14:05
19 1965.10.10 Hidekuni Hiroshima  Japan 2:18:36
18 1964.12.06 Toru Terasawa  Japan 2:14:49
17 1963.10.15 Jeff Julian  New Zealand 2:18:01 Held in Tokyo
16 1962.12.02 Toru Terasawa  Japan 2:16:19
15 1961.12.03 Pavel Kantorek  Czech Republic 2:22:05
14 1960.12.04 Barry Magee  New Zealand 2:19:04
13 1959.11.08 Kurao Hiroshima  Japan 2:29:34 Fukuoka becomes permanent host
12 1958.12.07 Nobuyoshi Sadanaga  Japan 2:24:01 Held in Utsunomiya
11 1957.12.01 Kurao Hiroshima  Japan 2:21:40 Held in Fukuoka City
10 1956.12.09 Keizo Yamada  Japan 2:25:15 Held in Nagoya [4]
9 1955.12.11 Veikko Karvonen  Finland 2:23:16 Held in Fukuoka/Koga [4][12]
8 1954.12.05 Reinaldo Gorno  Argentina 2:24:55 Held in Kamakura/Yokohama [4][13]
7 1953.12.06 Hideo Hamamura  Japan 2:27:26 Held in Nagoya [4]
6 1952.12.07 Katsuo Nishida  Japan 2:27:59 Held in Ube [4]
5 1951.12.09 Hiromi Haigo  Japan 2:30:13 Held in Fukuoka/Maebaru [4][14]
4 1950.12.10 Shunji Koyanagi  Japan 2:30:47 Held in Hiroshima [4]
3 1949.12.04 Shinzo Koga  Japan 2:40:26 Held in Shizuoka [4]
2 1948.12.05 Saburo Yamada  Japan 2:37:25 Held in Takamatsu [4]
1 1947.12.07 Toshikazu Wada  Japan 2:45:45 Held in Kumamoto [4]

Notes


  1. The size of the field is normally around 400 runners.[7]
  2. h:m:s

References


List of winners