The 2009 Fukuoka International Marathon, the 63rd edition of the marathon once known as the unofficial World championships, will be run on Sunday 6 December. It may not be comparable to London, Chicago, and Berlin, but it may still be considered to be the best marathon in Japan.

Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, the defending champion and the course record holder, is back to defend his title.  Kebede, the bronze medalist at both the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships, ran the fastest marathon on Japanese soil in Fukuoka last year. Furthermore, in last year’s race Tsegaye covered 30 to 35Km in 14:17, one of the fastest 5Km lap time ever recorded in a world class marathon.

His personal best, 2:05:20, was set in the 2009 London Marathon. Kebede has run two other marathons in under 2:07 and the average of his three fastest runs is 2:06:03, the third fastest average behind Haile Gebrselassie and Samuel Wanjiru, the World record holder and Olympic champion, respectively. All things considered, Kebede should be a prohibitive favorite in Sunday’s race….Read More

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