Skip to main content

Ondoro Over Kawauchi at Melbourne Marathon

by Brett Larner
photo by Melinda Jacobsen

2013 Tiberias Marathon winner Dominic Ondoro (Kenya) proved too much for Japanese hopeful Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), breaking away after 30 km to win the Medibank Melbourne Marathon in a course record 2:10:47 by nearly a minute and thwart Kawauchi's bid to win all three of Australia's main marathons. The women's race also saw a course record, with Lisa Jane Weightman running a PB 2:26:05 to clock the fastest time ever by an Australian woman on home soil.

Ondoro and Kawauchi ran in a pack with 2013 Brighton Marathon winner Dominic Kimwetich Kangor (Kenya), defending champion Jonathan Kipchirchir Chesoo (Kenya), 2012 Xiamen Marathon winner Peter Kamais (Kenya) and others through 30 km, Kawauchi, in his eighth of eleven planned marathons this year, doing much of the leading with relatively steady 10 km splits centered around 31:20.  At 30 km Ondoro went to work, dropping the pace from 3:08/km to 3:01/km as he clocked 30:09 from 30 km to 40 km. Kimwetich initially followed but soon slipped back and went through 40 km with a 30:42 split.  Kawauchi tried to follow but could not match the Kenyans' speed, running a split of only 30:50.

Ondoro sailed on unchallenged to break the 2:11:04 course record in 2:10:47.  Nine seconds down at 40 km, Kawauchi dug deep to run Kimwetich down over the final 2.195 km for 2nd, catching him and opening a gap of sixteen seconds.  Defending champion Chesoo was a distant 4th in 2:12:54, not far off his winning time last year.  Top Australian honors went to Liam Adams, 6th in 2:14:09 just back from 5th-plaer Kamais.  In post-race comments Kawauchi, who runs next weekend's Takashimadaira 20 km in Tokyo before heading to the ING New York City Marathon, told Nikkei News, "I'm disappointed that I lost, but I was able to push on to the end and run like myself so I'd give myself a score of 79% on this."

In the women's race, 2013 Brighton Marathon winner and pre-race favorite Eunice Cheyech Kales (Kenya) went out aggressively, on 2:22:35 pace at 20 km despite a PB of only 2:28:50.  Weightman, with a best of 2:27:32, was plenty aggressive herself, on 2:24:14 pace at 20 km, but was behind by well over a minute at 30 km.  As they often do, things went wrong for Kales after 30, and by 40 km Weightman had caught up and the pair was running side-by-side.  With nothing left after her early barn burning, Kales could only watch as Weightman pulled away over the final 2.195 km to take the win.  Both women marked new bests by a margin of around a minute and a half, Weightman in 2:26:05 and Kales in 2:27:19, the first two sub-2:30 times in Melbourne history.  Combined with the men's race and the rise in performances at the Sydney Marathon and Gold Coast Airport Marathon in the last few years it was a clear sign that Australia's marathon scene is quickly growing to a world-class level.

2013 Medibank Melbourne Marathon
Melbourne, Australia, 10/13/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Dominic Ondoro (Kenya) - 2:10:47 - CR
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:11:40
3. Dominic Kimwetich Kangor (Kenya) - 2:11:56
4. Jonathan Kipchirchir Chesoo (Kenya) - 2:12:54
5. Peter Kamais (Kenya) - 2:13:51
6. Liam Adams (Australia) - 2:14:09 - debut
7. Scott Westcott (Australia) - 2:14:21
8. Zac Newman (Australia) - 2:25:11
9. Patrick Nispei (Australia) - 2:26:01
10. Joji Mori (Australia) - 2:26:34

Women
1. Lisa Jane Weightman (Australia) - 2:26:05 - CR, PB
2. Eunice Cheyech Kales (Kenya) - 2:27:19 - (CR), PB
3. Whitney Hammond (Australia) - 2:40:54
4. Melanie Panayiotou (Australia) - 2:41:48
5. Sarah Klein (Australia) - 2:42:53
6. Jane Fardell (Australia) - 2:43:40
7. Miho Yanagisawa (Japan) - 2:47:09
8. Laura James (Australia) - 2:47:17
9. Hannah Flannery (Australia) - 2:47:29
10. Johanna Parsons (Australia) - 2:49:47

text (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2013 Melinda Jacobsen
all rights reserved

Comments

patrick voo said…
i'm not sure how anyone could not admire yuki's performance after reading the phrase "in his eighth of eleven planned marathons this year". 2nd place would not be anything to sneeze at regardless, and when you factor his racing schedule in compared to how many other races his fellow competitors are likely engaged in - there's just no comparison. yuki rocks!

Most-Read This Week

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…

Kawauchi Ties Sub-2:20 World Record, Kato Crushes Course Record In Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Wins

complete report coming shortly
48th Hofu Yomiuri MarathonHofu, Yamaguchi, 12/17/17
click here for complete results

Women
1. Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 2:28:12 - CR, PB
2. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:39:56
3. Noriko Sato (First Dream AC) - 2:46:59

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:10:03
2. Tatsunori Hamasaki (Nanjo City Hall) - 2:11:26 - PB
3. Asuka Tanaka (Yutori Running Club) - 2:12:17 - PB
4. Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) - 2:12:32 - PB
5. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:12:36 - PB
6. Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:12:58 - PB
7. Shohei Kurata (GMO) - 2:13:16 - debut
8. Tadashi Isshiki (GMO) - 2:15:43
9. Boniface Kirui (Kenya) - 2:18:30
10. Yuki Yagi (Yagi Running Team) - 2:18:41 - PB

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved