Breaking away from the pack after 25 kilometres, Jairus Chanchima of Kenya won the 18th Nagano Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, clocking 2:15:31 on Sunday (17).
Both Chanchima and Ethiopian Shasho Insermu, who won the women’s race in 2:34:14, battled strong winds that heavily impacted the finishing times, resulting in the race's slowest and second-slowest winning performances, respectively.
In the men’s contest, the real racing began after 28km when Chanchima surged away from the leaders to leave behind a chase pack of six: Fabiano Joseph, Laban Mutai, Ser-Od Bat-Ochir of Mongolia, Taiga Ito, Kazuya Ishida and Shoji Takada. Two kilometres later Chanchima led by 38 seconds, one he extended to nearly a minute and a half by 35km.
Bat-Ochir closed part of that gap to finish in 2:15:31, 25 seconds adrift with Taiga third, clocking 2:16:32.
Joseph, who was expected to make a breakthrough, finished a distant fifth in 2:17:35.
Chanchima, who dropped out of the race last year, became the ninth Kenyan to win at Nagano.
In the women’s race, Insermu came from behind after 40km to seal her victory, 40 seconds clear of Peruvian Gladys Tejeda who clocked 2:34:54. Insermu became the third Ethiopian woman to win in Nagano after Elfnesh Alemu in 2000 and Fatuma Roba in 2004.
The race also went out slow, but by 5km (18:12) only five runners remained in contention: Insermu, Tejada, Helen Mugo, Winfridah Kebaso and Kaori Yoshida.
Tejada made the first move, breaking away from Insermu at 20km to lead by six seconds, and extending it to nearly a minute by 30km (1:46:48).
But Insermu regrouped and began to chip away at the gap, reducing it to 19 seconds by 40km before securing the victory in the final kilometre.
Yoshida, who also ran a strong final 10km, finished third in 2:35:14.
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF