Three Kenyan male runners are the only elite athletes invited at the combined 10th edition of the Osaka Marathon and 77th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon that will be held on Sunday (27) in Osaka, Japan.
The three invited elite athletes are James Rungaru, Allan Biwott and Joseph Macharia Ndirangu. Macharia leads the group as he comes with the fastest time on paper of 2:07.53 that he got when he took the honors at the 2018 Lake Biwa Marathon.
Rungaru has had a gradual rise from the track to being half marathons specialty an he comes to this race with a personal best of 2:08.25 that he got at the 2021 Fukuoka International Marathon where he finished in position three.
Another title contender is Allan Biwott who is making his marathon debut and he carries on his shoulders a personal best of 1:06.08 that he got at the 2019 Kenitra Half Marathon.
The three kenyans will face off with 275 Japanese that will be led by Yuta Shitara, who is the fastest runner in Japan, and Yuki Kawauchi, who will participate in the Osaka Marathon for the first time in 10 years since the first marathon.
The nine invited Japanese male runners have run under the sub 2:08 mark. The invited five female marathoners will be led Mai Ito, who represented Japan at the Rio Olympics.
The combined Tokyo and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon have invited a total number of 322.
The race course record for Tokyo marathon is 2:07.47 and was set in 2019 Asefa Tefera from Ethiopia while the women record is 2:26.29 and was set in 2019 by Aberu Mekuria also from Ethiopia in 2019. While Lake Biwa Marathon course record is held by Japan’s Kengo Suzuki with a time of 2:04.56 that was set in 2021.