Tag Archives: James Rungaru

Only three Kenyans invited to Osaka Marathon

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.

Michael Githae runs away with the Fukuoka Marathon

Kenya’s Michael Githae took the top honors at the 75th edition of the Fukuoka International Marathon that was held on Sunday (5) at the Heiwadai Athletic Stadium, in Fukuoka, Japan

Githae who runs for the Suzuki Club in Japan partnered with James Rungaru from Kenya but running under Chuo Hatsujo club to try and out do the Japans in an epic encounter since the return of running in Japan.

Rungaru could not sustain the heat as he was left behind as Kyohei Hosoya pulled along Githae but the latter was way too strong for the Japan. Githae pulled further away from the Hosoya to cut the tape comfortably in a personal best of 2:07.51. Hosoya came home in second one minute and sixteen seconds later. Rungaru was forced to settle in third place in a personal best of 2:08.25.

Shohei Otsuka and Ryu Takaku crossed the line in fourth and fifth place in 2:08.33 and 2:08.38 respectively.



  1. Michael Githae     (KEN) 2:07.51
  2. Kyohei Hosoya      (JPN)   2:08.16
  3. James Rungaru     (KEN)  2:08.25
  4. Shohei Otsuka       (JPN)   2:08.33
  5. Ryu Takaku             (JPN)   2:08.38

Rungaru and Kipkirui favourites at Prague Half Marathon

Kenyans James Rungaru and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui will start as favourites at the 20th edition of the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Labelroad race, on Saturday (7).

The course, which winds through the historical heart of the Czech capital, is notoriously fast, evidenced last year when Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the world record with a sizzling 1:04:52 run, while picking up world records for 10km (30:04), 15km (45:37) and 20km (1:01:25) en route. While the latter two are now considered world bests and Jepkosgei has gone on to further improve the 10km and half marathon marks, her performance was nonetheless one of the most memorable road running achievements in recent memory.

The men’s course record is fast too. Atsedu Tsegay clocked 58:47 to win the 2012 edition, still the seventh fastest performance in history and Ethiopian national record. The 27-year-old returns to Prague hoping to bounce back into sub-one hour territory for the first time since 2013. He showed reasonably good form last month in Lisbon, where he clocked 1:00:28 in windy conditions to finish fifth in the Portuguese capital.

But it will be 25-year-old Kenyan Rungaru who brings the strongest credentials and form to the start line on Saturday. Four weeks ago, Runguru clocked 59:37 to win the City Pier City Half Marathon at The Hague, his first dip into sub-one hour waters.

Justus Kangogo meanwhile is the fastest in the field at 59:31 set in last year’s Rome-Ostia race. He was sixth in the same contest last month in 1:01:02.

Others to watch include Josphat Tanui who returns with purpose after finishing second both here last year in 1:00:38 and in Usti Nad Labem, some 90 kilometres to the north, with a 59:22 personal best.

Meanwhile, Benard Kimeli is looking to move his good fortunes in Prague up in distance. Last September the 22-year-old won the Birell Prague 10km in 27:10, the fastest performance in the world in 2017. he made his half marathon debut in at the RAK Half in Ras Al Khaimah in February, clocking 1:00:16 for eighth.

Geoffrey Ronoh, 35, also has sub-60 minute credentials, but his 59:45 lifetime best came four years ago.

On the women’s side, the favourite role falls on Kipkirui, after her notable 2018 start. In February, the 23-year-old clocked 1:05:07 at the RAK Half to become the fifth fastest ever over the distance, yet finished no better than third in that high quality race. That performance wasn’t a one-off. In January she clocked 1:06:48 to finish second in Houston.

Her compatriot Joan Melly Chelimo is also expected to challenge. The 27-year-old was fourth in Ras Al Khaimah in 1:05:37, landing her at No. 8 on the all-time performers list.

They’ll be challenged by 2015 winner Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, the runner-up here last year in 1:06:14. That performance remains the 27-year-old’s lifetime best but she’s illustrated strong form in 2018 after a fourth place finish in the Dubai Marathon where she clocked 2:19:53, finishing fifth.