The Tokyo Marathon 2018, the race with the hope of both the world record and the Japanese national record started under a great marathon weather of cloudy sky with temperature of 6℃ and humidity of 40%. Although, the world record did not materialize today, Yuta Shitara, who said "I was running with the image of winning the race today," recorded the Japanese marathon record of 2:06:11. Since Shitara already recorded the Japanese national half marathon record last year, he now holds both the national half marathon record as well as national marathon record. After the half marathon national record was recognized back in the 1980's Shitara became the first to hold both records. (Note: Taisuke Kodama recorded the fastest half marathon time as well as the fastest marathon time by Japanese, but the half marathon record was not officially recognized at the time.)
Men's winner was Dickson Chumba, who won in 2014, while women's winner was Birhane Dibaba, who won in 2015. In the history of the Tokyo Marathon, no men or women ever won the Tokyo Marathon multiple times. Thus by winning the Tokyo Marathon this year, both Chumba and Dibaba made history.
That is not all. Chumba's winning time of 2:05:30 is the second fastest time in the Tokyo Marathon history behind 2:03:58 recorded by Wilson Kipsang last year. "I missed recording a 2:04 marathon, but I am still happy with my time. Next year, I would like to return to Tokyo to run a 2:04 marathon," promised Chumba. Wilson Kipsang, the defending champion and the favorite for the race, started walking around 16.5km and eventually dropped out of the race, but Chumba did not notice it at the time. At 30km, when the pacemakers left the race, Chumba started to push the pace, and after 35km, he further increased the tempo to break away from Gideon Kipketer and Amos Kipruto. Chumba won comfortably with 2:05:30. Shitara, who finished second with 2:06:11, recorded the national marathon record. In all, five runners cracked 2:07, while 14 runners cracked 2:10. Among those who cracked 2:10, nine of them are Japanese.
Dibaba's winning time of 2:19:51 is also the second fastest time in the Tokyo Marathon behind the last year's winning time of 2:19:47 by Sara Chepchirchir. Dibaba also became the 26th runner to crack a magical 2:20 barrier. The lead pack was reduced to four runners by 20km and then to three runners - Birhane Dibaba (ETH), Ruti Aga (ETH) and Amy Cragg (USA) - by 30km. Among them Cragg first lost contact with the leaders before 35km. Dibaba who said, "The weather was great and my leg also felt great. At 35km, I thought I can win this race," made her move and left Aga in her wake. Dibaba won the race with the personal best. "The previous course was tough after 35km, so I am happy to break my personal best today," said Dibaba after the race. Aga who was second with 2:21:19 tied the third fastest time in the history of the Tokyo Marathon, while Cragg in third place recorded more than five minutes personal best of 2:21:42, which is the sixth fastest time in the Tokyo Marathon history. Cragg's time is also the best third place time in the history of Tokyo Marathon.