Yuki Kawauchi was among the biggest surprises of Monday's Boston Marathon.
BOSTON – Japan's Yuki Kawauchi stunned the elite field of men at the 2018 Boston Marathon and won the race in 2:15:54. He is the first men's champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko in 1987.
Kawauchi is one of Japan's biggest marathon stars and has run more than 70 marathons in his career – including three already in 2018. He has previously said his goal is to run 100 sub-2:20 marathons before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Reigning champion Geoffrey Kirui took off at about the 17 mile-mark and held a lead by more than 90 seconds at one point. Kawauchi flirted with the lead from the start of the race before being reeled in by a chase pack. He resurfaced about 10 miles later and was swallowed up again. When Kirui struggled after the late hills on the course, Kawauchi clawed back to take the lead and never relinquished it. Kirui finished second.
The top American was Shadrack Biwott in third place in 2:18:35.
The women's race was won by Desiree Linden, who became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.