The eleventh Fukuoka Marathon was held on Japan's southernmost island of Kyusha on Sunday (5 December).
GV: start of race in stadium. (2 shots)
GV: runners leaving stadium and PAN as they run into street.
GV: massed field along street. (2 shots)
SV PAN: Jerome Drayton (Canada) in the lead and into stadium at end of race. (2 shots)
GV: No.4 Cierpinski (East Germany) enters stadium.
GV PAN: Drayton competing last lap and winning race. (3 shots)
SPORT - ATHLETICS - MARATHON
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Background: The eleventh Fukuoka Marathon was held on Japan's southernmost island of Kyusha on Sunday (5 December).
SYNOPSIS: Among the large field of 59 competitors who set off in the Fukuoka Stadium, were five foreign competitors. They included the defending champion, Jerome Drayton of Canada, the World's second fastest marathon runner, Ian Thompson of Great britain, and the Montreal gold medallist, Wardemar Cierpinski of East Germany. A huge crowd lined the streets of the city to watch the race.
Conditions were good for marathon running as the field left the stadium and set off along the crowd-lined streets. Drayton, the 31 year-old Canadian, had previously won the race in 1975 and 1969. This time he took the lead from very early on in the race. He managed to hold his most reputable opponents at a safe distance, and nobody seriously challenged his dominance of the running.
Among the 54 Japanese runners was Shigeru Soh, and in the final stages he fought a close duel with East Germany's Cierpinski for third place. The East German eventually won the battle by taking the third place position with a time of two hours, 14 minutes, 56 seconds.
But as the gruelling race drew to a close, it was Jerome Drayton of Canada who first appeared on the final street section. He entered the stadium first and crossed the line to win with a time of two hours, 12 minutes, and 35 seconds. Cierpinski, here starting his final lap, had been pushed into third place by Ian Thompson of Great Britain, who finished the course in two hours, 12 minutes and 54 seconds.
Japan's Soh was fourth in two hours, 14 minutes, 59 seconds, and Japanese runners also took fifth and sixth places. Another East German, Karl Baumbach was tenth, and the United States marathon champion, Gary Tuttle, was twenty-third.