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Engaged Japanese couple takes BMO Vancouver Marathon titles, attendance records broken

Last Updated May 5, 2019 at 6:06 pm PDT

An elite Japanese couple has taken the BMO Vancouver Marathon titles. (Source: BMO Vancouver Marathon, Twitter)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An engaged couple from Japan has won the BMO Vancouver Marathon, the first time two Japanese runners who have taken home gold in 20 years.

And attendance was at an all-time high, with 18,000 runners from around 65 countries participating in one of three distance races. Former Vancouver Canucks icons Daniel and Henrik even ran in the marathon.

But Yuki Kawauchi and Yuko Mizuguchi are the day’s champions with finishing times of (02:15:01) and (02:41:28) for the full marathon.

The recently-engaged couple arrived in Vancouver last week for their first Canadian marathon, and won.

2018 Boston Marathon winner Kawauchi broke the course record of 2:18:37 set by Luka Chelimo from Kenya in 2015.

“They really pushed me to this record,” Kawauchi says in a press release, speaking of second and third-place finishers Feyera Gemeda Dadi and Chelimo. “It’s not an easy course, but it’s a very beautiful course, I would definitely recommend coming here to enjoy it and get the most out of it, it’s a great event.”

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He was impressed by the scenery and support from the crowd, as was women’s title winner and fiancee Mizuguchi.

“Running around Stanley Park in the midst of all that nature really gave me a nice boost,” she says in a release. “Being able to see the ocean and the mountains – at some parts of the race, I found myself kind of distracted looking at how beautiful the ocean was.”

On the half-marathon, Haron Kiptoo Sirma from Kenya and Dayna Pidhoresky from Canadian won, clocking (1:03:47) and (1:13:07).