Two-time world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco kept his own pace in a long solo run despite a surprise challenge by Kenya's Eliud Kiptanui, running to victory in the Fukuoka marathon on Sunday.
The Beijing Olympic silver medallist took the lead when the last pace-setter Kiptanui abandoned the race at the 30-kilometre mark and never faced a serious challenge, winning in two hours eight minutes 24 seconds.
Russia's Dmitry Safronov, who snatched the second place from Ethiopian Tekeste Kebede at around the 33km point, finished runner-up in 2:10:12, followed by Takayuki Matsumiya of Japan in 2:10:54.
Kiptanui, one of the four pace-setters, made a surprise break away from the front-running group of about 20 men at the 15km mark and nobody kept pace with him.
Gharib ran alone for the remainder of the distance, making it a race for second place between Kebede, Japan's Masato Imai and Dmytro Baranovskyy of Ukraine -- all of them beaten by Safonov and Matsumiya.