Julius Maisei learnt his lesson from two failed early breaks to time it just right at the third time of asking and win the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday.
The 32-year-old took the IAAF Silver Label race in a time of two hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of compatriot James Mbugua (2:14:28) and Ethiopia's Deribe Robi in third (2:14:37).
"I made the mistake of making my move too early in the last two years and my opponents caught me and overtook me," Maisei told reporters.
"This time I changed my tactics and made certain I timed my break better and then went all for it."
Maisei blamed the slow time on the tricky conditions.
"It was tough out there. It is not easy running inside a tunnel for almost three kilometres and the course is very hilly. Hong Kong is a hard race," he said.
In the women's race, Ethiopian Misiker Demissie became the first athlete to retain the title as she romped home in 2:30:49.
"It was a bit more windy than last year, which is probably the reason I went a bit slower, although I like racing in those conditions, it was good," she told reporters.
The event also featured a 10 kilometre race which was completed by 101-year-old Indian-born Fauja Singh, the world's oldest marathon runner, who retired from running after clocking a time of 1:32:28.
Photograph: Gareth Gay/Getty Images