2011 Marathon winners sign autographs

Categories: Elite Athletes

Tanya Somera of Pearl City was first in line to get autographs from Honolulu Marathon winners Nicholas Chelimo and Woynishet Girma on Monday at Kapiolani Park.

“This was the fourth year I ran the marathon and I make it a habit to meet the winners and get mementoes,”Somera said.” I hope their fast running skills will rub off on me.”

And that is precisely the reason for the day-after autograph sessions, said Honolulu Marathon Associaton President Jim Barahal.

“We have an out-and-back course and the slower runners going out get enthused when they see the lead runners coming back,”he said.”It’s an opportunity for the runners to get up-close and personal with the champions.”

The marathon runners flock to the park on Monday to pick up their finisher’s certificates, and many line up at an adjoining tent to meet the two winners. The runners congratulated the winners, posed for photos with them and received autographs on cards bearing photos of the two crossing the finish line, on their running numbers, certificates, and their finishers T-shirts. Several young Japanese males took off their shirts to have them signed.

Also among those getting autographs was Hayato Date of Ehime, Japan, who said he has run every year since 1995, and has a poster full of autographs. “I run for fun,” he said.

A total of 22,615 registered for the race, and 19,078 finished.

Chelimo, of Kenya, took his second consecutive victory with a time of two hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds. Girma, of Ethiopia, won in her first marathon attempt in two hours, 31 minutes and 41 seconds. The last finisher, a youngster from Japan, crossed the line in 14 hours, 13 minutes and 12 seconds.

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