2013 RACE WEEK NEWS
WINNERS RETURN TO PARK TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS
The two winners of the Honolulu Marathon returned to Kapiolani Park on Monday morning (Dec. 9) to greet and sign autographs for some of the more than 22,000 people who ran behind them.
After waiting in line to obtain their finishers certificates, some of the runners waited in another line of get autographs from Gilbert Chepkwony of Kenya and Ehitu Kiros of Ethiopia. Some of the Japanese runners waited in yet another line to be photographed holding their certificates, which had their names and finish times, with Diamond Head in the background.
The two winners signed cards bearing photos of them crossing the finish line. They also signed running numbers and finishers certificates. Several male runners stripped off their orange finishers shirts to have them signed by Chepkwony and Kiros. The runners also took pictures of and posed for photos with the two winners.
Japanese runner Hayato Date, who ran his 19th Honolulu Marathon, pulled out marathon posters dating back to 2004 and 2005 to have the winners sign. The 38-year-old resident of Uchiko in Ehime prefecture has autographs of all winners since 2004 on his two posters. He said he will be back next year for his 20th running in Honolulu.
The practice of having the winners sign autographs is unique among the world's marathons, said Zane Branson, agent for Kiros and more than two dozen other elite runners. ``But there's a lot about the Honolulu Marathon that is unique,'' he said.
``The athletes enjoy doing this,'' Branson said. ``It allows them to interact with the people.''
The race showed consistency at a high level, drawing more than 30,000 entries for the second year in a row.
A total of 30,291 registered for the race, just 792 fewer than last year. Japanese entries were down by 2,858 from 2012 but Hawaii entries were up by more than 1,600. Of this year's entries, 22,599 started the race and 22,077 finished, according to race officials.
The last finishers were two men and three women from Japan who crossed the finish line together at 12:56 a.m. Monday (Dec. 9), 19 hours and 56 minutes after the race started.
"Extreme Weight Loss" cast member finishes marathon
``I can't believe this. I'm so happy,'' Sara Murphy said after completing the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Kentucky woman is one of the cast members on the ABC-TV reality show ``Extreme Weight Loss,'' and running the 26-2-mile race was her six-month challenge. The ``milestone'' challenge originally was a 13.1-mile half-marathon, but Murphy's training progressed so rapidly, she decided she wanted to do a full marathon, said episode producer Melissa Galvin.
Show producers had reservations, but Murphy convinced them that she could do it and wanted to do it.
She was accompanied on her run by fitness guru Chris Powell, the show's host. Murphy said she ran 18 or 19 miles and then alternately walked and ran a mile for the remainder of the course.
``Having Chris with me helped a lot'' Murphy said. ``He pulled me along.''
``It was hot out there," Murphy said, but despite the high humidity, she never considered dropping out. Asked if she would run another marathon, she said, ``Yeah, but not tomorrow.''
One of the first things she did after finishing the race was rehydrating herself and then calling her parents to share her accomplishment.
The four-foot-five Murphy weighed 245 pounds when she began the show's three-month boot camp last June. At the halfway point, she has lost ``a huge amount of weight,'' Galvin said, and is well on her way to meeting the show's goal of losing half her body weight.
The episode with Murphy will air sometime next summer, Galvin said.
Caution: Sara Murphy runs alongside "Extreme Weight Loss" show host Chris Powell.
Ethiopian Ehitu wins close battle in women's race
Ehitu Kiros of Ethiopia put on a surge at the 24-mile mark at the start of the Diamond Head hill and won a closely fought victory in the women's race of Sunday's Honolulu Marathon.
Her time in the slow-paced women's competition was two hours, 36 minutes and two seconds. Woynishet Girma, also of Ethiopia and the 2011 winner, was second in 2:36:10. Defending champion Valentina Galimova was three seconds behind and took third place in 2:36:13, while Aheza Kiros, also of Ethiopia but no relation to the winner, was fourth in 2:41:32.
The 25-year-old Kiros said she was feeling comfortable at the 24-mile mark and decided, ``I can do much better than this pace.'' The lack of a pacesetter made for a slow pace for the women. ``If there is a pacesetter, we can run faster,'' she said through an interpreter. Without a pacesetter, everyone holds back, hoping to make a move and win the race, she said.
Galimova, who led for the first 10 miles, said she felt good at the start but didn't have much speed. Just past the 10-mile mark, the Ethiopians pulled away, leaving Galimova 17 seconds behind at mile 12 and seemingly out of contention. But when Aheza Kiros fell behind coming out of Hawaii Kai, Galimova moved up to third.
At mile 22, Galimova was 25 seconds behind, but had narrowed that to 11 seconds two miles later. After Ehitu Kiros made her move at 24 miles, Girma looked over her shoulder coming into Kapiolani Park about a mile from the finish line and saw how close Galimova was. She held on for second place.
When the eventual winner made her move, Galimova knew she couldn't catch her but thought she had a chance for second place. In closing the gap, ``I got excited and that helped me run faster,'' she said.
Kenyan Chepkwony makes late move to win men's race
Kenyan Gilbert Chepkwony broke from a tightly clustered lead pack of seven
runners with an aggressive sprint at Mile 22 to win the 2013 Honolulu
Marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 46 seconds.
Chepkwony , 28, outkicked countryman and two-time Honolulu Marathon champion
Nicholas Chelimo as the two battled along Kealaolu Avenue and up Diamond Head
Road toward the finish. Chelimo finished second at 2:19:21, followed by Soloman
Busendich (2:19:39) of Kenya, Gebretsadik Abraha Adihana (2:20:09) of Ethiopia
and Kiplimo Kimutai (2:20:24) of Kenya.
Kenyan runners dominated the final leader board in the men’s race. But the
story for most of the race was the stirring if ultimately doomed bid by
unheralded Japanese runner Saeki Makino to become the race’s first Japanese
Makino, a training partner of Yuki Kawauchi, jumped to an early lead while
Chepkwony and the rest of the pack held back.
Makino stretched a 47-second advantage at Mile 4 to a lead of more than four
minutes at Mile 18. In all, Makino raced virtually alone for nearly two hours.
However, when the end came for the Japanese racer, it came quickly. Struggling
mightily as he exited Kalanianaole Highway, Makino was overrun by the
now-sprinting pack just before Mile 22.
While Makino fell back, Chepkwony burst to the lead with a powerful sprint.
Chelimo attempted to stay with him but couldn’t keep pace as Chepkwony finished
Mile 24 in 4:56 then the uphill climb to Mile 25 in 5:04.
“I knew (Chelimo) was following me so I had to pull away,” Chepkwony said.
Afterward, a winded but beaming Chepkwony said he was “very happy” with his
first-ever marathon victory.
ENGAGED COUPLE WIN HAWAII RESIDENT TITLES
A soon-to-be-married couple were the first Hawaii residents to finish Sunday's Honolulu Marathon.
Thirty-two-year-old Nathan Carlson of Honolulu finished the 26.2-mile race in two hours, 45 minutes and 39 seconds. His fiance, Polina Babkina, also of Honolulu, finished in 2:46:30.
Prior to Sunday's marathon, Carlson had concentrated on the half-marathon distance. Babkina is a former Hawaii Pacific University runner who also competes in triathlons.
The couple plans to marry on December 29t.
The kamaaina award for the fastest Hawaii-born marathoners was presented to Matthew Holton of Kula, Maui, and Candace Gentry of Honolulu. The 35-year-old Holton's time was 2:53:36, while the 36-year-old Gentry finished in 3:16:40.
3,500 ENTERTAINED AT ANNUAL MARATHON CONCERT
A large group of Japanese schoolboys were among the 3,500 runners and friends who turned out for the Honolulu Marathon's annual luau and concert Friday night at the Waikiki Shell.
The 81 members of the Kokoku High School athletic club in Osaka, Japan, all of whom will run in Sunday's race, are on an annual school trip, according to Jimmy Miranda, one of their teachers and a former Hawaii resident. Seven teachers, four of whom also will run on Sunday, accompanied the students from the all-boys school.
This is the third consecutive year the school's junior class runners have made the trip to Hawaii. All paid their own way for the week-long trip, said Miranda, who teaches English and cooking.
Field trips by other school teams include a soccer tournament in Barcelona, Spain, and events on Africa's Gold Coast and on Guam, he said.
While the crowd dined on pasta, chicken, corn and various salads, they were entertained by a mix of Hawaii's performing artists.
The Hawaiian music combo Pu`uhonua opened the show, and was followed by Japanese singer Shota, who told the audience he also will be running on Sunday. Ukulele virtuoso Taimane enthralled the audience with her exuberant style and eclectic mix of songs.
Chinky Mahoe's award-winning Halau Hula O Kawailiula gave the crowd, many of them from Japan, a touch of Hawaiian culture, performing in both the kahiko (ancient) and auwana (modern) style. The halau features both kane (male) and wahine (women) dancers. The Mana`o Company followed with their contemporary Hawaiian music.
The Hawaiian reggae band Green closed the show with songs that brought many of the younger crowd dancing in the front aisle. Japanese singer-guitarist MiChi performed between Green's sets.
'EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS' CAST MEMBER TO RUN HONOLULU MARATHON
A 39-year-old Kentucky woman who is participating in a primetime network TV show's weight loss program aimed at losing half her body weight is among the more than 30,000 runners signed up for Sunday's Honolulu Marathon.
Sara Murphy, who stands 4-foot-5, weighed 245 pounds when she started a three-month boot camp for ABC-TV's ``Extreme Weight Loss'' reality show last summer. Now six months into the program, she has lost ``a huge amount of weight,'' according to Melissa Galvin, producer of Murphy's episode, which will air next year.
Galvin declined to give a specific figure but said Murphy is ahead of schedule.
Each cast member is given a six-month ``milestone'' challenge, and Murphy was assigned by host and fitness guru Chris Powell to run a half-marathon. However, as she lost weight and passed the 13.1-mile half-marathon distance in her training, she decided to go for the full marathon, Galvin said.
``We were hesitant but she convinced us she could do it and really wanted to do it,'' Galvin said, adding that Murphy has done training runs up to 20 miles and is confident she can finish the 26.2-mile run, although possibly having to walk in the later stages.
All cast members are checked by show doctors at the start of boot camp and again at the six-month mark, Galvin said.
After the three-month boot camp, cast members return home and adjust, going back to work and dealing with real life situations, including the temptation of doughnuts and other pastries often found in the workplace.
The weight-loss effort has given Murphy new confidence, Galvin said. ``In the past she always held back because she thought no one would think she is capable of doing things.''
The show is filming for its fourth season, and each cast member will be featured in an hour-long episode at the end of their year-long venture, she said. The cast members know each other but don't compete.
``No one is voted off the show,'' she said. ``The focus is on oneself and the life changes they are making.''
DEFENDING CHAMPION SAYS HER RUN WAS MOTIVATED BY PRETTY DRESS
Valentina Galimova says her favorite thing to do in Hawaii -- besides running the Honolulu Marathon, of course -- is to shop.
But the defending women's champion told a group of students on Thursday that she won't do any shopping until after Sunday's race. However, that may not prevent her from doing some more window shopping.
``Last year on the race course I saw a pretty dress in a shop window and that made me run faster,'' the 27-year-old professional marathoner told the students at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu. She said that after the race she went to the Waikiki store where she saw the dress and bought it.
Whether or not it was the pretty dress, Galimova surged late in the race and edged then-defending champion Woynishet Girma of Ethiopia by 59 seconds. The Russian will have her hands full on Sunday, with Girma seeking to regain her title and three other strong Ethiopian runners also challenging her.
Asked why she comes such a long way to run, Galimova said, ``I love this place very much. It's the best marathon,'' although admitting she has run only a few races over the 26.2-mile distance.
A resident of Perm, Russia, which is described as the ``Gateway to Siberia,'' Galimova says it is ``very cold'' there. Twenty-below-zero. So she trains in Portugal prior to coming to Hawaii. ``This helps me adjust to Hawaii's heat.''
She described some of the Russian foods she enjoys, and said her training diet features pasta, bagels and meat. She said she avoids sugars just before races. She emphasized the meat and made it clear she is not a vegetarian.
In response to a question from a husky male student, Galimova said she doesn't supplement her running with weight training. ``Lifting is too hard. We need to be slim,'' she said, drawing admiring smiles from the male students.
She said she ran her first marathon at age 23, and told the students, ``you are too young'' for a marathon.
FORMER MARATHON CHAMPION VISITS WITH MID-PACIFIC STUDENTS
Three-time Honolulu Marathon champion Mbarak Hussein visited with a group of elementary students on Thursday, continuing a tradition for his frequent return visits to the race.
``It's important to give back to the community and share my experiences with the community,'' he said after the visit with first-, second- and fifth-graders at Honolulu's Mid-Pacific Institute. ``We need to reach out and try to inspire the younger kids.''
That inspiration became apparent when the students greeted him with hugs and smiles after running a couple laps around the school's athletic field at the conclusion of the visit. That response was ``very exciting,'' and made the school visit worthwhile, he said. He offered running tips, encouraging the students to start slowly and build up stamina.
Many of the students' questions centered on his running career, although they also wanted to know about life in his native Kenya, particularly about language. One student asked if he spoke to his parents in English. He replied that they speak very little English, so communication with them is in Swahili. He also talked about the Swahili names in The Lion King
Hussein, the Honolulu winner in 1998, 2001 and 2002, said that as an elementary student, he didn't like running. He said he later started running the three miles from his home to school and got interested in the sport.
Professional runners have to ``put in the time,'' and follow a strict training regimen and eat and sleep well, he said. ``Diet is very big.''
He still follows a strict diet and at 48, he remains lean and fit. He competes in the master's division in marathon and shorter-distance races, and is a four-time U.S. Masters marathon champion. He also is a high school cross-country coach.
In response to another question, Hussein said his inspiration for running was his older brother, Ibrahim, also a three-time Honolulu Marathon champion, winning consecutive victories starting in 1985. He proudly told the students his brother was the first Kenyan to win the Boston Marathon.
RUNNERS FLOCK TO MARATHON EXPO
Runners in Sunday's Honolulu Marathon flocked to the Hawaii Convention Center Center on Wednesday to pick up their race numbers and check out the goods at the marathon's annual Expo. This was also the first day of walkup late registration.
Before the doors opened more than 29,500 had already registered for the marathon. When walkup entry closes on Saturday, the total should be close to last year's 31,083 entries.
Several hundred people were waiting in line when the doors opened at 10 a.m. The runners were directed along a red carpet to the booths where they obtained their bib numbers. Along the way they were greeted by Japanese vendors hawking their wares.
With numbers in hand, they had their bibs electronically scanned to make sure the chips that will record their finish times are working properly. They also picked up Honolulu Marathon goody bags to hold Expo purchases and freebies. Those moving into the adjoining large merchandise store operated by adidas, a major sponsor, were given another shopping bag.
About 80 vendors are participating in this year's event, which Expo director Midori Yamamoto said was about the same number as last year. Included are companies offering running attire and accessories, various other fitness apparel and equipment, energy snacks and drinks, and skin care and other natural health products. Representatives of other marathons and athletic activities are promoting their events.
Many of the runners, especially those from Japan, posed for photos holding their numbers in front of an enlarged photo of a previous year's starting line.
The Expo also includes a photo gallery of previous races and daily Hawaiian entertainment. The Expo continues through Saturday.
2012 RACE WEEK NEWS
Hall of Famer Schabort gets 9th wheelchair win
Krige Schabort won the Honolulu Marathon wheelchair race for the 9th time on Sunday.
He crossed the finish line in one hour, 33 minutes and 15 seconds for his second consecutive victory. He broke away from seveal others at the six-mile park and rode alone the rest of the way. But he said being by himself longer was a challenge.
Weather conditions were good for the first six miles, Schabort said. "But on the other side of Diamond Head it was brutal," referring to brisk winds on the way to Hawaii Kai.
The former South African soldier, who now lives in Atlanta, was inducted into the marathon's Hall of Fame in 2004, the only wheelchair athlete so honored.
Masazumi Soejima of Japan, who set the course record of 1:30:32 in 2005, was second in 1:36:48, and Ryota Yoshida of Japan was third in 1:39:43.
Wakako Tsuchida of Japan won the women's race in 1:53:57.
Kipsang and Galimova sign autographs for fans
Honolulu Marathon champions Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and Valentina Galimova of Russia returned to Kapiolani Park Monday morning to meet their fans, and Tanya Somera was first in line to get the winners' autographs for the second consecutive year.
"It's a great incentive to meet them," said Somera, of Pearl City, Oahu, who ran her fifth Honolulu Marathon on Sunday and has obtained the winners' autographs each year. "It inspires me to train harder every year."
Kipsang and Galimova signed autographs and posed for photos under a tent for nearly two hours, signing souvenir cards showing them crossing the nearby finish line. They also signed running numbers, finisher certificates and T-shirts. The fans, often 50 deep, lined up after picking up their certificates at an adjoining tent.
Kipsang said he enjoyed meeting the runners, and lingered to sign more autographs even after race officials ended the session.
Galimova, whose marathon victory was her first, said she enjoyed the autograph session but said she was looking forward to going to the beach. "I enjoyed meeting the people," she said. "I didn?t realize people loved this sport so much."
Most of the autograph seekers were among the thousands of Japanese runners who completed in the race. Among them was Hayato Date, who also is a regular at the autograph sessions. He brought with him 2004 and 2005 Honolulu Marathon posters, which had been signed by past winners. He proudly showed off the two new names.
Date ran his 18th Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, and, asked if he would return next year, said, "Of course!"
Galimova said "maybe," when asked if she would return, but her manager, Andrey Baranov, said, "Not maybe, definitely!"
Marathon officially ends 14 hours, 42 minutes after start
The 40th Honolulu Marathon came to an official close 14 hours, 42 minutes and 14 seconds after it started Sunday when a 56-year-old athletics coaching volunteer and a 19-year-old mute special needs woman from Nagano, Japan, crossed the finish line at Kapiolani Park.
The Honolulu Marathon is the only marathon known to keep its finish line open until everyone finishes and award an official time to even the last finisher.
A large crowd of well-wishers greeted the pair with shouts of encouragement and congratulations as they arrived with vehicle escort just before 8 p.m.
. The young woman, Mami Takeuchi, was offically chip timed in 14:21:28 and, Takayuki Sakata, who said he coaches Takeuchi, clocked in at 14:21:41.
She was the 24,166th finisher and he was the 24,167th.
Takeuchi was tearfully greeted by her mother after she finished.
There were 24,366 starters today from an entry field of 31,083, according to the official timer.
The Honolulu Marathon will be the 2nd largest marathon of 2012 in America behind the Chicago Marathon, based on its finishing total. The Marine Corps Marathon, with about 1,000 fewer finishers this year, will be third.
GALIMOVA WINS WITH LATE SURGE
Valentina Galimova sprinted away from defending champion Woynishet Girma six-tenths of a mile from the finish line to win the Honolulu Marathon women's racer on Sunday.
Her time was two hours, 31 minutes and 23 seconds, which was a minute ahead of Girma of Ethiopia, whose time was 2:32:22. American Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce of Flagstaff, Ariz., was third in 2:32:47. Three-time winner Svetlana Zakharova, who was inducted into the marathon's Hall of Fame on Thursday, was seventh in 2:39:49. At age 42, it was her last marathon.
Galimova's victory was the eleventh here for a Russian woman since 1996. She finished third last year, and this was her first marathon victory in four races.
"I feel a little tired," she said after the race. She described her effort as "a big job," saying it was the most difficult marathon she has run. "It was windy going out, but the wind was at our backs on the return," she said. She also said the weather was hot, noting a big climate change in coming to Honolulu. "It's cold in Russia now."
She also noted Zakharova's Hall of Fame induction, saying "it's nice to keep up the tradition of Russian women."
Galimova said that with her $40,000 prize, she and her new husband will have to "make a decision on where to live." She and Alexander were married in September.
Kaori Yoshida of Japan and Hellen Mugo of Kenya broke away from the field right after the start. They ran together to the half-way mark when both began to slow down. Yoshida, who finished fourth, pulled away, and Girma caught up with her at the 31-kilometer mark.
When Yoshida faltered, Galimova caught up and ran with Girma. The two were shoulder-to-shoulder up the Diamond Head hill, but Galimova made her move heading into Kapiolani Park.
Lyubov Denisova of Russia set the women's record of 2:27:19 in 2006.
KENYA'S KIPSANG WINS WITH FIRST NEGATIVE SPLIT
When the winds finally settled down, Wilson Kipsang made his winning move.
Feeling comfortable and strong, Kipsang made a push at the 22nd mile and pulled away to win Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 31 seconds.
“A win for me is good,” Kipsang said.
Kipsang, running in his first marathon since his bronze-medal performance at the London Olympics, pulled away from Markos Geneti of Ethiopia after the 22nd mile. Through the back of Kahala and Diamond Head, Kipsang gradually increased his lead to win his Honolulu debut.
Geneti was second in 2:13:08 and Kiplimo Kimutai of Kenya finished third in 2:14:15. Patrick Ivuti finished fourth in 2:14:55 and Julius Arile was fifth in 2:15:17.
All five men were part of a group of nine runners in the lead pack for most of the race. They tackled a windy stretch on Kalanianaole Highway by running behind each other.
“It was a lot of wind,” said Kipsang, who was to run in November’s New York City Marathon until the event was canceled.
At that point of the race, Kipsang said it was hard to take the lead.
“The guys were running very well,” Kipsang said. “We were trying to run on top of the pace.”
By the 19th mile, the lead pack whittled down to four runners — Kipsang, Geneti, Kimutai and Arile. As the winds started to die down, Kipsang made his surge.
“I felt it was the right time to make the move,” Kipsang said. “But he was a very strong a runner.”
As his lead grew in the last two miles along Diamond Head, Kipsang received cheers and applause from competitors still tackling the marathon. They stopped and took pictures of Kipsang with their computers and smart phones.
Kipsang is the first Honolulu Marathon champion to run a faster time in the second half of the race than the first half.
“I was feeling strong and was aiming to break the course record,” Kipsang said.
Decathlete Bryan Clay finishes with wife
Bryan Clay says the toughest part of running a marathon is "having to keep going."
The 2008 Olympic gold medalist and his wife, Sarah, ran the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, finishing hand in hand in four hours and 46 minutes. It was their first marathon.
That time was only slightly over their goal of four and a half hours, he said.
"The decathlon is tough, but this a a different animal," said Bryan. Running with his wife kept him going, he said. "If I had tried to run this competitively I wouldn't have made it."
Wife Sarah did a "great job," he said, and running the marathon "was her idea and definitely not mine. She decided that if we were to do a marathon it should be in Hawaii." Bryan was raised in the 50th State.
While both had tough spots during the run, and both started fading at the 23- or 24-mile mark, they called their effort "a lot of fun."
"We had a great time," he said. "We were talking to people all along the way. Having people call out your name really gives you a boost."
Sarah started training without him, and it was only four weeks before the race that Bryan decided he'd better start getting serious about it. He got in only two 15-mile runs, saying "I definitely don't recommend that."
Although they looked good after the race and said they felt pretty good, the couple said they would give themselves time to recover before deciding whether to do another marathon. But Bryan said it is possible they will return to Honolulu to run again.
3 generations to run together in 40th Honolulu Marathon
Betty Jean McHugh turned 85 last month, and is celebrating by running the Honolulu Marathon for the sixth time.
This time it will be a three-generation effort with her son Brent, 58, and granddaughter, Ava, 21, also racing. The three-generation effort was Ava's idea, McHugh said, and it will be the first time the three have run in the same race, and Ava's first marathon.
McHugh, known as BJ to family and friends, started running at age 55 and has completed "roughly" 15 marathons and more than 300 other races. Years ago, she did a 10-kilometer race every weekend, she said. She holds numerous age-group records, especially in the half-marathon, her favorite distance.
The North Vancouver, B. C., resident first ran the Honolulu Marathon following her 70th birthday.
She started her running career by jogging around a park while waiting for her daughter to finish swim practice. "Parents weren't allowed to watch," she said. "The fitness craze had just started, and initially I trained in the morning and then tended to family matters."
Son Brent said he trains with his mother and accompanies her to destination races. "It is my job to make sure she doesn't get lost," he said as she laughed.
McHugh said she probably won't be doing many more full marathons and will concentrate on the half. "But every year I saw it's my last," she said.
She enjoys the camraderie of running, saying "when you get old, develop young friends."
Hall of Fame inducts Svetlana Zakharova
With five former honorees looking on, Svetlana Zakharova of Russia was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon's Hall of Fame at a reception Thursday night.
"I am thankful for this gift and that my career achievements are noted," said Zakharova, a three-time winner and six-time runner-up in the Honolulu race, through an interpreter. She will be competing here for the 11th time on Sunday, and said she is "very happy to come from Russia and be here in Hawaii."
She will end her marathon career after the race.
Zakharova won the Honolulu women's race in 1997, and repeated in 2002 and 2009, when she posted her fastest time of 2 hours, 28 minutes and 34 seconds. That time is the fourth fastest among women since the race started in 1973. She also is a former winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons.
Other Hall of Fame members on hand to congratulate Zakharova were Frank Shorter, Barack Hussein, Gladys Burrill, and Ronald and Jeanette Chun.
Kenyan ambassador joins marathon professionals in visit to Hawaii's oldest girls' school
Kenya's ambassador to the United States says he
wanted to come to Honolulu because he Honolulu Marathon is where Kenyan runners
first established themselves as world champions.
"In the Kenyan runners, you are seeing the best in the world," Ambassador Elkanah
Odembo told students at a Honolulu school. "I'm very proud of our marathoners.
They are our ambassadors."
Kenyans Jimmy Muindi, a six-time Honolulu champion, and Wilson Kipsang, one of
the fastest marathoners in the world and the favorite for Sunday's Honolulu race,
accompanied Odembo to the school near downtown Honolulu. Kipsang won the 2012 London
Marathon and the brone medal in the London Olympics marathon.
Odembo said he also wanted to come to Honolulu because he was with Kipsang in
New York in November but didn't get to see him run because of the cancellation
of the New York City Marathon. "When I heard that Wilson was coming to Honolulu,
I told my secretary to see if she could get me to Honolulu also," he told students
at St. Andrews Priory, Hawaii's oldest girls' school. "But I didn't know Honolulu
was so far."
Another reason for wanting to come to Honolulu, Odembo said, is because of its
ties to President Obama, who was born and raised in Honolulu and had a Kenyan
father. "Kenya also is very proud of him," he said of the American president.
After he was appointed ambassador two years ago, he went to the White House
to present his credentials. "When we walked into the Oval Office, Obama
greeted us in Swahili," Odembo said. "He was so delightful. It was a
very special moment."
Upon arriving at the school, the ambassador and the runners passed through a
line of second-graders waving Kenyan flags. After entering the gymnasium,
the school band played the Kenyan national anthem, followed by an African
song and dance by second-graders who are studying Africa as part of their
Standing between the two runners for a question-and-answer session,
Odembo said, "This is a morning for champions, I'm just a gate-crasher.
" When the two runners told the students of the numerous marathons they have completed,
Odembo proudly added that he ran the Boston Marathon in 1979. Kipsong urged the students to
"study hard and do your best."
When the band concluded the session with a Kenyan marching song, the
ambassador and runners posed for photographs and signed autographs.
The three then retreated to a second-grade classroom where they were
entertained with Hawaiian hula dances. When the girls asked questions
about Africa, Odembo asked them what they had learnred about Africa.
Most of the answers involved animals.
When the ambassador asked how many wanted to visit Africa, nearly 20
girls raised their hands.
Marathoners pour into expo as late registration opens
Kazuharu Iwata of Nagoya, Japan, came to the Hawaii Convention Center
directly from Honolulu Airport to pick up his running number for Sunday's
Honolulu Marathon. He was first in line when the packet pickup began at 10 a.m.
Iwata and those in the long line behind him followed a red carpet through
the Marathon Expo, which opened at the same time, to get their race numbers.
It will be Iwata's fifth Honolulu run, and his reason for returning is simple:
"I like the Honolulu Marathon."
A few of those in line headed for the late registration desk, plunking down
$280 for the privilege of being a late addition to the race. One of those was April
Pastorius, who is stationed at nearby Camp Smith. However, the late fee for military
personnel is only $60. "I was transferred here in May, and have been very busy and
missed the deadline," she said.
The regular entry deadline was Nov. 26, and Wednesday was the first day for late
entries. Race officials expect between 1,000 and 2,000 late entries. A total of 29,937
had signed up by Wednesday morning.
About 70 vendors have booths in the Convention Center exhibition hall, offering
running shoes and attire, energy foods and drink and other supplements, Hawaiian
crafts and entries into other marathons. Several booths also offered soothing massages
for the runners.
Also at the Expo were students from the Hawaii Pacific University Travel Industry
Management program, conducting their annual economic survey for the tenth year.
Jerry Agrusa, TIM professor who directs the survey, said about 80 students will
survey about 1,200 Japanese runners and 600 from elsewhere during the four-day Expo.
The 2011 survey showed that last year's race pumped $107 million into the island economy.
2011 NEWS ARCHIVES
2011 MARATHON WINNERS SIGN AUTOGRAPHS
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.
KONA WOMAN WINS LIFETIME MARATHON ENTRY
A Kona woman probably will back for next year's Honolulu Marathon -- and the years after that.
Melissa Braswell of Kailua-Kona won lifetime entry into the annual marathon as well as the half-marathon, which will debut March 11 , in the marathon's Facebook trivia contest.
"I have to come back now, " the 33-year-old Braswell said.
Marathon officials conducted a daily race-related trivia contest during the past week, with the winners receiving a marathon tee-shirt. The prize was upgraded on Friday with a more difficult question.
That question was to guess the race winner's finish time. Braswell came within one second of the two hour, 14 minutes and 55 seconds time of winner Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya. Race officials used their own Website to track Braswell on the course and give her the good news when she crossed the finish line.
Braswell said she has trained for previous Honolulu Marathons but didn't run because of injuries. This was the first year she was injury free, she said, and ran the race in just under four hours.
The final challenge in the contest is to guess the finish time of the slowest participant. That winner also will receive lifetime marathon entry.
ETHIOPIAN WINS WOMEN'S TITLE IN HONOLULU DEBUT
A 25-year-old from Ethiopia won the Honolulu Marathon women's championship, her first marathon title and in her Honolulu Marathon debut.
"It was a good race, but a little windy, "said 25-year-old Woynishet Girma, who finished in two hours, 31 minutes and 41 seconds. With the 5 a.m. start, running in the dark made the Honolulu race different from other races she has run, she said.
After defending champion Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia dropped out at the 20-mile mark, a pack of three ran together for the next two miles, with Valentina Galimova of Russia doing most of the pushing. Girma, Misiker Demissie of Ethiopia, and Galimova were together at the start of the Diamond Head hill en route back to the finish line.
At the top of the hill, Girma connected with a male runner who ran with her to the finish line.
Demissie and Galimova sprinted for second place, with Demissie finishing in 2:31:53, and Galimova two seconds behind. Demissie managed a second-place finish despite making a bathroom break at the 17-mile mark and then catching up.
Emmah Muthoni of Kenya was fourth in 2:32:38, followed by Asami Osakabe of Japan, 2:32:49; and three-time winner Svetlana Zakharova of Russia, 2:33:17.
KENYA'S CHELIMO REPEATS AS MEN'S CHAMPION
Defending champion Nicholas Chelimo pushed ahead of two-time winner Patrick Ivuti about 50 yards from the finish line to win the 39th Honolulu Marathon on Sunday.
His time was two hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds, and Ivuti was three seconds behind in one of the race's closest finishes.
A pack of 12 started out together in the early morning darkness with temperatures in the low 70s. The pack was reduced to nine just after the eight-mile mark and, with Nicholas Manza pushing them along, began stringing out after ten miles.
Chelimo moved to the front around the 20-kilometer mark, and with winds picking up at the halfway point, the pack was reduced to six. But Ivuti, who had dropped back, pulled back up into the lead group.Running into headwinds enroute to Hawaii Kai, the group dwindled to four -- Chelimo, Ivuti, Josphat Boit, and Kiplimo Kimutai --coming back on Kalanianaole Highway.
Chelimo made his move turning off the highway near the 22-mile mark, but the others responded, and Ivuti passed him turning onto Kahala Avenue. The two ran side-by-side coming up Kahala Avenue, but Chelimo made another move coming down the Diamond Head hill. The two ran shoulder-to-shoulder again heading into Kapiolani Park toward the finish line before Chelimo made his final move. It wasn't until just before the finish line that he felt he would win.
The 33-year-old Chelimo said that he had the toughest time on the downhill portion, and "didn't feel good" when sprinting.
Ivuti said that after the final downhill he felt discomfort in his right leg and could not sprint.
"I felt like I couldn't finish" at one point in the race, Chilemo said. "I feel tried but I am happy."
Boit, of Kenya, was third in 2:15:40, followed by Kimutai, also of Kenya, 2:18:12; Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum of Kenya, 2:19:21; and six-time winner Jimmy Muindi of Kenya, 2:24:40.
RUNNERS TURN OUT FOR MARATHON LUAU-CONCERT
Regine Schultz-Langerhaus says she really can't compare the Honolulu Marathon with the other 107 marathons she has run. "The many Japanese and Americans makes it different but enjoyable for us. It's also warm; often it's cold for the races in Germany," she said while enjoying the music and food at the marathon's annual concert and luau Friday night at the Waikiki Shell.
The veteran runner from Kier, Germany, also noted that "people in Hawaii are very kindly." She is running in Honolulu for the second time, having finished the 2006 race.
Schultz-Langerhaus is part of a group of 20 from Germany and four from Switzerland that came to Hawaii to run in Sunday's marathon. The group spent time on the Big Island before coming to Honolulu, and will go to Maui on Monday.
Another group enjoying the chicken and rice, pasta and marinara sauce, corn, fruit and tossed salad, and chocolate cake included 52 students and seven teachers from Kokoku High School in Osaka, Japan. The boys participate in various sports programs at the school including track and field, rugby and baseball, according to Jimmy Miranda, an English and cooking teacher.
The group hopes to stay together during the race, said Miranda, a native of the Big Island and a former Maui police officer. "This is a team effort."
Team member Makoto Nagai, 17, said he is excited, this being his first marathon and first trip to Hawaii. A member of the school's boxing club, he said he has been training for the race.
Caterers prepared food for 4,000, race officials said.
Ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro was again the featured entertainer for the concert. "Congratulations to all of you who have committed to running the marathon for the first time," said Shimabukuro, who has run the race himself and performs frequently in Japan.
Japanese pop singer Naoto, who preceded Shimabukuro, was a big hit with the predominantly Japanese audience. His music brought many of the younger Japanese running to the front close to the stage, jumping up and down as he sang. He will be running his first marathon on Sunday.
MBARAK HUSSEIN VISITS MID-PACIFIC INSTITUTE
Former Honolulu Marathon champion Mbarak Hussein says, as a child, he had to walk or run three miles to and from school in his native Kenya. In addition to having no bus, the school also had no cafeteria.
"We had to go back home for lunch and I was always hungry, so I always ran. That?s how I started running," he told a group of first- and second-graders at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu on Friday. He ran barefoot until he was in high school and got shoes, he said. He also said his tribe in Kenya is known for running.
When the students told him they run every day, he said, "I'm impressed. Running is good for your health."
After sharing his experiences growing up in Kenya and in his running career, Hussein jogged on the school athletic field with the private-school students. "Some of you will be good runners. Keep it up," he said.
The students had many questions about his life in Kenya. One student wanted to know if Kenya had Diet Coke when he was growing up. "No, but we had regular Coke and it came in bottles," he said. He also told them he lived on a farm and drank a lot of milk. Families didn't have running water, and had to carry water from the river.
Class members who are part of the elementary choir sang an African song learned as part of their study of the continent.
This year, Husssein will be one of the marathon pacemakers, saying he will guide the elite runners to the halfway point and then drop out. He explained that he won't go the full distance because he will compete in the Olympic marathon trials on Jan. 14 in Houston. "I became an American citizen and now run for the U.S." he said. The 47-year-old is the current U.S. Masters 10-kilometer champion.
Running is his profession and he trains every day, running twice a day, he said.
Hussein, who frequently visits local schools during his marathon visits, said, "It's good to motivate the children and share with them another culture. It's fun, too."
JIMMY MUINDI REGALES PRIORY STUDENTS
A second-grader asked six-time Honolulu Marathon champion Jimmy Muindi if someone stole something and ran away could he catch him.
"You steal something and you'll see," he answered, laughing with the students.
Muindi made his third annual visit to the all-girls St. Andrew's Priory in Honolulu on Friday, answering questions about his native Kenya as well as running and doing marathons. One student wanted to know if he could run faster than an ostrich. Another asked about Kenyans carrying goods in baskets on their heads.
"The students are super-excited," said teacher Sharon Cole. Muindi, the father of two, had a simple explanation for making the annual visit: "I like kids."
The second-graders sang an African song they performed at their recent African festival upon completion of a study segment on Africa. He joined them in their dance routine as they repeated the song.
Muindi said he begins daily training at least three months before the marathon, running not less than 18 miles each day. He set the course record of two hours, 11 minutes and 12 seconds in 2004, but finished in 5th place last year. Now 40, he told the students, "This year, I'll do far better than last year."
He joined the girls in a short jog around the school basketball court.
THE GLADYATOR JOINS MARATHON HALL OF FAME
Gladys "Glady" Burrill says she saw the serious look on Honolulu Marathon Association President Jim Barahal's face and thought he was going to tell her not to do any more marathons. Instead, he told her that she would be inducted into the marathon's Hall of Fame.
"It's unbelievable," said Burrill shortly before the induction ceremony Thursday at the marathon expo at the Hawaii Convention Center. "I've hardly absorbed it. It seems a little unreal."
The Hall of Fame plaque notes that Burrill gained the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest female to complete a marathon. She finished the Honolulu race at age 92 last year in nine hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds. It was her fifth Honolulu finish in seven years.
The plaque says the woman known as "The Gladyator" "redefines what is possible." It says she is "a true inspiration not only to the people of Hawaii but to people around the world."
"People tell me that all the time," Glady said of the inspiration citation. "It's uplifting to me. It's emotional to me that I can inspire someone in my little way," she said.
Burrilll has "retired" from the marathon distance, and this year will lead a team participating in the 10-kilometer Race Day
Walk. Entry fees for her Team Gladyator will go to the Lokahi Giving Project, which benefits those less fortunate. "It will be difficult after seven years for me to stop at 10 kilometers," she said.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie also honored Burrill at the ceremony, presenting her a proclamation designating the day as Gladys Burrill Day in Hawaii. Also attending the ceremony were her son, Mike, Sr., and daughters Celeste Sweat and Helen Ashley, all of Oregon.
Burrill is a part-time resident of Honolulu but says she is becoming more of a full-time resident. "It means so much to be here because the people here have given their hearts to me."
MARATHON EXPO OPENS
Keiko Enomoto was first in line to pick up her runner's number for Sunday's Honolulu Marathon, but says that, after finishing the race 10 times, this might be her last year.
"I had planned to stop after the 10th time, but I decided to do it one more time while I'm still in my 50s," said the 59-year-old from Tokyo. "If I don't run next year, I hope I can come back as a volunteer."
One of her dreams is to live in Hawaii, she said. "Running keeps me in shape, and I'm thankful for the opportunity. It makes me happy."
About 200 people were in line behind Enomoto when the Expo opened Wednesday at the Hawaii Convention Center. Most followed a red carpet to the tables to pick up their running numbers, and then headed to the Expo area to check out official Honolulu Marathon and sponsor adidas merchandise.
The Expo also features about 100 vendors offering energy drinks and other supplements, running equipment, massage tables, promotions from other running events, and jewelry and other goods for Christmas shoppers.
A "graffiti wall" started filling up with the early arrivals.
About 60,00 people are expected to pass through the Expo, which continues through Saturday, according to Expo director Midori Yamamoto.
Students from the Hawaii Pacific University Travel Industry Management program fanned through the crowd, passing out survey forms for the annual economic impact study. About 1,000 Japanese runners, and 500 from elsewhere outside Hawaii will be surveyed, said Professor Jerry Agrusa, who directs the survey.
The surveys have shown that the marathon has generated more than $100,000 for Hawaii's economy in each of the last six years. Agrusa said he expects that figure will continue this year. "The yen is still strong," he said. About 60 percent of the marathon participants are form Japan.
TALENTED MEN'S FIELD IN SUNDAY'S MARATHON
Defending champion Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya leads what race director Jon Cross calls a "very competitive field" in Sunday's Honolulu Marathon.
The men's race has "the most talented field we've ever had," Cross said. It's also a fast field, with four or five of the elites running marathons in less than two hours and eight minutes. With a wide open field, "it's going to be a good race," he said.
On the women's side, Cross believes it will narrow down to defending champion Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia; three-time winner Svetlana Zakharova of Russia, who was second last year; and Eri Okubo of Japan, who was sixth last year.
Chelimo will be chased by 2008 and 2009 winner Patrick Ivuti of Kenya, who was second in the Vienna Marathon in 2:08:41 last April; Ivuti's training partner Benjamin Kolum, who won the Paris Marathon in 2:06:31 in April; Tekese Kebede of Ethiopia, who was second at Boston this year with a 2:07:23 performance.
They all will be pushed by Ezkyas Sisay of Ethiopia, who ran 2:11 in New York this year, and will "be up there forcing the pace," Cross said. "He's not afraid and just goes up and pushes."
Last year, Sisay ran alongside Gebre, his girlfriend, at her pace before dropping out a short distance from the finish line. But this year, he will be an elite runner with the men.
Six-time winner Jimmy Muindi, who was 5th last year and holds the course record of 2:11:12 (2004), also is in the field. The 37-year-old Kenyan will be running his 19th Honolulu race, Cross said. "If the weather cooperates," that record could fall, he said.
This year's pacesetters are three-time winner Mbarak Hussein, the current USA Masters champion in the 10K, and Kiplimo Kimutai of Kenya, who ran a sub-one hour half-marathon in 2009 and was second in the Goteborg Half-Marathon in May in 1:01:21.
Gebre, whose winning time in her first-ever marathon last year, was 2:32:13, ran 2:26:17 in placing fourth at Chicago in October. Zakharova, who is now 41, ran Boston in 2:35:47 and placed 19th last April. But she has never finished lower than second in nine Honolulu races and "knows the course," Cross said.
Okubo ran 2:28:49 in the Berlin Marathon in September, placing ninth. "Her coaches say she is training well," Cross said.
Also running are Misiker Demissie of Ethiopia, who was second in San Diego in 2:25:20 last June. She was fourth in Honolulu last year.
Several other Ethiopians and a Kenyan also are in the women's elite field, but little is known about them, the race director said.
Lyubov Denisova of Russia set the women's record of 2:27:19 in 2006.
MALASADAS WILL BE TREAT FOR HUNGRY RUNNERS
Runners in Sunday's Honolulu Marathon won't get just a shell lei and a certificate when they finish the race. This year, the hungry runners (the race starts at 5 a.m.) also can look forward to a malasada.
About 20,000 of the fluffy Portuguese donuts will be made in a tent near the Kapiolani Park finish line, and will be handed out free to the finishers.
"In previous years, we received feedback from runners that we should have more food at the end of the race," said Marathon Association President Jim Barahal. He said he got the idea for malasadas when he helped his wife who served as chairman of the popular malasadas booth at the Punahou School Carnival, and saw how a lot of the sugary donuts could be produced in short time.
"It's a local kind of food," Barahal said. "It will be fun.
Two malasada fryers and and 15-17 deep fat fryers will be taken to the park for the new venture, said Ernest Kam, a general manager for Center Plate, the company which also caters the marathon's luau on Friday night.
The company turns out 2,000 malasadas for large football games at Aloha Stadium, where it operates the concession stands. But this will be the most he has ever done at one time.
"There always is a first time" Kam said. "I'm hoping it will be a success. I'm sure non-local runners will want to try something different."
The effort will require 2,500 gallons of oil and 500 pounds of sugar, he said. The preparation of the dough is being out-sourced to another company, but using Center Plate's recipe.
Kam said the company is hiring extra help from non-profit organizations, and will share the profits. But everyone in his company will be involved, he said.
He also said he requested that the tent be erected at the highest level. "The propane used to heat the oil will make the tent pretty hot and we will need maximum ventilation."
"We're looking forward to it," Kam said. "I hope it doesn?t rain. Rain and hot oil don 't mix."
PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR SUNDAY'S HONOLULU MARATHON
It's Race Week and it's beginning to look a lot like the Honolulu Marathon.
The tents are going up at Kapiolani Park, vendors are starting to set up for the Honolulu Marathon Expo opening on Wednesday, banners are flying around town, out-of-town runners and supporters are arriving and Marathon Association President Jim Barahal, his staff and hundreds of volunteers are gearing up for Sunday's race, which begins at 5 a.m. on Ala Moana Boulevard.
A total of 20,972 runners have registered for the 39th annual race, and officials expect 1,300 to 1,600 more will plunk down the $260 late fee beginning on Wednesday. A total of 20,168 finished last year's race, making it the 10th largest marathon in the world. Japanese runners haved accounted for about 60 percent of the total the last several years. The race has pumped at least $100 million into the island economy each of the last six years, according to a study by the Hawaii Pacific University Travel Industry Management program.
This year's field includes a pack of about two-dozen elite runners. Included are defending champions Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya and Belainesh Gebre of Ethiopia. The men's field also includes two-time winner Patrick Ivuti of Kenya, while three-time women's winner Svetlana Zakharova of Russia is back for her 10th Honolulu run.
The Expo also marks the start of packet pickup for the runners. About 4,000 people showed up on opening day last year to pick up their running numbers and browse the vendor stands and perhaps do a little Christmas shopping. Five-hundred passed through the turnstiles during the first hour. The Expo continues through Saturday.
Another highlight of race week will be the induction on Thursday of Gladys "Glady" Burrill into the marathon's Hall of Fame. She has completed the Honolulu race five times, and last year, at age 92, set a world record as the oldest female to finish a marathon, earning her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her time was nine hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds. This year, she will lead a group in the Race Day Walk to raise funds for the Lokahi Giving Project, a Honolulu charity which helps the less fortunate.
Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro will again headline the luau and concert Friday night at the Waikiki Shell.
Two new sponsors have been added for the marathon this year. adidas-Japan joins MUFG Card, a Japanese credit card company, as a supporting sponsor, and American Airlines joins Japanese companies docomo and SATOHAP as a contributing sponsor. Japan Airlines remains the major sponsor.
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