Ethiopian is Winner of Marathon Women’s Race
Categories: Elite Athletes
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 more 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.
Kiros said she enjoyed the race which she described as “nice and comfortable. I was happy to win the Honolulu Marathon and will be happy to come again and win.”
It was her first marathon victory after finishing second in the Dubai Marathon last January.
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 bcoming 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.
Even when she was 25 seconds back and her legs were hurting, she said she never thought of quitting the race.