Galimova wins with late surge
Categories: Elite Athletes
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.