Kenyan Chepkwony makes late move to win men’s race
Categories: Elite Athletes
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.