Kenya’s Chelimo repeats as men’s champion

Categories: Elite Athletes

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.

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