Kenya’s Kipsang wins with first negative split
Categories: Elite Athletes
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.