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In Surprise turn Miler turns Marathoner in Honolulu

By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2016 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

The saying goes that people will do anything for a free T-shirt. Case in point, Olympic 1500-meter runner Hamish Carson.The New Zealand mile

The New Zealand mile ace completed yesterday’s 44th Honolulu Marathon in 2:27:21, all, he said, for the signature turquoise t-shirt that only marathon finishers receive.

“I had 35-K to do [as a long run] and I got to 35-K and I said I’m thinking  about the finisher’s T-shirt. I wanted that finisher’s T-shirt so I kept going. It was fun.”

Originally, Carson was here in Waikiki for the inaugural Kalakaua Merrie Mile, held a day before the marathon. Carson ran 4:09.4 to finish seventh in the handicapped gender-challenge race, a satisfying run for the Kiwi. He has a 1500m PB of 3:36.25 and mile best of 3:56.72.

Just under twenty four hours later, Carson crossed the marathon finish line to the surprise of everyone. Elite competitors, media members, and race organizers did a double take to see if the tall runner with a soaking wet pony tail was indeed Carson. It was.

“It was a nice course with the sun coming up. I managed to keep it going and had a good finish,” he said, trying to contain his amusement and laughter.

When told that he’d placed ninth in the field, just behind the race’s elite marathoners, Carson shook his head. “Crikey! Top ten in both, that’s good!”

After jogging to the start from his hotel, Carson started the race at Ala Moana Park with the sub-elites, tempo-ing through the opening miles with ease. He’d hit 5-K comfortably in 16:18 and 10-K in 32:19, running alongside American pro Nick Arciniaga. Arciniaga was racing on a severely sprained ankle, and knew Carson was tempo-ing the early miles. He never thought Carson would ultimately finish the race.

“We caught him around [mile] 3 or 4, and we were trading the lead going back and forth. It was nice having company and working together,” said Arciniaga. “He trains with Nick Willis and Will Leer, and I’ve done tempo runs with those guys before so I knew he could keep it up for quite a ways. But I did not expect him to finish in the 2:27‘s. Honestly, that was super impressive, and coming off an almost four-flat mile yesterday. Pretty impressive… I was shocked.”

By WebBox Digital
Hamish Carson finishes the  2016 Honolulu Marathon
Hamish Carson finishes the 2016 Honolulu Marathon