Kiprotich, Chepkirui win Honolulu Marathon

Kenyans ruled the day at the Honolulu Marathon today, winning both the men’s and women’s races with personal-best times.

Felix Kiprotich of Kenya won the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 43 seconds. Kipchirchir broke away from a pack of six men out front late in the 26.2-mile race.

Kiprotich’s time is the second-fastest in the event’s 43-year history. Defending champion Wilson Chebet finished second in 2:12:46.

The six leaders were within two seconds of the lead at the 30 kilometer mark, hitting it in 1:34:29 to 1:34:31.

Defending women’s champion Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya won in 2:28:34. She pulled out to a lead after the midway mark and covered the first 25 kilometers in 1:25:30. But with less than five miles to go, Lucy Kirimi had closed to within seven seconds of her lead, with Isabella Ochichi just two seconds behind Kirimi in third.

They remained in those places at the finish, with Kirimi crossing in 2:28:55 and Ochichi in 2:29:44.

Masazumi Soejima was the first competitor to cross the finish line. The men’s wheelchair winner from Japan, finished in one 1:33:12. His countryman Ryota Yoshida was second in 1:33:29. It was Soejima’s ninth Honolulu Marathon win.