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Muindi Evens Score with Hussein in Men's Race

By David Monti
(c) 2003 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
Dec 14, 2003 

HONOLULU (14-Dec) -- Eri Hayakawa became the first Japanese champion in the 31 year history of the Honolulu Marathon today, winning in a personal best time of 2:31:57.  The 22 year-old athlete upset both Albina Ivanova or Russia and her compatriot Alevtina Ivanova (no relation), with a come from behind victory in very windy conditions.

"I am very happy with this race," said the ultra-thin Japanese who runs for the Amino Vital Athletics Club.  "I'm going to take this as a step to a higher level."

Hayakawa did not take the lead until the 24th mile, pushing up the hill on the base road below Diamond Head.

"I could not see Albina because of the curve (in the road)," Hayakawa explained after the race, noting that she was just pushing herself as hard as she could.

Her victory brought her an $18,000 payday, including time incentives.

Alevtina Ivanova passed Albina in the 25th mile to take second place in 2:33:49; Albina faded to third in 2:34:36,

Men's champion Jimmy Muindi of Kenya evened the score with his countryman and long-time Honolulu rival, Mbarak Hussein, at three wins apiece.  Muindi surged hard at the 30-K mark, dropping Hussein, Kenyan Philip Tanui and Ethiopian Dawit Terfe to seal the victory.

"I was pushing, I was pushing," said Muindi.  "I was very much strong.  When it was time to go, I just go."

Muindi's winning time of 2:12:59 was exceptional given the strong winds and high humidity, and he appeared to be fresh at the finish.  His victory was worth $20,000, including time bonuses.  Hussein was clocked in 2:15:01 in second place, while Tanui finished third in 2:16:31.

"It wasn't one of my best days," lamented Hussein.

Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson decided to run the race less than one hour before the start, despite telling friends the night before at an Italian restaurant that she wouldn't run.  Arriving at the starting area only minutes before the starter's gun at 5:00 a.m., she obtained a number and timing chip and set off on a "training run" to give her confidence to prepare for next April's U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis.

"That calamari is not sitting too well," joked Samuelson after the race.  She finished eighth in 2:53:54.

Top Results:


 1. Jimmy Muindi, KEN, 2:12:59

 2. Mbarak Hussein, KEN, 2:15:01

 3. Philip Tanui, KEN, 2:16:31

 4. Dawit Terfe, ETH, 2:17:30

 5. Stephen Ndungu, KEN, 2:17:38



 1. Eri Hayakawa, JPN, 2:31:57 PB

 2. Alevtina Ivanova, RUS, 2:33:49

 3. Albina Ivanova, RUS, 2:34:36

 4. Olga Romanova, RUS, 2:39:49

 5. Atsuko Sugawara, JPN, 2:45:28


 8. Joan Samuelson (45+), USA, 2:53:54

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