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Olympic Medalists Take Part in Legends 5k in Honolulu
By David Monti
(c) 2006 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

HONOLULU (07-Dec-2006) -- Sprayed by a tropical mist blown by the Hawaiian Islands Trade Winds, four Olympic medalists completed the Legends 5-K here today at Kapiolani Park, just across the street from world famous Waikiki Beach.  This unscored fun run attracted over 500 runners in advance of Sunday's 34th Honolulu Marathon.

Meb Keflezighi (silver medal, 2004 marathon), Frank Shorter (gold medal, 1972 marathon and silver medal 1976 marathon), Kip Keino (gold medal 1968 1500m and 1972 3000m steeplechase), and Ian Stewart (bronze medalist 1972 5000m), all completed the flat, two-loop course around the park.

Keino, 66, who took over 25 minutes to complete the race, admitted that it was the first time he had run any distance in many years.

"Not since the London Marathon five years ago," said Keino who cuts a much rounder figure than in his heyday in the 1960's and '70's.

Shorter, a long-time guest of the Honolulu Marathon, attracted a crowd of admirers who joined him throughout the run, and who then had him autograph their race numbers and shirts after the race.  He finished just a little ahead of Keino.

Other running greats who finished today's race included three-time Boston Marathon winner, Cosmas Ndeti; eight-time Honolulu Marathon winner, Carla Buerskens; four-time Honolulu Marathon champion, Patti Dillon; and former Boston Marathon champion, Greg Meyer.  Meyer, looking fit and running without a shirt, ran well under 20 minutes.

"He won the shirtless masters division," quipped running commentator, Toni Reavis.

Although the race wasn't officially scored, there was a finish clock and it read 15 minutes and three seconds when reigning Commonwealth Games 1500m silver medalist, Nate Brannen of Canada, crossed the finish line, the de facto winner.

"I guess so," said a smiling Brannen when asked if he was the unofficial winner of the race.

Co-race director, Jon Cross, who like Brannen went to the University of Michigan, has asked the miler to run the first ten miles of Sunday's marathon for the benefit of the elite field.  "Five minute miles," said Brannen who will be leading five-time winner, Jimmy Muindi of Kenya, and his mostly Kenyan rivals over the 42.195 km course.

Sunday's Honolulu Marathon has attracted some 28,000 entrants.  The 2005 edition had 24,295 official finishers making it the third-largest marathon in the United States.

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