Russia’s Valentina Galimova Comes From Behind to Win the 2012 Honolulu Marathon in 2:31:23

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American Stephanie Rothstein Bruce Finishes Third in 2:32:47

By David Monti
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

HONOLULU (09-Dec) — Russia’s Valentina Galimova came from behind to win the 2012 Honolulu Marathon in 2:31:23, an improvement of her third place finish last year.

For nearly two thirds of the race, Galimova ran in the dark without being able to see the women’s leaders.

Early in the race, Japan’s Kaori Yoshida, who had entered the race as a pacemaker, and Kenya’s Hellen Mugo took off, setting a fast pace.  Hitting 10-K in 34:23, then the halfway point in 1:14:36, the two women had a one minute and 14-second lead on Galimova.  The Russian, who was running with defending champion Woynishet Girma, was dismayed when she saw her half-way split of 1:15:50.

“When I saw one hour 15 minutes I was so upset,” said Galimova, 26, in halting English.

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But with the winds bending the tops of the palm trees which line parts of the course, Mugo was in trouble.  First, Yoshida spurted away from her at the 25-K drinks station, quickly opening a gap on the Kenyan.  By 30-K (1:47:28) Girma was just 12 seconds behind Yoshida, Galimova was within striking distance of second, and Mugo was so far back that reporters could no longer see her from the lead vehicle (she would finish sixth in 2:39:17 and had to be taken for medical treatment in a wheelchair).

“I wasn’t worried about the first athletes,” Galimova said of her thoughts at that point.  “I see that they are running at our speed.”

At 31-K, Girma caught Yoshida, then Galimova passed the Japanese woman, too, to take over second place. Minutes later, Galimova pulled up to Girma and the real battle for victory had begun.

“Last year it was the same situation,” Galimova said because she was contending late in the race, then faded to third.  She knew she needed to use her strength for the two-kilometer climb up Diamond Head.  “I don’t like to run downhill,” she said.

Girma made the first move on the climb, opening up a 10-meter lead, but Galimova quickly closed it down.  The two women crested Diamond Head together, then hit 40-K side by side in 2:24:06.  Galimova kept Girma close, then launched a long sprint just after the 41-K mark.  Girma immediately let her go, allowing Galimova to enjoy the finish straight alone.  Her thoughts turned to how she might spend the prize money with her new husband, Aleksandr.

“I just got married in September,” Galimova told reporters.  “We need to make decisions with our home, then shopping.”  Bursting into a laugh she added: “My husband doesn’t like my shopping.”

Girma was timed in 2:32:22, and was nearly caught by American Stephanie Rothstein Bruce who ran her own race and finished third in 2:32:47.  She’s the first American to make the top-4 here since Amy Legacki finished fourth in 1995.

“I was really just reminding myself that it’s a long race,” Rothstein Bruce recalled telling herself during the first half of the race.  “I wasn’t concerned about where they (the other women) were.

More: Men’s Recap: Wilson Kipsang Wins 2012 Honolulu Marathon
*Honolulu Live Talk

Women’s Top 11 Results

Name Town Time 10km 21.1 30km 40km
1 VALENTINA GALIMOVA  PERM CITY, RUS 2:31:23 34:47:00 1:15:50 1:47:45 2:24:06
2 WOYNISHET GIRMA  ADDIS ABABA, ETH 2:32:22 34:47:00 1:15:50 1:47:42 2:24:06
3 STEPHANIE ROTHSTEIN-BRUCE  FLAGSTAFF, AZ, USA 2:32:47 35:23:00 1:16:40 1:49:30 2:25:08
4 KAORI YOSHIDA  , TOKYO, JPN 2:34:01 34:23:00 1:14:36 1:47:28 2:25:53
5 MISIKER MEKENNON  ALBUQUERQUE, NM, USA 2:37:49 35:51:00 1:18:54 1:53:54 2:30:34
6 HELLEN MUGO  LIMURU, KEN 2:39:17 34:22:00 1:14:36 1:47:54 2:29:59
7 SVETLANA ZAKHAROVA  CHEBOKSARY, RUS 2:39:49 35:23:00 1:17:05 1:51:46 2:31:23
8 ERI SUZUKI  NOSHIRO-SHI, AKITA, JPN 2:50:30 36:30:00 1:20:36 1:56:39 2:41:09
9 SATOKO UETANI  KOBE-SHI, HYOGO, JPN 2:51:48 39:46:00 1:25:17 2:01:48 2:43:04
10 RACHEL STANTON  LAKE ALBERT, NS, AUS 2:51:56 40:14:00 1:25:54 2:02:21 2:43:29
11 YUMI HIRATA  SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO, JPN 2:58:41 41:54:00 1:29:28 2:06:46 2:49:44

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