Wilson Kipsang Wins 2012 Honolulu Marathon

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2008 Olympic Decathlon Champ Bryan Clay Runs 4:46:31

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

HONOLULU (09-Dec) — Fighting sometimes strong trade winds, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya won the 40th Honolulu Marathon here today, leading a field of over 25,000 runners to the finish line at Kapiolani Park adjacent to Waikiki Beach.  Kipsang clocked 2:12:31 in his debut at the even. Kipsang won $40,000 in prize money.

The winds were both a blessing and a curse for what will be America’s second-largest marathon this year.  Last week, organizers were worried about atmospheric haze caused by volcanic ash blowing to Oahu from the Big Island of Hawaii, a condition called “vog.”  The trade winds blew the haze out, making conditions clearer and cooler for the recreational runners, but making it harder for the top athletes to run fast.  The $15,000 course record bonuses on offer here today were impossible to obtain.

“You know, there’s two races going on at any major marathon, the elites/professional race, and then you have everybody else,” commented Dr. Jim Barahal, the president of the Honolulu Marathon Association.  He continued: “This kind of wind helps cool people down, but it does slow the elites down tremendously.”

Kipsang, 30, who won the Virgin London Marathon last April and won the Olympic Marathon bronze medal in the same city last August, could feel the winds slowing him down, and realized that he needed to abandon any time goals he had today.

“The first half of the race I was really thinking of how the pace was, and feeling the humidity and the wind,” Kipsang explained.  “It was challenging; you could really fell it.”

Kipsang was in a lead pack of eight which passed through halfway in a leisurely 1:07:07.  He was watched closely by Ethiopian Markos Geneti (who has  ran 2:04:54 in Dubai this year); Moroccan Abderrahime Bouramdane; and Kenyan compatriots Kiplimo Kimutai, Nicholas Chelimo, Patrick Ivuti, Julius Arile, and Nicholas Manza.  He decided that his best strategy was to wait until later in the race to make his move.

“I waited until 30-K,” Kipsang explained.  He added: “It was a small group and I was still feeling strong.”

His rivals tried to give chase, but quickly realized that they were running for second.  Kipsang ran alone through the upscale neighborhood of Kahala, then up the two-kilometer climb to the top of Diamond Head, reaching 40-K with a 28-second lead over his nearest chaser, Geneti.

“Kipsang is a tough guy,” lamented Geneti, who ran 2:04:54 at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last January.  “Many times I tried (to push), but the last 5-K/10-K he was gone.”

Wilson Kipsang wins the 2012 Honolulu Marathon in 2:12:31
(photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Kipsang clocked 1:05:24 for the second half, recording a rare “negative split” on this course, helped by a 4:39 23rd mile.  He was clearly pleased with his victory, especially after he was unable to compete at the cancelled ING New York City Marathon.  He came to Honolulu with his wife Doreen and has already fallen in love with Hawaii.

“This place is fantastic; I like it very much,” Kipsang said, breaking into a broad smile.  “It’s a nice place.”

Geneti held on to finish second in 2:13:08, followed by Kimutai (2:14:15), Ivuti (2:14:55) then Arile (2:15:17).  Taku Harada was the first Japanese finisher, clocking 2:25:23 in 9th place.

Well back in the pack, 2008 Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay finished his first marathon, running the entire race with his wife, Sarah.  The couple were timed in 4:46:31.

LetsRun.com Addition: With Kipsang’s victory today and his previous victory in London and his Olympic bronze, we feel Kipsang deserves the world #1 ranking for 2012. Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich was third in Tokyo in 2:07:50 in his only other marathon for 2012. Two wins, including one in London and a third at the Olympics is better than one win and one third.

More: *Women’s Recap: Russia’s Valentina Galimova Comes From Behind to Win the 2012 Honolulu Marathon in 2:31:23
Is Wilson Kipsang the #1 Marathoner in the worldin 2012 regardless of what happens in Honolulu? *Honolulu Live Talk

Men’s Top 11 Results

Place Runner Town Time 10k Half 30k 40k
1 WILSON KIPSANG  ITEN, KEN 2:12:31 31:40:00 1:07:07 1:35:33 2:06:03
2 MARKOS GENETI  ADDIS ABABA, ETH 2:13:08 31:39:00 1:07:02 1:35:33 2:06:31
3 KIPLIMO KIMUTAI  ELDORET, KEN 2:14:15 31:40:00 1:07:02 1:35:33 2:07:10
4 PATRICK IVUTI  KANGUNDO, KEN 2:14:55 31:40:00 1:07:02 1:35:38 2:07:59
5 JULIUS ARILE  KEPENGURIA, KEN 2:15:17 31:39:00 1:07:02 1:35:33 2:07:40
6 ABDERRAHIME BOURAMDANE  CHAMPS DE COURSE FES, MAR 2:15:53 31:40:00 1:07:01 1:35:34 2:08:33
7 NICHOLAS MANZA  NGONG HILLS, KEN 2:18:27 31:39:00 1:07:01 1:35:50 2:10:55
8 NICHOLAS CHELIMO  NGONG HILLS, KEN 2:19:46 31:40:00 1:07:02 1:36:08 2:11:44
9 TAKU HARADA  NAGOYA-SHI, AICHI, JPN 2:25:23 31:54:00 1:09:52 1:41:30 2:17:26
10 EIICHI HAGAWA  MATSUMOTO-SHI, NAGAN, JPN 2:27:12 32:46:00 1:12:21 1:44:07 2:19:36
11 TAKAHIRO SUNADA  SHINJUKU-KU, TOKYO, JPN 2:28:46 33:59:00 1:14:26 1:47:10 2:21:39

Posted in: Professional

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