Kenyan runners Chebet, Chepkirui, winners at Honolulu Marathon - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kenyan runners Chebet, Chepkirui, winners at Honolulu Marathon

Wilson Chebet Wilson Chebet
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Wilson Chebet of Kenya was the first runner to cross the finish line at Sunday's Honolulu Marathon with a time of 2:15:35.

Joyce Chepkirui became the marathon's first-ever female winner from Kenya. She crossed the finish line with a time of 2:30:23.

Marathon officials said a total of 22,068 runners crossed the starting line Sunday morning. They took off near Ala Moana Park, and then wound their way through downtown before heading back eastbound down Kapiolani Boulevard and Ala Moana, then coursing on Kalakaua Avenue through the heart of Waikiki.

"I didn't have to set my alarm clock this morning," said Randy Luebke, visiting from California. "I woke up in my rom to the sound of thundersticks and screaming and yelling. And I came out here, and it's a little drizzly, but it's a lot of fun. A lot of fun."

Light rain greeted contestants at the beginning of the race. But Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said the wind became a factor further east. 

"The winds were the strongest, absolutely, in Hawaii Kai," said Barahal. "It was really, really brutal on the highway. And even coming back, when theoretically it was going to be a tail wind, they were gusting enough, kind of a cross wind, that they were still buffeting the runners around."

Men's winner Chebet has won the Amsterdam Marathon twice, the Rotterdam Marathon once, and has finished second in the Boston Marathon.

"I think among the four marathons that I have run, this is the most difficult because it was raining from all the way through," he said.

Paul Lonyangata of Kenya was the second male finisher with a time of 2:16:04. Geb Abraha of Ethiopia was third at 2:16:27.

For the women, Lisa Nemec of Croatia was second at 2:31:35. Isabella Ochichi of Kenya was third with a time of 2:32:22.

Masazumi Soejima of Japan was first male wheelchair division finisher with a time of 1:41:49. Wakako Tsuchida of Japan was the first female at 2:35:39.

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