HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 22,000 runners gathered in front of the Ala Moana Beach park to take part in today's grueling 26.2 mile race, Among them, were both the men's and women's top finishers from last year, who were back in the 808 and looking to repeat.
Due to good weather and lack of wind, most of this year's elite runners saw improved race times from last year's marathon. Defending Champion Wilson Chebet, of Kenya, shaved nearly 3 minutes off his time from 2014. But it still wasn't enough to, Filex Kiprotich, who finished the race in just 2 hours 11 minutes and 43 seconds. That's a 5 minute 2 second mile pace and the second fastest ever posted on that course.
On the women's side, Joyce Chepkirui was the first of the female runners to make her way to Kapiolani Park once again. The reigning champ set the pace early for the women's elite group. Second place finisher, Lucy Karimi was on her heels for most of the race, staying within 10 seconds of her lead until they reached the homestretch. But Chepkirui was able to hold Karimi off and claim the top spot for a second consecutive year.
"It was my plan because on Wednesday I say I want to run two twenty eight, and I make it and today I want to thank god because I win and I feel happy it was a great race for me," said Chepkirui after breaking the tape.
Chepkirui stuck to her plan, crossed the finish line in two hours 28 minutes and 34 seconds.
Kenyan runners swept the top 3 spots among both the men's and women's elite runners. One Hawaii resident did manage to break into the top 20 though.
Lahaina resident, Reid Hunter, finished 17th overall with a time of two hours 41 minutes and 47 seconds.