Finishing Times Missing for Marathon Runners

Jim Barahal
Jim Barahal

Honolulu (KHNL) -- After months of grueling and intense training, thousands of runners in the Honolulu Marathon didn't get the finish they were expecting.

A computer glitch may have cost them a valuable keepsake. We're talking of course about that finishers certificate that many runners look forward to framing, and proudly displaying.

But many runners will be leaving Honolulu without one. A large number of runners are still waiting for an official time.

Organizers offered an apology Monday after going with a new timing system that ended up dissapointing a large number of runners who crossed the finish line at Kapiolani Park.

They crossed the finish line, but a number of Honolulu Marathon runners don't have official proof.

"I started typing in my last name, nothing coming up. My bib number, nothing coming up. It almost looks like I didn't even register," said marathon runner Rheanna Felton of Seattle.

Heavy rain during the marathon caused the new timing system to malfunction.

"Four out of eight generators failed which caused these timing systems to reboot which contaminated the data," said Honolulu Marathon President Jim Barahal.

As runners came out to Kapiolani Park on Monday to pick up their finishing certificate, some learned hundreds, possibly thousands, of finishing times were lost.

"It's four hours of pure pain and pure determination and you just want to be able to see your time online," said Felton.

"It's a little bit disappointing because it was my 51st marathon and my third Honolulu Marathon," said runner Michelle McGowan-Dragicevich of New Zealand.

Marathon organizers say they can still retrieve missing finishing times.

"I really believe that everybody who finished will be clearly seen on that video by one of our four cameras with their time. The video we have are running times running right along the video, so we are going to get your finishing time but it may just take a few weeks," said Barahal.

But some runners say they are still disappointed.

"I'll never know my exact time which is the saddest part because every second counts," said Felton.

Barahal says they got the new timing system from people they have worked with for the past 21 years. No word yet on if they will use the same system in future Honolulu Marathons.

It's not clear how many finishing times are missing. Barahal says there were 27,800 runners at the starting line, but only 20,600 runners were recorded at the finish line, so the timing system may have lost running times for more than 7,000 runners.