Japanese runners celebrate by shopping - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Japanese runners celebrate by shopping

Jim Barahal Jim Barahal
Janette Butay Janette Butay

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The day after the Honolulu Marathon, thousands of runners from Japan pour into Waikiki to do some last minute shopping before they head home. It's a much needed boost to our economy.

Yesterday Japans Kiyoko Shimahara was the first woman to cross the finish line at the 36th Honolulu Marathon. Today she spent the morning signing autographs.

"It will be getting a lot of media attention in Japan both in newspapers, magazines and television. Having a Japanese winner will help this event to grow," says Honolulu Marathon President Jim Barahal.

Proud of their very own winner and happy to have completed the race themselves, Japanese participants celebrate by doing some shopping

"Having finished the race and feeling good about it and having a beautiful day today, the day after the race, I'm sure will lead to a great day for all the merchants in Waikiki," says Jim Barahal.

Although the number of Japanese participants was down slightly from last year, Waikiki merchants were happy to see not only the sun back out, but visitors as well, with pocket books in hand.

"We look forward to it every year when they come in. That's when all of our sales get up, November was a busy month but this time in December, we're going to make great sales," says Waikiki Retailer Janette Butay.

There were about 13,600 Japanese runners in this year's race, down 3-thousand from last year. Marathon officials hope Kiyoko Shimaharas' victory will bring that number up next year.

An economic impact study will be done for this year's marathon. Officials expect the race to generate 90 to 100 million dollars in spending.

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