30k hit the pavement for 44th annual Honolulu Marathon

Published: Dec. 11, 2016 at 12:19 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2016 at 6:46 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 30,000 people laced up for the 44th annual Honolulu Marathon on Sunday.

Fireworks lit up the sky as the first batch of elite runners took off at 5 a.m.

The 26.2-mile course began on Ala Moana Boulevard. Runners passed Downtown Honolulu before coming back to Ala Moana Center. The course continued to Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and then out toward Hawaii Kai before coming back to the finish line at Kapiolani Park.

Major road closures began at around 12:30 a.m. and lasted through the afternoon

For some runners, it's another race to add to their long list.

Roman Libov from Seattle for example, has completed 13 marathons. "The pain afterwards doesn't motivate me, but the feeling of accomplishment after does," he said.

For others, it was the first time tackling the course.

"I did the Hibiscus half marathon and I thought I felt pretty good so might as well take the next step and do this one," said Jessica Reinhardt of Honolulu.

"It was just one of those stepping stones," said another first-timer, Allison Seeling. "We've done 5K's, 10K's, and half marathons. We just enjoy a challenge."

Coming in first place on the men's side was Lawrence Cherono of Kenya with a record-breaking time of two hours, nine minutes and 37 seconds.

The 28 year old beat the previous record of two hours, 11 minutes 12 seconds, set by Jimmy Muindi in 2004.

Coming in first on the women's side was Brigid Kosei, also of Kenya, with a time of two hours, 31 minutes and 10 seconds.

The Honolulu Marathon is the fourth-largest marathon in the United States and it brings world-class runners to the state. Organizers say more than 700,000 participants crossed the finish line since the marathon made its debut in 1973.

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