Athletics News

Honolulu Marathon – News – Ethiopians Mengstu, Ayalew Prevail AT 50th Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon - News - Ethiopians Mengstu, Ayalew Prevail AT 50th Honolulu Marathon

By Rich Sands, @sands
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.

HONOLULU (11-Dec) — As the sun began to rise here this morning, Ethiopia’s Asefa Mengstu made a decisive late-race move to win the men’s division of the Honolulu Marathon. Bere Ayalew made it an Ethiopian sweep, taking the women’s title by more than three minutes. Both runners earned $25,000 for their victories in what was the 50th running of the race. On a windy morning with start temperatures at 74F/23C, 14,645 runners set off on America’s fourth largest marathon.


The race started at 5:00 a.m. local time –two hours before sunrise– with the men setting out at a fairly conservative pace. This allowed one of the competitors in the concurrently run Start to Park 10-K to open up a gap and appear to be leading. In reality, pacemaker Reuben Kerio was at the front of a pack that included Mengstu, Shifera Tamru of Ethiopia and Barnabas Kiptum of Kenya, along with American 1500-meter runner Eric Avila, who was racing the 10-K. (Avila competed in the elite section of the Kalakaua Merrie Mile on Saturday.) They reached 5-K in 15:24.

Avila pulled away from the marathoners to win the 10-K in 30:09, as the longer race continued eastward away from Waikiki Beach. They hit their own 10-K mark in 30:30, and then entered a long stretch along the Diamond Head volcanic crater and the Kalanianaole Highway, where the wind grew stronger.

“The wind was very bad,” Mengstu said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It surprised me how tough the wind was.”

With sunrise still more than an hour away, the four runners cut through the dark. While crowd support was strong on most of the course, there were periods when the only sound besides their footsteps was the crowing of wild roosters nearby.

The halfway point was reached in 1:06:38, and Kerio’s work was done. With the wind picking up, the pace was slipping above 5 minutes per mile. Soon Tamru began to fall back and he would eventually drop out. After the race he indicated that he was struggling with leg pain.

Kiptum continued to lead, with Mengstu hovering just off his right shoulder, shielding himself from the brunt of the wind. They remained in this pattern through 30-K (1:35:02), when Mengstu began to run alongside his rival. Shortly after 35-K (1:50:52), as the sun was starting to shine, Mengstu made what would be the race’s pivotal move. In a matter…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at RunnerSpace News…