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Kiprotich wins men’s Honolulu Marathon; Tight finish in women’s race

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Filex Kiprotich, of Kenya, crosses the tape after winning the men’s race in the 2015 Honolulu Marathon today.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Joyce Chepkirui, of Kenya, raises her country’s flag after finishing first in the women’s race of the Honolulu Marathon.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Runners prepare themselves prior to the start of the 2015 Honolulu Marathon this morning in Downtown Honolulu.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A countdown clicks off the last seconds before the start of the 2015 Honolulu Marathon today.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Elite runners begin 2015 Honolulu Marathon this morning in Downtown Honolulu.

Kenyans ruled the day at the Honolulu Marathon today, winning both the men’s and women’s races.

Filex Kiprotich of Kenya won the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 43 seconds. Kipchirchir broke away from a pack of six men out front late in the 26.2-mile race.

Kiprotich’s time is the second-fastest in the event’s 43-year history. Defending champion Wilson Chebet finished second in 2:12:46.

The six leaders were within two seconds of the lead at the 30 kilometer mark, hitting it in 1:34:29 to 1:34:31.

Defending women’s champion Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya won in 2:28:34. She pulled out to a lead after the midway mark and covered the first 25 kilometers in 1:25:30. But with less than five miles to go, Lucy Kirimi had closed to within seven seconds of her lead, with Isabella Ochichi just two seconds behind Kirimi in third.

They remained in those places at the finish, with Kirimi crossing in 2:28:55 and Ochichi in 2:29:44.

Masazumi Soejima was the first competitor to cross the finish line. The men’s wheelchair winner from Japan, finished in one 1:33:12. His countryman Ryota Yoshida was second in 1:33:29. It was Soejima’s ninth Honolulu Marathon win.

About 30,000 runners are participating in the Honolulu Marathon.

Police closed a number of roads along the course in Downtown Honolulu, Kakaako, Waikiki and East Honolulu through Hawaii Kai until most participants had passed.

The closures include part of the H-1 Freeway from Waialae Avenue to Ainakoa, the makai side of Kalanianaole Highway and a number of roads leading to the finish at Kapiolani Park.

Skies were clear and winds were light at the beginning of the race.

The winds were expected to shift to the southeast later in the morning, bringing warmer and more humid conditions by the afternoon.

CORRECTION: Filex Kiprotich won the men’s race of the Honolulu Marathon. His name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.

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