Lawrence Cherono and Brigid Kosgei of Kenya repeated as Honolulu Marathon champions today with both setting race records in the 45th running of the event.
Cherono finished the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 27 seconds, taking more than a minute off the record of 2:09:38 he set last year.
“I am happy again because I came here for a second time and breaking a course record is a great achievement to me,” Cherono said.
“I was not expecting (the record), but after the 5 kilometer (mark) I felt like my body was moving so I had to keep up with the pace.”
WIlson Chebet finished in 2:09:55 to place second for the third straight year. Vincent Yator came in third at 2:10:37. Dennis Kimetto, the world record holder in the marathon, fell of the pace early in the race.
Kosgei crossed the finish line at Kapiolani Park at 2:22:15 to smash the previous record of 2:27:19 set by Lyubov Denisova in 2006.
Cherono and Kosgei earned $40,000 for winning the race and another $15,000 for breaking the records.
Chebet broke away from the pack of elite runners about 20 miles into the race, but Cherono answered quickly and opened up a 25-second lead in the 23rd mile.
Cherono, who broke Jimmy Muindi’s 2004 record of 2:11:12 last year, ran alone through Kahala, up the Diamond Head climb and into Kapiolani Park to lower the mark again.
Kosgei pulled away from the pack of three at the 20-kilometer mark and built her lead over the final half of the course. Nancy Kiprop of Kenya was second in 2:29:15 and Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya, the 2014 and 2015 champion, was third in 2:33:17. Kenyan women have won the last four marathon titles.
“I’m happy,” said Kosgei, who was coming off a second-place finish at October’s Chicago Marathon. “I broke the record in Honolulu and because I won again.”
Masazumi Soejima won his fifth straight men’s wheelchair title in 1:39:24 and Wakako Tsuchida repeated as the women’s winner in 1:49:33. Both have won 11 titles in Honolulu.
Top local male finishers were James Jones (kama‘aina, 2:48:24) and Evan De Hart (resident, 2:49:32). Top local female finishers were Polina Carlson (resident, 2:53:16) and Malia Crouse (kama‘aina, 2:58:03).