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Kenyans Paul Lonyangata and Cynthia Limo won Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon in adverse conditions. The two recognizing that the wind, heat and humidity were going to be an issue ran with patience. There was also the challenge of the hills. Smartly, they parsed out their respective efforts tactically. As both racers hadn’t competed at their best in years, Honolulu would turn out to be a reclamation project for the two athletes.

Men’s race

It has been a minute for 30-year-old Paul Lonyangata since he set his marathon personal best of 2:06:10 in Paris — in fact, six years and eight months. Kenyan pacer, Dickson Chumba, ran off the gun fast. He clocked 15:17 through 5K. Following were Lonyangata, Reuben Kiprop Kerio, Ethiopian Abayneh Degu and former Eritreans now living in the US Tsegay Weldlibanos and Filmon Ande.

Through 10K they clocked 30:25. At this point, Kerio was dropped, for now. Then the hills began in earnest. Kerio slowly joined the lead pack near 15K. Weldlibanos retired after 15K.

At halfway the lead runners were at 1:07:19. Chumba stepped off and Lonyangata took the lead with a surge. After two long windy stretches, which caused the lead runners to regroup, Lonyangata made his move for good.

Lonyangata won in the pedestrian time of 2:15:42, Ande clocked 2:16:01 for second and taking third was Kerio in 2:17:32.

Women’s race

Cynthia Limo in her debut was on the comeback to running after taking several years off due to pregnancy followed by the loss of her daughter. It took her two years to regain confidence. She had, however, shown signs of talent with her 2016 half-marathon best of 1:06:04 as well as winning the half-marathon world championships in Cardiff that same year.

During the early kilometres in Honolulu, she was running in a pack with Ethiopians Kasu Bitew Lemeneh and Sintayehu Tilahun Getahun. They passed through 5K in approximately 18:15. Like the men, they picked up the effort and crossed 10K in 36:00. The three maintained the pack through the windy sections and passed the 30K mark together.

Lemeneh started to lose contact at this point. Limo and Getahun ran together for the following 5K. At 35K Limo dropped the pace putting a gap between her and Getahun. By this point, the race was essentially over. The 33-year-old Limo crossed the finish line in the time of 2:33:01 — the time indicative of the course and conditions but was a strong debut performance for Limo. Tilahun finished in second place recording a 2:35:16. Bitew took third in the time of 2:36:04.


1Cynthia Jerotich LimoKEN2:33:01
2Sintatehu GetahunETH2:35:16
3Kasu Bitew LemenehETH2:36:04
4Yukari AbeJPN2:47:32
5Eri SuzukiJPN2:58:22
6Maki OnishiJPN3:03:11
7Honoka KurosakiJPN3:07:19
8Serena KesslerUSA3:08:48
9Emily ReynoldsUSA3:11:36
10Teresa AllmanUSA3:11:47


1Paul LonyangataKEN2:15:42
2Filmon AndeERI2:16:01
3Ruben Kiprop KerioKEN2:17:32
4Andrew WackerUSA2:23:39
5Shunsuke MatsuiJPN2:24:48
6Taku HaradaJPN2:30:51
7Sage CanadayUSA2:31:52
8Aaqib SyedUSA2:34:22
9Jeremy MorganUSA2:37:45
10Trevor DunbarUSA2:38:09

Featured photo by

Photos by @JaneMonti1 for Race Results Weekly