December 14, 2003
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
For many years I had wanted to run the Honolulu Marathon, but
circumstances didn't allow it. This year our friends Lois and Ed Driver
made it possible. Lenore and I became acquainted with the Drivers at the
Inaugural Bay Bridge Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA, last year.....and
became better acquainted with them this year at the Marine Corps Marathon.
After they made arrangements for Ed to run the Honolulu Marathon, they
invited us to join them at their two-bedroom timeshare condominium on
Oahu, run the marathon, and then stay for a week to enjoy the island
experience. Another good friend, Bruce Katter, planned to run the
marathon, too. He joined Lenore and me on our flight to Honolulu and was
a houseguest of the Drivers also.
Being a cool weather runner, I was a bit apprehensive of the warm, humid
weather of the marathon. Actually, it wasn't that bad. On Sunday
morning, December 14, 2003, the temperature was 72 degrees when the field
of 22,495 runners started in the darkness at 5:00 a.m. We were well down
the road before the sun rose and the heat became noticeable.
From the start to Mile 17 there were cooling headwinds to 25 miles per
hour. Later, with a tailwind and the temperature in the 80's I found
myself seeking shade and dousing water on my head in the last 15K.
The race course was mostly flat with several minor hills. We started at
Ala Moana Park and ran a 5K loop in downtown Honolulu passing the lighted
Aloha Tower, a famous landmark. Then we ran through Waikiki and by
Waikiki Beach, the zoo, and Kapiolani Park. Next we ran uphill and then
downhill by Diamond Head, the landmark extinct volcano. To mark the
occasion I had a "Marathon First" as I fell after tripping on a centerline
reflector. With only a skinned elbow, I resumed my long climb and was
more attentive to my footing in the dim, pre-dawn light.
Then it was a long, out-and-back run on Kalanianaole Highway through
shoreline suburbs for five miles, out to a two mile loop and a return with
views of the surf and offshore boats and ships. We passed through an
exclusive housing area where the beauty of Hawaii could be appreciated.
Birds that I saw were white cattle egrets, zebra and Chinese doves, flashy
mynahs, and red crested cardinals. The blooms along the course were
bougainveillia, plumosa, poinciana, red ginger, and many more flowering
trees, shrubs and vines. There were many kinds of palms, but it is the
coconut palm that is the keynote species.
With three miles to go to the finish, the wall, the heat and the upgrade
on Diamond Head converged to remind the runner that afterall it is a
marathon and the last few miles are never easy. The last mile was
downhill from Diamond Head to the finish in Kapiolani Park. For our
efforts we earned a cowry shell necklace, a finisher's T-shirt, a
finisher's medal on a key ring, and a few refreshments.
My race was one of the slower ones of the year as I finished with a
4:47:35.....5,921 of 22,121 finishers and 12th 70-74M. Some of our
mainland friends were in the race, and we talked to most of them at one
time or another during the marathon weekend. Their times are shown in the
For the third time, Jimmy Muindi, 30, of Kenya won the Honolulu Marathon.
He outlasted a pack that diminished with the miles as the strong headwinds
took a toll. Finally, he was running with just Mbarak Hussein, 38, of
Kenya who also has won the race three times (including last year's event).
Mbarak's sore ribs problem from a recent case of shingles caused him to
slow down......and Tommy pulled away in the final miles to win by two
minutes with a 2:12:59. That was good for $15,000 in prize money plus
$5,000 for running under 2:13:00.
Because 60% of the field is from Japan, the race has a decided Japanese
flavor. There were Japanese runners everywhere, Japanese club support
groups, Japanese bands, and Japanese banners along the course. It was
fitting that for the first time in the race history the women's winner was
Japanese......Eri Hayakawa, 22, a college student from Tokyo. In recent
years the Russian women have been dominant, but in this race they placed
second, third, and fourth. Eri ran a 2:31:57 personal record by 45
seconds. At 30K she was two minutes behind the two leading Russian women.
She caught up with them in the 25th mile and opened up a two minute lead
by the finish to earn $15,000 in prize money.
For the sixth consecutive year the wheelchair race was won by Krige
Schabort of Cedartown, GA.....in 1:32:52. It was not an easy win,
however, as he beat Kelly Smith of Vancouver, BC, by only one second!
Borys Plaskauz, a 14 year old from Honolulu, was second in the 14 and
under division as he ran a 3:47:24 PR. He is quoted as saying, "It felt
easy in the beginning, and it got harder and harder......but I never
quit." Right on, Borys!
The youngest competitor in the race was Rio Sato, 9, from Hawaii who
finished in 12:01:43. I saw this little fellow on an out-and-back
section......accompanied by a male adult.
Nani Crowell, 61, of Hawaii was training to run/walk the Honolulu
Marathon, but regrettably she died on December 7th of a massive blood clot
on the brain. In her honor, her children Grant Crowell, 33, of Chicago
and his sister Tracey ran in her place trading her bib number back and
forth between them as they ran a 4:10 marathon.
In April 1983 I ran my first Boston Marathon when Joan Benoit set a world
record 2:22:43 in that race. I was pleased that one of my idols, now Joan
Benoit Samuelson, was in the Honolulu Marathon. She ran a
2:53:54......the 8th woman overall and first woman in the 45-49F division.
Congratulations to Boonsom Hartman of Oak Forest, IL, who ran her 91st
marathon and became a 50 States and DC FINISHER in Honolulu. Boonsom ran
our Inaugural YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON on March 31, 2001, and we saw
her again at the October 28, 2001, Marine Corps Marathon. She was
featured in an article in the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper the next day.
It was exciting to be there for her special accomplishment and to meet her
husband Scott who had come along to support her.
Thanks go to Dr. Jack Scaff and his wife Donna for inviting us to a
pre-marathon party at their home in the Honolulu uplands. We met the
Scaffs at the Portland Race Directors Conference in Portland, OR, in early
October. Jack is a cardiologist who spoke there about the medical
problems that affect runners in marathons. He is one of the "fathers" of
the Honolulu Marathon and in 1996 was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon
Hall of Fame. Through his Honolulu Marathon Clinic, Jack has educated
thousands of people to the joys and benefits of long distance running.
It was great to see race directors and others whom we had seen at the
October Portland Race Directors Conference at Jack and Donna's party
and/or at the Expo. Among them were Portland's Race Director Les Smith,
New York City's representative Brian Crawford, Lake Tahoe's Race Director
Les Wright, Maui's Race Director Jim Lovett and our own Marty Wanless,
Sports Marketer from Vancouver, BC, who displayed our YRCM registration
forms at his booth at the Expo. Marty has been supportive of our marathon
for almost four years......from the day he heard that Lenore and I were
going to be the directors of a new marathon....and has distributed our
registration forms all over the world!
Running the Honolulu Marathon and visiting Oahu was quite an experience.
I would recommend it to all marathoners to run it at least one time. Many
thanks to Lois and Ed Driver for making it possible for Lenore and me to
have these memorable experiences.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Partial Results..Honolulu Marathon..December 14, 2003
1M. 2:12:59 Jimmy Mundi, 30, Kenya
2M. 2:15:01 Mbarek Hussein, 38, Kenya
3M. 2:16:01 Philip Tanui, 27, Kenya
4M. 2:17:30 Dewit Trfe, 19, Ethiopia
1F. 2:31:57 Eri Hayakawa, 22, Tokyo, Japan
2F. 2:33:49 Alevtina Ivanova, 28, Russia
3F. 2:34:36 Albina Ivanova, 26, Russia
4F. 2:39:49 Olga Romanova, 23, Russia
2:53:54 Joan Benoit Samuelson, 46, Incline Village, NV
3:24:55 Steven Yee, 44, Renton, WA
3:30:32 Michael Wakabayashi, 55, Spokane, WA
3:38:45 Eddy Nolan, 46, Ile-Bizard, Quebec, Canada
3:55:14 Bruce Katter, 69, Edmonds, WA
3:55:25 Gunhild Swanson, Spokane, WA
4:47:35 Bob Dolphin, 74, Renton/Yakima, WA
5:00:00 Lynn Yarnall, 53, Edmonds, WA
5:04:11 Boonsom Hartman, 46, Oak Forest, IL
5:20:14 Jack Swanson, 69, Spokane, WA
5:25:52 Ed Driver, 78, Palm Desert, CA
5:31:08 Sue Fauerbach, 56, Renton, WA
5:35:35 Cindy Enlow, 41, Portland, OR
5:35:36 Patty Worger, 49, Vancouver, WA
5:41:37 Cathy Troisi, 57, Seneca Falls, NY
6:02:17 Karen Barber, 57, Honolulu, HI
6:33:27 Bob Elmore, 60, Tacoma, WA
6:45:17 Don Lang, 69, Glendale, CA