While there might be more prestigious races around the world, few can match the sights and overall beauty of the Honolulu Marathon.
The annual event is one of the largest of its kind with about 29,000 entries, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. While everyone who competes should be proud of his or her efforts, Gilbert Chepkwony was the big winner on Sunday after finishing in first place with a time of two hours, 18 minutes and 47 seconds.
Gilbert Chepkwony takes first place in the Honolulu Marathon pic.twitter.com/csVOSCZB9c— Honolulu Marathon (@HNLmarathon) December 8, 2013
On the women's side, Ehitu Kiros came through with an impressive win after finishing the 26.2 miles in 2:36:10.
Here is a full look at the top times in each class, courtesy of the event's official site.
Everything about this Hawaiian event provides a great deal of excitement. Even the beginning of the race is unique thanks to its 5 a.m. local start time.
With the sky still dark, organizers are able to light off fireworks to signify the start of the race:
Although the non-participants nearby most likely would rather sleep, it is hard not to get excited for the long event.
As the sun rises, you are finally able to see the true beauty of the city and the surrounding areas of Oahu. The event's official Instagram account provided this image:
Other onlookers provided their own interesting views of the race:
However, the big story is the impressive performance of Chepkwony. The talented runner continues a long history of success among Kenyans at this race. This win gives the country seven wins in a row and 17 out of the last 18 at the Honolulu Marathon.
Nicholas Chelimo also had a strong performance to finish in second place, while Solomon Bushendich rounded out a clean sweep for Kenya on the podium with a third-place finish.
Meanwhile, Kiros had a much closer battle in the women's race. The three top runners each finished within 12 seconds of each other, but the Ethiopian runner was able to come through with the narrow win.
Woynishet Girma and Valentina Galimova finished in second and third place, respectively.
Still, this is simply an event where competing makes each person a winner. Only one person can finish first, but finishing at all is a great athletic achievement.
With this event taking place in Hawaii, you can imagine a lot of deserved relaxation ahead for every participant.
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