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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 21, 2001

Friis slowed by humidity, but still wins Kailua half marathon

By Mike Tymn
Special to The Advertiser

High humidity was the primary opposition for Christian Friis and Jodi Jackson in the 21st annual Holokiki O' Alele Half Marathon in Kailua yesterday morning.

This was another victory for HPU student Christian Friis.

Advertiser library photo • March 18, 2001

"My time was slower than I expected," said Friis, a 27-year-old Hawai'i Pacific University graduate student from Denmark, who won the 13.1-mile race in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 22 seconds, about 5 minutes slower than his recent victories indicate he was capable of.

Gary Nettles was second in 1:15:54, followed by Markus Mille in 1:21:21.

While Jackson didn't deny that the heat was a factor, she ran much faster than she had anticipated. Finishing sixth overall, Jackson, 24, clocked 1:22:52, more than 11 minutes ahead of runner-up Shelley Grisbrook.

"I was expecting around 1:30," said Jackson, "so I'm happy."

It was a close race for second as Grisbrook recorded 1:33:59 to 1:34:18 for Angie Song-Rooney and 1:34:27 for Tomoko Magruder.

With 460 starters, the race, previously known as the Windward Half-Marathon, began in the Enchanted Lake district of Kailua at 6 a.m.

Jodi Jackson was 11 minutes ahead of second place.

Advertiser library photo • Dec. 19, 1999

Nettles set the pace for the first half mile, but Friis then took command and was never threatened. "I was just trying to maintain a good rhythm," Friis said. "I could hear Gary back there, but I knew he was far enough back that I didn't have to push it."

Jackson, the state's top female swimmer the past few years, took the lead in the women's race at the start and quickly eased away from her competition. After finishing the race, she headed for the Kailua-Popoi'a Swim at Kailua Beach. Although she was the defending champion in that race, she participated unofficially and was not among the leaders.

In a companion 5K race, Jonathan Lyau, 36, won by much more than it appeared at the finish line. Recording 15 minutes, 42 seconds for the 3.1-mile race, Lyau crossed the finish line just 14 seconds ahead of Mark Rogers as women's winner Sayuri Kusutani, 41, came in third overall, another 10 seconds back.

It was determined, however, that Rogers, Kusutani and many others took a wrong turn in the middle of the race, cutting approximately 400 meters from the required distance. Lyau was so far ahead at that time that they did not see him follow the proper course.

There were 171 entries in the shorter race.