Hawai'i's top finishers endure strong headwinds
By Katherine Nichols
Special to The Advertiser
Robert Dickie says he is still learning how to run 26.2 miles, but he seems to catching on quickly.
In his third attempt at the distance, the 29-year-old Air Force captain finished in 2 hours, 35 minutes, 22 seconds to become the first Hawai'i resident to finish yesterday's Honolulu Marathon.
"It's not my fastest, but it was my most comfortable," said Dickie, who lives in Kailua. "In the last two I died, but today I came in strong."
He knew he wouldn't match the 2:30:21 he ran in Boston earlier this year, but was pleased because he had to cut his training in half since then because of work demands.
Indeed, he was more excited to talk about Saddam Hussein's capture and what that meant for his friends and colleagues in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"There's an electricity going through all of us," he said.
For the 11th consecutive year, Jonathan Lyau was the first kama'aina born and raised in Hawai'i in 2:41:34. Though his time was slower than usual, he said had not expected a superior performance after taking a break after the Chicago Marathon in October, where he ran 2:39.
To save himself from the wind, he tucked "into a good pack," and was pleased that he "pretty much ran even splits."
Sayuri Kusutani said the head wind crushed her hopes of breaking 2:45. The first Hawai'i female resident finished in 2:52:18. Although her best time is 2:40:05, she said she was thrilled to finish seventh overall among females, just ahead of Olympic gold medalist and marathon legend Joan Benoit Samuelson.
Honolulu financial planner Cynthia Schnack won the kama'aina award for the 10th time in 2:58:30. Although she grumbled good-naturedly about the wind, she was quick to point out that she really didn't have "too many excuses." She added, "the things I hate the most are humidity and rain, and we didn't have those."
Schnack's twin sister Carolyn also ran yesterday, five months after giving birth to her first child. She has won the kama'aina award twice.
"It's a consistent race for me, and it's a consistent race for the
Honolulu Marathon Association," said Cynthia. "There are never any surprises." And that, she said, is the sign of a successful event.