Posted on: Monday, December 9, 2002
Lyau, Friis, Kusutani, Schnack top local finishers
By Katherine Nichols
Special to The Advertiser
The 30th annual Honolulu Marathon offered lots of drama with the elite men and women, but there were few surprises in the race for the first kama'aina finisher.
For the 10th year, 38-year-old Jonathan Lyau finished first among kama'aina in 2 hours, 36 minutes, 56 seconds. Christian Friis, 29, was the first Hawai'i resident in 2:38:31.
Every year, event officials give awards to the top male and female kama'aina, defined as a runner born and raised in Hawai'i, as well as the first male and female residents anyone who lives in Hawai'i now. The awards include a trip to the Mainland or Japan to run another race.
Lyau said he slowed in the middle of the race as he felt a "pillow" of a blister rising on his foot, but regained his strength in the final section of the race. "I guess the endorphins kicked in," he said of finally feeling the wind at his back. "I started just not thinking about that blister." Which isn't difficult later in the race when the "pain gets spread through the whole body."
Seeing Friis up in front didn't hurt either. "I had a goal" to be the first Hawai'i finisher, said Lyau, who said he was pleased with his time.
While passing Friis on Diamond Head in the final miles, Lyau offered encouragement, telling Friis there were no other Hawai'i residents in sight.
Friis was grateful for the news. Because by that time "I had spent myself," he said. Much of the way out to Hawai'i Kai, he broke the wind for the fifth place woman, Irina Bogacheva. "Then I kind of died on the way back," he said. Even so, he was happy with his effort, which he called his "first good marathon in five years."
Sayuri Kusutani, a 43-year-old graduate student at Hawai'i Pacific University, was the first female Hawai'i resident to finish in 2:48:07. Nearly nine minutes later, veteran kama'aina award winner Cynthia Schnack arrived in 2:57:00.
Schnack, a financial consultant for Smith Barney, usually trains and races with her twin sister Carolyn. But Cynthia has been injured and did not run.
"My sister was my coach this year," Cynthia said. Her advice? "When the going gets tough, put your head down and go."
Between the two, they have won 11 of the past 12 Honolulu Marathon kama'aina awards. Cynthia has claimed nine, though it never seems to matter which one of them wins. "I never really look at her as competition," Cynthia said of her sister. "Only inspiration."
The wind was a struggle, Schnack said, "but what's the Honolulu Marathon without it?"
Schnack doesn't do any speed training. Instead, she maintained a consistent 60 miles per week this year, down from 90 last year.
She doesn't race much throughout the year, instead focusing almost entirely on the marathon. She said, "This one's just worth saving for."