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The Merrie Mile: co-ed race where women get a 26 second head start

Edward Cheserek took the win in the great equalizer Merrie Mile during Honolulu Marathon weekend

Honolulu Marathon

This weekend is the Honolulu Marathon, and before the 42.2K race there’s the Merrie Mile, a “great equalizer” race in which the women get a 26-second head start over the men. Depending on how the race plays out, it’s anyone’s game.

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Yesterday, 17-time NCAA Champion Edward Cheserek took the win in 3:54.83, setting a new Hawaiian soil record, and just edging out Leonard Bett of Kenya, who finished in 3:54:89. In 2017, it took the men until the final 10 metres of the race to overtake the women, but this year Bett went out hard, and the two passed the first female with roughly 400m to go. 

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Ben Flanagan, the 2018 NCAA 10,000m champion, was fourth, just sneaking under the four-minute mark to finish in 3:59.97. Flanagan has had an amazing 2018, signing with Reebok and the Reebok Boston Track Club, winning the Falmouth Road Race, and winning the Canadian 5K Championships, and of course, NCAAs. 

Merriam Cherop is the defending women’s champion and also the victor in 2018. She won in 4:22:54, also a Hawaiian soil record, breaking her own record from 2017. In second place was American Shannon Osika, in 4:33.12. Cherop told Race Results Weeky, “I didn’t feel them (coming),” after finishing as the top woman. She did her best to give chase, she said. “I decided to go with them, but they go faster.”