Honolulu Marathon takes a stumble
Because of an electronic system's failure, all times for the 24,000 participants will be reviewed for accuracy.
THE Honolulu Marathon has enjoyed a sterling reputation over its 35 years, well deserved for its world-class competitors, strong organization and an inclusive rank of global participants.
For a glitchy timing system to tarnish its status is unfortunate. Race officials should have no qualms about scrapping it and although runners will have to wait awhile before verification of their times, they should not doubt marathon officials will be diligent in making sure data will be correct.
A heavy downpour just before the 26.2-mile race's start last Sunday caused an electrical short of a timing system used for the first time in the marathon. In addition, there apparently was confusion among runners about removing a tag from their race numbers and placing it on their shoes.
The system failure caused inaccurate times for some participants, while others were recorded only at the split and still others not at all, leaving no evidence that they ran the course.
After a review, marathon officials discovered through comparing video with finishing times logged by the SAI Timing system database that the numbers were off, some by a few seconds, others by more than a minute.
The problem was enough for marathon president Jim Barahal to call for a review of times for the more than 24,000 who completed the race. It is a huge task that could take several weeks. Though the delay will be an inconvenience for most runners, a few participants had hoped their times would qualify them for other races.
The marathon has been considered a leading race, a well-run, established enterprise. It will weather this washout.
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