On Sunday, December 14, Jimmy Muindi of Kenya won the 2003 Honolulu Marathon Men's Division in 2:12:59, exactly the time his countryman Mbarak Hussein achieved last year. Kenyans J. Muindi, M. Hussein, Benson Masya, and Ibrahim Hussein (the men's record holder) have won the Men's Division nearly every year since 1985. The only ones who have been able to displace them have been Gianni Poli of Italy in 1988, Simon Robert Naali of Tanzania in 1989-90, Bong Ju Lee of Korea in 1993, and Josia Thugwane of South Africa in 1995.
In the Women's Division, Carla Beurskens of the Netherlands won 8 out of 10 years between 1985 and 1994. Most of the following years were dominated by runners from Russia and Kyrgyzstan: Ramila Burangulova, Svetlana Vasilieva, Irina Bogacheva, Lyubov Morgunova (the women's record holder), and Svetlana Zakharova. But in 2003, Eri Hayakawa became the first champion from Japan, with a time of 2:31:56. Almost every year since 1989, about one-half to two-thirds of the entrants in the Honolulu Marathon have come from Japan. A total of 246,778 have entered since 1973.