Kauai’s Pierce Murphy took second in Monday’s Great Aloha Run on Oahu.
The 24-year-old covered the 8.2-mile course in 39 minutes, 45 seconds, finishing just behind 29-year-old Andy Wacker of Boulder, Colo., who crossed the finish line in 39:35.
Murphy, an Island School graduate who recently moved back to Kauai after a standout running career at the University of Colorado, was pleased with his performance. He’s been recovering from an injury to his left foot and hadn’t raced in about four months.
“It felt pretty good,” Murphy said as he waited for his flight at the Honolulu Airport. “My average pace (4 minutes, 50 seconds a mile) was faster than I thought. It was a pretty quick race.”
About 12,000 competed in the 34th running of the Great Aloha Run from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium on President’s Day morning.
Wacker and Murphy were part of a small lead group in the early miles. The two broke away by the four-mile mark and ran stride for stride for a few miles, passing 10 kilometers in 30:14. Then, Wacker surged, opening a 10-second gap he never lost.
Both men ran at the University of Colorado for a year when Wacker was a senior and Murphy was a freshman. Wacker was vacationing on Oahu and decided to compete in the Great Aloha Run.
It was Murphy’s first race this year and an indication his training is on target after recovering from injuries.
“It was three months of building back up and getting into shape,” he said. “The foot is all good now.”
Murphy, who is sponsored by Skechers, is looking forward to training, racing and working on Kauai.