Top finisher Mayumi Sone rejoiced at the finish line. (Rhealyn Pojas)

This year’s annual Palau marathon displayed girl power as a Japanese woman bested all the other runners by completing the race with the fastest speed.

Mayumi Sone, who topped the overall 42.195-km race for only four hours, 34 minutes, and 26 seconds, competed with 12 other overall marathon participants including men.

She was tailed by Filipino runners, Denefher Flores who finished the race with a record of 4:44:13.00, Bendell Daligdig at 4:47:36.00, and Aaron Salvador at 4:55:27.00.

In the half marathon race, Orion Cruz battled for the top spot with three other tough competitors in a tight finish of 1:45:35.91 and was followed by Mika Yamaguchi, 1:46:45.82, Brian Tucker, 1:47:05.84, and Steve Ballinger, 1:52:09.13.

This year’s marathon saw a fewer number of runners with only a hundred registering and competing for the different races. Last year, more than a hundred participated in the race.

Marathoners who were able to compete in other countries consider Palau’s trails more challenging what with its steep roads and the weather. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)