Honolulu Marathon Blog Recaps

Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu, HI

The next event will be: December 11th, 2016.
Approximate cost is: $155
Registration by lottery (yes/no): No
Maximum allowable race time is: No published limit. Walkers welcome.
Summary: Held in mid December, this 26.2-miler is one of the 10 largest marathons in the world (and 5 largest in the US).

According to stats from RunningUSA, Honolulu has a median finish time of over 6 hours and has the largest percentage of 6+ hour finishers (over 40%).

Blog Recaps:
“Announcements, in both English and Japanese, were made as we made our way to where everyone was crowding. One thing I’m not entirely a fan of in this marathon is that there are no waves or corrals at the start. Everyone kind of lines up wherever they please and there’s just not very much order. There are banners with finishing times (2-3hr, 3-4hr, 4-5hr, etc) and you’re supposed to stand where you think you should finish. Majority of the runner’s don’t pay any attention to it and line up wherever. And since there’s no cut off time to finish, there are a lot of walkers who participate and they kind of disperse everywhere at the start.”

“Miles 11 through 16 are along Kalanianaole Highway and head directly into the prevailing trade winds. Although they had been virtually non-existent for the week leading up to the marathon, they were back on race day with a vengeance.”

“There were TONS of porta potties but the lines were crazy long. Fortunately, I knew the park had some towards the back and dear hubby held my place in one line when I went to check out the other facilities. Score! Shorter line for more stalls!”
“I knew the first few miles would be tight, and perhaps slower, but didn’t realize the number of runners would keep the course pretty much the same way throughout. Really, I was passing and zigzagging around runners from start to finish.”

Honolulu Course Map

“Mile 7 began the long climb up Diamond Head, an extinct volcano. Now, I thought I was a decent hill runner. Hills have always been a strong point for me in local races. Apparently hills are different than volcanoes, because this thing whooped my butt.”
“The aid stations were spaced about every two miles versus every 1 to 1.5 miles that I am used to. Couple that fact with the heat and I wanted to make sure that I got as much fluid as possible. I ended up taking a water, Gatorade, and sponge at pretty much every aid station going forward. In hindsight, I probably should have brought my handheld water bottle, but I really didn’t do any research ahead of time to know how the aid stations were going to be configured.”


“We were up early … and headed over to the expo when it opened. We … got through the expo pretty quickly, since they didn’t have a whole lot of vendors. From there we took the trolley to Kapiolani Park to check clothes for after the race the next day. That turned out to be a lifesaver, since … I knew I was going to be soaking wet and likely freezing once I stopped.”

“There were TOO MANY PEOPLE in this race for my liking. The first four miles at least were crowded with people bumping, hitting and slamming into each other. Walkers and runners were mixed in, run-walkers would stop dead in their tracks in front of you and you were constantly weaving in and out of the crowd. It was nothing like I had experienced before.”

“At the alternating mile aid stations we would walk through, drinking as much as necessary to stay properly fueled. With the sun fully shining, but the temps still pretty low, we wanted to make sure there would be no bonking.”

Honolulu Oceanfront

“Once we started running, we spent the first few miles trying not to trample people, as the roads were extremely congested with groups of runners trying to stick together. It became apparent almost immediately that this was a very casual race for a lot of the participants, as I saw people stopped in the middle of the road to pose for group photos. I suppose the only racers who don’t have to deal with this mess are the elite runners, since they’re the first ones through the gate.
None of this mattered though. I was extremely happy to be in Hawaii, running my first marathon with 30,586 other people.”

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