Honolulu Marathon - Honolulu, HI

Discussion in 'Course Reviews' started by devilnuts, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. devilnuts Barefooters
    1. Hawaii

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Message Count:
    193
    Holy cow! I realized that I didn't post this back in...December! My bad. Well, for anyone thinking about it, this is a great marathon. The course is pretty barefoot friendly as long as you are used to running on hard surfaces. There are a few miles (maybe 6) that are a little rough, but overall, the rest of the course is pretty smooth and most barefooters shouldn't have a problem.

    So the race starts at 5 a.m. There are about 25,000 runners lined up. They are across all 4 or 5 lanes of Ala Moana Blvd. People come in costume (I believe I was beat by a woman dressed as a taco...), people come to walk it, people come to race it, and some people come to just say they did it. Whatever you are there for, if you want to run for time, you need to be near the front. Staging according to the pacers is BS. Not that the pacers are BS, but sooooo many people don't. I was lined up just behind the 4 hour pacer because that was were I figured I would end up finishing (I was a little behind that, but we'll get to that later). It took me 4:45 from the time the "gun" went off until I got to the start mat. By the way, they don't use a race gun to start the Honolulu Marathon. They use fireworks. Low, loud, insanely loud, crazy insanely loud, fireworks. Just beyond the starting mat I was having to weave in and out of people walking. So if you are running for time, I'd say anythin below 4:15, you need to be as close to the front as you can get.

    The course itself is nothing too amazing. It runs through downtown Honolulu, Chinatown, Ala Moana, Waikiki, up and over Diamond Head, through Kahala, out to Hawaii Kai, back over Diamond Head, and finishes at Kapiolani Park which is at the end of Waikiki.

    One thing to make sure on this course if you do run barefoot, the road out to Hawaii Kai (basically miles 11-17 are a little rough. Brace yourself mentally for that and you'll be fine. Heading back from Hawaii Kai you are on the side of the road and it is a bit smoother.

    And this bit of advice is for all runners: Drink, drink, drink. Most of the race there was a light trade wind blowing so you were running into the sun and wind heading out to Hawaii Kai. At about 18 miles people were dropping like flies. I cramped up something fierce. Took me over 45 minutes to go a mile and a half. Once you are heading back from Hawaii Kai, you are in full sun with a slight breeze to your back. Doesn't cool you off as much. Double down on the water and Gatorade at the stations and you should be fine. I did not do that and paid for it. But now I know for next year. So I finished around 4:45 instead of the 4:00-4:15 range I had hoped for, but knowing that course and things that I know now, will help me next time.

    Also, this course has sooooooo many people on it that you will never be running alone. The pack never really "thins out" like races with only a few thousand people. Prepare for the Japanese invasion at this race...haha. I don't know why, but this is a huge draw from Japan. The Japanese come out in droves for this race. I guess a lot of them make it a running vacation. The weather in early December is beautiful here and if you can do a marathon, why not go? This is also one of the only courses I know of that will not kick you off. They do shut down a few things after 10 or 12 hours, but they will let you stay out there and finish. Last finisher this year was at 14 hours and 20 minutes. So you can walk the entire thing if you want. That is probably one big draw of it. There is an optional Luau a couple of nights before that I didn't go to. I might buy tickets this year...we'll see.

    I definitely recommend this marathon. If you only ever do one in your life, shouldn't it be in paradise? hehe ;-)

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  2. Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Message Count:
    16,212
    Thanks for sharing here! Finally! Ha!

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  3. devilnuts Barefooters
    1. Hawaii

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Message Count:
    193
    Hey, after a while, with school, running, etc...my brain turns to mush...lol. Every so often I have a moment of clarity...in this case, four months later. LOL :-D

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  4. otoole4info Barefooters
    1. New York

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Message Count:
    245
    4 months is better than never. I'm going to have to put this one on my "gotta, wanna, haveta run" list.

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