Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honolulu Marathon Race Recap





Last weekend I ran the Honolulu Marathon.  Although I had a great time, who wouldn’t in Hawaii? I wouldn’t say this is a bucket list race to run.


The start reminded me of Disney because it started very early at 5 am.  It was fairly close to our hotel so we were able to walk to the start which was great.  We headed right to the porta potties and I noticed they were designated as men or women.   This is the only race that I have seen that differentiated between sexes.  By the time we made it to the start the fireworks had already started.

We tried to make our way as close as we could to the beginning because we were told that a lot of people walk this race, because there is no time limit. We thought the race was going to start after the fireworks were done, but the race started while they were going off.  So right from the beginning we were set up for failure because there were already people in front of us walking or stopping to take pictures of the fireworks.  There were so much weaving in and out between people the first few miles that we ended up losing each other right from the beginning. It wasn’t until mile 4 where both sides of the street opened up so we were able to spread out a bit more.


There was not much entertainment throughout the course and very little crowd support. I knew there were some hills in this race that were going to be a challenge. Mile 7 was running up Diamond Head, and it was still completely dark out during this time.  It was a gradual climb for a mile or so. Needless to say, I was over this race.  I was listening to a podcast the other week and they were saying about not putting your headphones in until you absolutely had to.  I made it to about mile 10, and then I absolutely had to. My quads were screaming the whole time, which is rare for me to feel this type of pain. With every stride it got worse. I felt like I was carrying another 20 lbs on this 5 foot frame of mine…ouch! Finally the sun came out so I thought now that I can see maybe I will be able to pick up my pace a bit more, no not so much. The sun did not make things better, if anything it made it worse. It got way too hot, too quick! There were many times in the race I thought about stopping to walk, but I thought if I did, I wouldn’t want to start running again. So I forced myself to keep running.


I knew there was going to be another hill on the other side of Diamond Head around mile 22-23 then it was a downhill finish. Luckily this side was not as bad as the one in the beginning. After coming down the mountain I looked at my watch and I was making better time than I thought. I finally saw the finish line so I began to run as fast as I could. That sign is deceiving. It looked like it was a lot closer than what it really was. I could not get there fast enough.


 After crossing the finish line my friends were there to congratulate me on the other side for a job well done. We waited for my running buddy to finish then it was off for a celebratory brunch!




Even though I was sore the whole time while running, it ended up being my second fastest time, which I was very surprised to find out.  I just do not understand how I could BQ the other month in Chicago (that almost felt effortless, in a sense that I was not sore during the race), to struggling during the whole time in my next marathon. Oh and the next day, I felt completely fine, go figure!


Final Thoughts: This was a great experience and I am happy to have done it, but I have no desire to do this race again.  Too early, too dark for so much of the course, little to see during the course(mostly running in residential areas or highway), lack of entertainment and spectators, and too many walkers. Hawaii is definitely a bucket list vacation, not so much the race.  -L

33 comments:

  1. I've heard good things about the Kauia half, which is probably where I will do my HI half. Because we really love Kauia.

    But you've got the travel, the jet lag, the sun . . . yeah, none of them are easy there. And of course Chicago is very flat . . . hey, you got to go to HI! It doesn't get much better than that -- except going with friends. :)

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    1. I wish we had enough time do visit Kauia. I have heard great things about that place.

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  2. I've heard the same things about Honolulu--plus it's so humid! Great job and now you can cross it off your to-do list!

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  3. I've heard similar things about the Maui marathon (and half) - yes, you are running alongside the ocean, but it's dark for most of the race, and when the some comes out, it gets really warm. I ran a 10K in Maui once and that was long enough for me - big congrats on finishing a marathon in Hawaii!!! Hope your vacation was fun...of course it was, because HAWAII, right? :)

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    1. We went to Maui for a day and that place was beautiful but very desolate. Glad we staying in Honolulu.

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  4. Yes, running in Hawaii would be dream for me. Glad you got to do and enjoy the vacation.

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  5. I'm sorry that it wasn't the best race - Still a great time though - But I hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Hawaii!

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  6. Chalk one up for the experience.
    Now you know - not one to do again, but nice to have done it in the first place

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  7. Sounds like an awful race, but at least it was Hawaii!

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    1. Yep, that was the one thing I kept reminding myself.

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  8. I don't know if I could motivate myself to do a race in Hawaii. I'm sure I'd be in total vacation mode and want to sleep in and be at the beach.

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  9. Wow, thank you for your honest thoughts on this race! I was totally expecting you to say it was beautiful. I am sorry you struggled during the race, but that is good that you weren't sore the next day. What made you decide to run this race?

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    1. My running buddy and I wanted to do a destination race and neither one of us have ever been so we thought why not?

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  10. That sounds a little disappointing, but at least it was Hawaii!! did you go to the beach after?

    Was it difficult to do a marathon like Chicago with so much crowd support and energy to a smaller one like Hawaii?

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    1. No we did not do beach afterwards, we took a nap then went to a Lua that evening. I wouldn't say that the Hawaii race was small, there was just as many people, but alot of walkers, I think that was the difficult part. Just finding your groove.

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  11. I've heard similar things about this race. Way to go on your second fastest time! Glad you finished this even though it was a rough day.

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  12. TOTALLY random thought: was that my podcast by chance :D?
    On another note, congrats on push through a helluva race! Big changes from Chicago, eh? It is hard to go into a race like this off of that kind of high, but like others said, for as tough as the race was, you got some Aloha with it. Consolation?

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    1. Why yes it was Suz, thanks for noticing. Yes, it was much different from Chicago but can't complain because it is Hawaii!

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  13. I'm sorry this race was kind of a disappointment. I think it would be amazing to run in Hawaii, but I can totally see how a marathon would be really grueling there. Way to finish with your second fastest time and earn that medal, though!

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    1. Yea, I just look at it as another one down in the books. And that medal is huge!

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  14. I could see how running so early and in the dark would make it a lot more challenging. Way to go on the time that's pretty fabulous!

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  15. Congrats on another marathon!! Sorry you were sore but I'm glad you felt better the next day. Thanks for the review...good to know about this race! I've always wanted to run one in Hawaii...maybe I'll bump it down to a half! :)

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  16. Congrats on a great finish! and what a great finish photo with the ocean behind you :)
    A cool one to check off lol and at least you weren't sore after!

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  17. Congratulations!!!! Hawaii is my favorite place ever (I got married there) but I think you are right... I'd rather just vacation there. It's always been so warm my runs there have been slow.

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  18. Congratulation!!!!! After a race, it can get the good result - so great! Glad to hear your share!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.