Hawaii - Honolulu Marathon
12/14/2014            http://www.honolulumarathon.org/
State #NA - HI again
Finish time:  5:05:06
I ran Honolulu last year.  I
didn't write up a report on it
because, well, it sucked.  
Bad.  I swore I would never
do it again.  In Dec. 2012 we
had just moved to Hawaii
and the Honolulu marathon
put out a special "Hawaii
resident only" entry to the
2013 marathon for only
$26.20.  Fun price and
super cheap, so with an
entire year to prepare, I
signed Richard and myself
up.  Then we spent the
entire year not preparing
and with very minimal
training, I decided not to go.  
Then of course all my
friends were talking about it
and how they were going and all the fun they were going to have, so at the last minute I booked an overpriced flight and headed to Honolulu -
alone because Richard was even less trained than I was - where I suffered through 26.2 blistering hot and crowded miles.  Apparently it is a
cultural Japanese thing to come "run" a marathon.  
  I fought my way through wall to wall Japanese walkers in inferno temperatures and gutted out
a miserable 6:23 finish.  It was so bad that at one point, some Japanese celebrity came up behind me and a camera man/sumo wrestler jumped
directly in front of me to capture the moment.  I glared at him in disgust and took evasive action.  Within seconds the huge yet short man sprinted
past me and did the same thing again.  I shoved him as hard as I could.  I didn't accomplish anything, his weight and wide sumo stance kept him
firmly placed in front of me and I kinda deflected off to the side...  Out of all the marathons I've done, it was the absolute worst.  Well, that is how I
remember the Honolulu marathon so a few weeks after the event when the $26.20 special price came out, I refused to sign up.  But of course, all
my friends were talking about it, and I'm still not sure how it happened, peer pressure must really be a weakness of mine, but this sucker
  
somehow signed up again.

That's okay, just cause I'm signed up, doesn't mean I have to go!  Fast forward to around late summer when my friend Maggie and I were talking
about the Honolulu Marathon.  She always signs up, and goes, but never runs the actual course.  She follows her boyfriend around and cheers for
him and runs about 15 miles for the day.  Well, that's a fun way to approach it, but she is a serious competitor.  We have run several halves
together, and she means business.  So I asked her why she didn't just go for it and run the full...  Well, one thing led to another, and before I knew
it, I was spending every Saturday morning running miles on the highway with Maggie to get her ready for Honolulu.  Mags is a lot faster and much
more disciplined than I am, so she could have done it on her own, but for those long miles she needed entertainment and hydration and with my
mobile Richard aid station, I cover both needs.  We would start super early to try to avoid the heat, and head out in the dark.  I would always keep
up until about 2 or 3 miles to go and then she would speed off while I wilted and walked the rest of her training miles in the hot Kona sun.  Just
because I was helping her train did NOT mean I was going to that horrible, hot, crowded, Honolulu marathon...  


Until the last minute of course when I couldn't stand any longer seeing everyone posting their fun plans on Facebook.  And besides, I had put so
much time into training Maggie for an awesome marathon, I figured I should be there to see her kill it.  Same as last year, I bought a ridiculously
overpriced plane ticket just 4 days before the marathon, and headed on over.
Damn sun.  I had a sub 5 hour marathon in my grasp and the sun was
about to ruin it.  I tried to push even harder, and then it all fell apart at
about mile 23.  I sent Maggie on ahead and started the long walk up
Diamond Head.  Once I crested the top, I kicked it in again.  I may have
missed the sub 5 finish, but I still wanted a PR!  I flew down Diamond Head
and toward the finish line, totally focused on setting a new personal record.
Last year I had done as I always do at a marathon, and lined up in the appropriate area for my pace.  
Well, just about everyone who has ever done that run before told me that was my first problem.  While I
think it is very important to line up correctly at a marathon, the 30,000 Japanese that do the run do not.  
This year I met Maggie within just about 20 feet from the starting line.  I was very scared that we would get
absolutely trampled, but once we took off we were in the perfect pace and within about 3 miles the crowd
had somewhat thinned out and we were cruising.  Yay, a much different experience already!  It was
drizzling but I wasn't complaining because I hoped that would keep us from getting too hot.  Since Mags is
a serious competitor, I didn't think she would hang in there with me that long, but I was having a fantastic
run and so we stuck together mile after mile.  Around mile 7, I convinced her it was okay to walk a bit
 
going up Diamond Head, around mile 11, I showed her where I shoved the sumo wrestler camera man   
the year before and she divulged her prior marathon time to me (which by then we were on track to beat
by a lot!).  I was loving running in the cool rain and was still feeling great.  I also felt like I had an obligation
to get Maggie to the finish line with an awesome finish time.  I cannot seem to push myself, but oh boy
 
was I pushing Maggie!  By mile 13 she was questioning why I was keeping us at such a fast pace.  "Gotta
bank minutes before the sun comes out" I told her.  Mile 17 I had to chant, "Let's go Maggie, Let's go!  
Clap - Clap - Clap,clap, clap!"  Bad Ass Drill Sargent Kyra says let's go!!  Mile 18 we passed Maggie's
boyfriend who wasn't supposed to be 'running' at all since he had a knee injury.  We had been sure he
was behind us the whole way.  Buh bye Mike, I've gotta keep Maggie on track!!  We were pushing really
hard, I kept worrying that any minute my great run was going to fall apart.  It must have been about then
that the camera man captured the worst run photo I think I've ever taken.  What am I doing?!  You can
  
tell the sun is out and I'm fading fast!  Neither of us look like our normal cute selves.

Besides the few sunny miles
from 23 - 25 I had felt good the
entire way.  It may have been all
in my head, but half of the fun of
this run was that I felt like I
pushed, paced, and
cheerleaded my friend to a great
finish.  

There were no large groups of
Japanese walkers in my way, no
sumo wrestler camera men out
to get me, and even the
malasadas at the finish line
tasted better than last year.  I
went right home and signed
myself (AND RICHARD) up for
the $26.20 Hawaii resident
special for 2015.  Maggie will be
way ahead of us next year, so
Richard's gonna be the one I'm
pushing.  Look out Richard!!  
(I'm just hoping for more rain!)
Yay, got my
PR finish in  
5:05:06, a
full hour+
faster than
last year!