My first race of the year, the Great Aloha Run put on by Kaiser Permanente. This run was well organized through the finish line and beyond. To pick up the race packet, I received a postcard in the mail with a parking voucher and an admission ticket into the Health and Fitness Expo at the Neal S. Blaisdale Arena in Honolulu. There were vendors, food, and even a fitness competition. I was able to sign up for another race, learn about even more running events, and I met a few of my fellow runners, not to mention I learned about a few more pieces of gear that I have yet to try!
Over 20,000 people were registered for this race, there were ports potties everywhere and lines everywhere as well! The starting line was located downtown at Bishop and Ala Moana Blvd in front of the Aloha Tower.
They sang the National Anthem and the National Anthem in Hawaiian then they shot off cannons! I had no idea that was coming and everyone around me was visibly startled – we bonded over that. The streets were filled with people, people everywhere! The outfits, the costumes, the GEAR! It really was a feast for the eyes. I love looking at what people are wearing and how they are using their gear – it’s basically a walking shopping/advertising time for me. I look at the brands of shoes to see if I’m interested in trying out new brands, I look at outfits to see what other runners choose for race day, and I love looking for new gear or new uses for old gear! I can get people’s suggestions without ever even talking to them.
The weather in the morning was cool and windy but oh so pleasant. I wore a loose Drifit long sleeve (that I usually take off a few miles into the run), a running tank top, sports bra, and knee-length leggings. At about mile 3, I took off my long-sleeve and it was perfect. I wore a hat to block the sun and that was perfect too.
The race route took place on mostly level large roads. The middle couple miles were covered by highway so you’re running in the shade. There was live music place here and there throughout the course too and they were such fun bands! Totally motivating. The aid stations were plentiful and they gave out flower clips, roses, and even red bull! The race was so much fun – I ran alone and had a blast!
The finish line was downhill as you run into the Aloha Stadium, which I was grateful for! They take pictures at a few different places at the end of the course and sell them to you through MarathonFoto in an email the next day. As you cross the finish, you are corralled to the edge of the field and out the back through the locker rooms and up around to the concessions – along the way, you are handed a water bottle, a banana, cookies, crackers, and a redbull. At the end of the “corral” you go through lines and grab your race finisher shirt. Then the awards ceremony starts and I went home!
All-in-all, I am proud of my progress, but need more training! I completed the race in 1:44 with the walk/run method. I would have liked to keep it around 1:30 but with the little training I was able to complete and I’m still proud. I can’t wait for next year’s run!