Bibrave Race Review: Honolulu Marathon

Disclaimer: I received entry to the Honolulu Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s sad that I was in the land of paradise, sun and relaxation (though running a marathon) a few days ago, only to be brought back to the coldness and winter of Washington State. I committed to the Honolulu Marathon months back with the idea of it being an end of the year trip, a way to celebrate finishing residency, moving to Washington, starting a new job and (thankfully) passing my Internal Medicine Certification Boards.

I spent the first few days hanging out with Erin (see here) and spent Saturday morning running the Merrie Mile. Thankfully, the weather decided to turn around and the sun came out, as it had been raining all day Thursday. That led to us going to the Expo earlier than expected and picking up our bibs. We actually went back to the expo on Friday and I signed up for the Santa Rosa Half Marathon (Peanuts themed and wine tasting!). I also picked up more Stinger waffles for the run. Overall, the expo was average. It had your typical running stuff (2XU, Asics, running clothes/races), but there were also vendors where I was having trouble making the running connection with; it seemed like those vendors were more geared to the Japanese runners and visitors, as there was a large delegation from Japan who came for the race. On our way out, we got pictures with our estimated/goal times. I had low expectations because training got messed up and half marathons were missed (thanks movers!).

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Because 5:59:00 sounds better than 6:00:00

Saturday night, after we did the Merrie Mile in the morning and dropped our bag off at the bag check, we went over and hung out with fellow Bibrave Pros Eric and Chris. We enjoyed some carbs while hydrating and there was hilarity that ensued. Afterwards, Erin and I walked back towards the hotel. I actually stopped at the Apple Store to pick up an iPod mini. I didn’t realize until I got to Seattle that I had left mine at home and it was either get another mini or run with a battery pack to charge my phone. We made it back to the hotel and came up with our play lists for the race. Not going to lie, mine was a hodge podge of songs, but it’s gotta be something I want to listen to. Wardrobes got put out, bibs placed and we were in bed early for a 345 AM wake up call, as the race started at 5 AM.

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Sunday Morning we were up and at it. Erin was up at 310, me by 345 with my 50 alarms that were set. We changed, did the bathroom ritual, had a lite bite to eat and started walking to the start. Another trip to the bathroom and we found our way to the start. The corrals were set up so flags along the side of the road indicating times (2-3 hrs, 3-4 hrs, etc). The race is huge (30,000 people) with runners and walkers. The trip from Japan is relatively close, so there are a lot of runners from Japan and SE Asia in general that we saw at the start. Fireworks went off at 5 AM and off we went. It took 10-15 minutes to get across the start. Erin and I were weaving around walkers and ultimately got into our own separate grooves. The first 8 miles or so, it was still dark out, which was appreciated because the sun stayed off us. It was still humid, especially coming from the Pacific Northwest where weather is currently cold, snowing and calling for single digit weather in the next few days. I also spent the first few miles trying to get around walkers. We went through downtown, around the Honolulu tower, by the former palace and made our way past our hotel 4 miles in. We went down Kalakaua Ave and headed up the roads around Diamond Head. Talk about energetic volunteers. Eric called it high 5 mile- look for plenty of high fives in a short span! Quarters were on the tight side because we only had one lane to work on (the other lane was for the the return trip). Around mile 8, there was a runner down with already plenty of help around her.

We made it to the top of Diamond Head and went through some of the residential streets and got on a straight stretch of flatness for quite a few miles. Around mile 11, I saw Eric, a fellow Pro, coming opposite me on his way back. I made it half way and was still feeling decent. I got to mile 15 and my legs started to feel it for sure. We had some miles around a lake which is a whole other reason to run this course. Even stopped to get my picture taken!

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Slowly I kept on trucking along and made it back to the straight away, were I’d be until mile 21-22. Initially, my goal was to keep a 12 mile pace, but by mile 16-18, the sun had come out in full force with humidity that made it really rough. Water stops were every 2 miles or so (but thankfully I had my handheld water) and they did have ice and sponges on course which helped. I slowed down and was walking more. My whole goal was under 6 hrs. Eric and Chris had long finished and I was keeping an eye on Erin as I was running. The course headed back down past Diamond Head and finally towards the finish on Kalakaula Ave. There were drummers at one point that really gave a second wind. It got to the point where I kept looking for people to pass and keep the motivation up (the old lady, the military guys with their bags, the little kid). The finish was right there, but so far away.

I crossed in 5:57 and was given a shell necklace shortly after. My first thought was if this is the medal, I’m going to cry. The next stop you could here the clanging of the medals and we got a good size medal placed around our neck. We went through the rest of the chute, grabbed a cup of water and into the post race area where runners and spectators were hanging out. I picked up my bag I had checked Saturday and found the finisher shirts and picked mine up (it’s one I’ll wear too!). Chris and Eric had already gone back to their hotel (and I was wishing ours were closer to the finish). I sat for awhile, listened to music playing, changed shirts and changed into my sandals and compression sleeves. Erin made it an hour and change after me, though she was having foot problems. After she got her medal, shirt and bag, we got food which included Polish donuts, freshly made (best thing ever, go find some if you’re in Hawaii)! I ordered a Lyft because there was no way either one of us wanted to walk a mile and change back to the hotel. Erin went and jumped in the pool, I went up to the room, chugged my chocolate milk and took the million dollar shower.

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Honolulu Marathon Bling

I got my stuff situated and napped a little bit. We chilled out in the room as best we could and went down to pay my portion of the room before heading to dinner with Eric and Chris. I had all of my stuff with me, as I had a red eye flight back to the mainland Sunday night. We had a good time catching up and comparing course notes. Overall, we had a really good time in Hawaii.

I thought the race was well run overall, but some things can be worked on. I feel like once we got passed Diamond Head, water stops every mile would have been good. It was hot and humid and not everyone trains in the heat/humidity of Hawaii (read, me who’s lived in the Midwest and Pacific NW). With so many people, especially a race that’s walker friendly (which isn’t a bad thing), the corrals need some work. The flags on the side of the road were a little hard to see because it was dark and the blended in with the dark. I feel like something needs to be on the bibs to indicate where you should be and there should be more separation of corrals. There needs to be something done, like a wave start every 2-3 minutes to separate runners because I was spending more energy getting around people than was needed.

Overall, though, a good race and definitely one worth doing! I’m bummed I’m back to the cold and work of the PNW, but will be back to visit at some point during my west coast travels!

 

Bibrave Race Review: Kalakaua Merrie Mile

Disclaimer: I received entry to the Kalakaua Merrie Mile to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The Merrie mile: the first race of the weekend for the Honolulu Marathon. Surprisingly, it was also my first mile race ever. How I’ve never done a mile race (one you’d pay for, not in high school), I’m not sure.

The expo: bibs had to be picked up either Thursday or Friday since there was no race day pick up for the mile. After showing ID, you got your bib and shirt before going into the expo. Anyone could run the mile, even if you’re running the marathon (because let’s face it, we’re crazy). Well run expo with everything in English and Japanese.

Friday night, I had my stuff all prepped. I split a room with Erin, a fellow Bibrave Pro. We had to figure out what time to get up and be out the door by, where to meet other pros who were also running (Eric who ran and Chris who played cheer squad) and all the fun stuff. Because of my job, I set obnoxious alarms, so Erin had no need to set her alarms (sorry!).

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We woke up around 530 and headed out around 6 AM towards the Honolulu Zoo. Read, we followed the bunches of runners heading out bright and early for a quick mile run. We got there and met up (briefly) with the race director and then found Chris and Eric. Eventually, we went to our corals: Eric was in the first wave due to his super speediness, I was in the second and Erin was behind me. Each wave went off every 3 minutes. The Star Spangled Banner played followed by the Japanese National anthem and the waves started going off. I was off at 703 with my wave of people. The course was out and back down Kalakaua Ave, so I was looking for Eric during the out portion. It was a flat, fun and quick course and felt like it was over just as fast as it started! The street was lined with people cheering or just coming out to see what was going on. After you finished, you received a medal and were led to refreshments. I caught up with the other pros and we hung out and waited for the pro race to start.

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The pro race started after everyone else had finished. 5 men, 5 women and over in 4 minutes, 30 seconds or less. It was set up where the women started first and 27 seconds later, the men went off to see if they could catch the women. It turned out, Edwin Kiptoo of Kenya caught the women and won with a mile time of under 4 minutes, the first time in the state of Hawaii. Women placed 2nd and 3rd which was pretty cool.

Overall, the race was really well run for an Inaugural Race. I think it goes in part to the fact that the Marathon’s been going on for 44 years. However, a few minor things to work on for next year: the end and food area was overly congested. The line was so long, some people gave up waiting. It would have worked out better if there were more stations set up for people to go to. Additionally, there was no corral separation at the start or clear indication for where corrals started. It would have helped to have something set up to match each colored corral just so things weren’t as confusing. Overall, a good race though! Maybe next year, Honolulu can think of a mile/marathon challenge, as there was a good amount of marathoners who did the mile as well! Head over to the results page to search your mile time

 

 

 

 

Honolulu Marathon: Pre Marathon

Aloha from Hawaii! Such a much needed vacation and time away from the snow of Washington State. The Honolulu Marathon has been on my radar for awhile and making a trip out to Hawaii seemed like a fitting way to end 2016 (end of residency, taking/passing written boards, starting a new job, moving, all that fun jazz).

I flew out to Honolulu on Wednesday. I finished work on Monday and took Tuesday to get my stuff together. Bright and early on Wednesday, I was up working with my trainer at the gym and I got a quick beat down and work out in before getting to the airport. I flew from Spokane to Seattle (easy 45 minute flight if that), before flying 6(?) hrs to Oahu. We got delayed because the flight to Vancouver at the gate in front our flight was 2 hrs delayed. I spent the flight getting caught up on movies and reading.  I got in around 515 to Honolulu and got my bags and headed to my first hotel of the trip. I checked in and met up with Erin, a fellow pro. We watched the 75th anniversary parade for Pearl Harbor and found a place for dinner

Thursday morning, I picked up a rental a rental car for the day and we headed out to Pearl Harbor. We were able to get tickets to tour the USS Arizona and managed the last 2 tickets of the day (at 3 pm). We decided to go to the expo, get our bibs for the Marathon and Merrie mile, search the vendors (I ended up with a HNL Marathon T Shirt, long sleeved t shirt and towel) and chat with people along the way. We then picked up our stuff from our hotels and checked into the Hilton, where we’re at for the rest of the trip, splitting a room. Afterwards, we hightailed it back to Pearl Harbor and made it in time for the boat shuttle over to the USS Arizona (after a short video on the events of Pearl Harbor). After we left, we found a grocery store and found a few things before sitting in traffic for over an hour in an attempt to return the rental car before 6 pm (we failed at that). We found dinner and chilled in the hotel the rest of the night after searching through the small city that is the resort.

Friday morning, we woke up to more rain. We finally returned the renal car and went out to meet up for our shake out run. Only one other runner showed up (which we half expected due to the rain). We decided to bail on the run, just because the sidewalk was so slick, we were worried about slipping and/or injury. Instead, we found a coffee shop and had breakfast (if you’re ever in HNL, try an Acai bowl, to die for!). We did some shopping and I ended up with 3 pairs of sandals! Later in the afternoon, Erin and I ended up going to a photo shoot for the elite athletes, something we got invited to last minute. Note to selves, Outrigger has a few hotels and it’s always beneficial to ask which location things are at before walking a mile more than you need to. We then took advantage of some sun and beach time before finding some cookies at one of the stores in the resort and doing round 2 of the expo. Needless to say, round 2 of the expo found me signing up for a 1/2 Marathon in Santa Rosa and getting more stingers. For dinner, we met up with Chris and Eric, another group of pros who came in today for the race. We chatted over dinner for quite some time and made plans for the Merrie Mile and meeting up. We all went our separate ways and ended up getting ready for race #1.

Next up, the Inaugural Merrie Mile and my inaugural mile race!

Happy Fall!

As Fall approaches us, signing up for fall races or finding fun things to wear while working out is always better with some discounts! So enjoy!

Bibrave races I’ll be at!

  1. Equinox Fall 1/2 Marathon and 5 miler (Ft Collins, CO): 10% off with BibRaveRocks: the shirts are fun and I’ll be there!
  2. Honolulu Marathon (Honolulu, HI): $50 off with BIBRAVE.We’re even doing a Bibrave Shake Out Run on 12/9! Learn more here!
  3. Santa Barbara Destination Races (Santa Barbara, CA): $10 off with BIBRAVE10. Who doesn’t like wine anyways?! I’ll be there to enjoy the fun with you!

Some more from around the web

  1. Harvest Marathon: $10 off with BIBRAVE
  2. Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon and 5K: $20 off the half with PHILLYMAG and $10 off the 5K with PHILLYMAG5K
  3. Orange Mud: 10% off hydration packs with DAYOFF10
  4. UCAN Snack Bars: 15% off with BIBRAVE
  5. Jack Rabbit: End of season running sale with extra 20% off with EOSS20. eBates fan? Make sure to go through Ebates or install the cash back button that hangs out next to the browser for another 4% cash back!

Race Discounts

Take advantage of some good deals while it’s still nice out!!

  1. Willimantic Classic ( Willimantic, CT 4/30/16): $5 off with Rave
  2. The Color Run Baltimore (Baltimore, MD): 30% with BIBRAVE through 4/20/16
  3. Bank of Marin Running Festival (Novato, CA 5/22/16): 30% off with BIBRAVE through 4/20/16
  4. Madison Half & Twilight Series (Madison, WI 5/28/16): $10 off with BRSAVE10
  5. Vermont City Marathon (Burlington, VT 5/29/16): $5 with BibRave5
  6. Hospital Hill Run (Kansas City, MO 6/3-6/4/16): 10% off with BIBRAVE
  7. Northern VA Destination Races (6/4/16): $10 off with BIBRAVE10
  8. North Olympic Discovery Marathon (Port Angeles, WA 6/5/16): $5 off with bibrave16
  9. North Face Endurance Challenge WI (9/17-9/18/16): 15% off with BIB15
  10. North County Wine Run (North County, WA 9/24/16): $7 off with winerun
  11. Paso Robles Marathon (San Luiso Obispo, CA 10/30/16):  $10 with BIBRAVE
  12. Milwaukee Running Festival (Milwaukee, WI): $10 off with Bibrave
  13. Honolulu Marathon (Honolulu, HI 12/11/16): $50 off with BIBRAVE

BibRave: Runner Discounts

Enjoy Cyber Monday a few weeks early!

  1. XX2i: 50% off with XX2iRocks
  2. 2XU: 20% off with BIBRAVE20
  3. Orange Mud: 15% off with BIBRAVE
  4. First Responders Half Marathon: 10% off with BIBRaveRocks
  5. Santa Hustle: $7 off Chicago, Galveston, Indianapolis with BIBRAVESH
  6. Honolulu Marathon: 20% off with TOMPRO
  7. F3 Half Marathon and 5K (Chicago): $6 off 1/2 Marathon with BIBRAVEHALF, $5 5K with BIBRAVE5K
  8. Sedona Marathon: 20% off with bibrave16
  9. Vermont City Marathon: $5 off with Bibrave5
  10. Platte River Marathon: 10% off with bibrave10

Weekend Discounts

Please enjoy!

  1. Cleveland Marathon (May 15, 2016): 10% off with Akron16
  2. Pittsburgh 10 Miler (10/25/2015): $10 off with 10OFFEQTAKR
  3. Hot Chocolate 15K/5K (11/8/2015): $10 off with STEPUPCHICAGO through 10/4/2015

Bibrave Associated

  1. 2XU: 20% off with BIBRAVE20
  2. Wigwam: 15% off and free shipping with  10-WG615BR
  3. Buff: 10% off with BIBRAVE10 through 9/20/15
  4. Honolulu Marathon: 20% off with TOMPRO
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