Honolulu Embraces Being the “People’s Marathon”

By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2014 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(12-Dec) — With more than 32,000 participants already registered for
Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon and Race Day Walk, a festive atmosphere has
swept through Hawaii’s state capital city. The fourth-largest marathon
in the United States, the Honolulu Marathon draws athletes from all
over America and the world, each with their own unique story.

the Honolulu Marathon Expo, we asked many runners what they are looking
forward to most and what makes this race special. Here’s what they had
to say:

“I’m in the military so all of my unit does it. I’m
recently reported and we do it as a team and it’s a great way for the
military to get out. I’m joining that and pretty happy to be a part of
that! I’m an older guy for the military and all my young bucks do it.
It’s one of those camaraderie things with a little pressure to go out
and show the younger guys I’ve still got it and still can complete a
marathon. I’m looking forward to finishing, getting a time, and saying
“Oorah I did it!” –Joseph Howard of Waynesville, Ohio, stationed at
Pearl Harbor.

“I’m most excited to finish it. I thought
Honolulu would be a good venue for my first marathon as they let
everybody finish, no cut-off time. Beautiful setting and I’m really
looking forward to it. Running along towards Diamond Head, enjoying the
scenery. Honolulu has a lot to offer!” –Dennis Benitez of San Diego,

“I’m most looking forward to finishing and getting the
medal. I chose Honolulu because I just moved here ten months ago and
people said ‘Oh you’ve got to do that!’ Being here and it being a big
race, well organized with great reviews, I knew I wanted to do it. The
supportive community is great. I’m looking forward to going past Hawaii
Kai because my kids are going to be out there and I’ll be able to wave
to them!” –Cheryl Beloro, Honolulu, HI

“This is my 16th
marathon, and my first Honolulu. I’m most excited for the run through
Waikiki. I was stationed here about 20 years ago in the Marine Corps,
and I came back on vacation to show my daughters where they were born
and to do the race while I’m here. It’s a family occasion. We came in
from Pennsylvania. One of the things that I loved about Hawaii was the
Aloha Spirit, and it seems like it has only grown since I’ve been away.
My two daughters, my wife, and my son-in-law, who’s in the Marine Corps
now, are all here.” –Tony Spears, Scott Township, Penn,

most looking forward to doing it together. I’ve only done one other
marathon and that was in college. He’s never done one and it’s been on
his bucket list so the fact that we trained together and get to do
this, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” –Tracy Davis, ‘Aiea, HI,
speaking with her husband Paul. (“Realistically she’s going to be
dragging me through it and picking me up when I fall down” added Paul.)

“I’ve done it three times. What makes it special is the sun
and a lot of people. It’s very fun. It keeps me coming back, and the
fans are very, very supportive. I look forward to the loop around
Hawaii Kai each year.” –Niki Eller, Tri-Cities, Wash.

cheering on behalf of my friend. Annually I come out and cheer, it’s a
tradition and it’s fun. It’s in December around Christmas, and just
running through the streets with all the lights — it’s festive. Trying
to achieve personal goals, it’s exciting. Every year I look forward to
it. The community comes together around it.” –Vicki Jones, North
Shore, HI, who will be cheering her friends Gloria and Chen.

is my sixth or seventh Honolulu, and this is the only marathon I’ve
run. I always come back because I think I’m going to go faster. The
chance to improve my personal best each year. There’s strong fan
support along the way, especially along the Kahala area. But it’s the
finish and start I look forward to each year. Everyone is jazzed up at
the start, getting ready to go, and the fireworks help. After that it’s
just trying to get through the race to the finish!” –Derek Hasegawa,
Honolulu, HI

PHOTO: The Honolulu Marathon proudly wears
the moniker of “People’s Marathon” because the event has no cut-off

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