A Spirit of Aloha
Spirit of Aloha is what distinguishes the Honolulu Marathon
from other marathons. It's more than just a road race.
It's a feeling of truly GIVING from the heart of one's
time - time not only from the organizers, but from the
hundreds of volunteers who spend hours behind the scenes
in order to make the Honolulu Marathon a reality. It's
a sense of pride in putting on a world-class event in
which anyone can participate.
heart-warming to see people from all over the world gathered
together for our event. Though many don't speak the same
language, they still manage to communicate without embarrassment
simply because they know we care and would extend the
same courtesy to them as we would to a member of our own
family. This Spirit of Aloha is difficult to put into
words. One must EXPERIENCE the Honolulu Marathon to know
what it's really about!
Honolulu Marathon is organized and conducted by the Honolulu
Marathon Association (HMA), a non-profit organization
whose members firmly believe in the health benefits of
long-distance running. We have nurtured the Honolulu Marathon
to what it is today: a respected, organized, top-quality
event that is open to all and highly regarded among the
running communities of the world. The members of the HMA
come from all walks of life and hold professional jobs
within the community.
on a race the size and quality of the Honolulu Marathon
is a year-long process beginning the day after the race
when HMA officials meet with out-of-town representatives
of our major and supporting sponsors. Subsequent meetings
with other sponsors and potential sponsors are held in
the weeks and months following the Marathon.
member of the HMA is responsible for some aspect of the
race. Monthly meetings are held from January through October,
followed by weekly meetings throughout the month of November.
These meetings are in addition to the ones which members
conduct or attend within their own special functional
areas. Hundreds of hours and many, many weeks are put
into planning for this one-day affair.
husband, Ronald, an Electronics Engineer by profession,
is HMA's Vice-President and Director of Planning, Engineering
& Operations for the race. I am the Executive Secretary/Treasurer
and also the liaison between our sponsors from Japan and
the HMA. As the years flew by, I found myself involved
in almost every aspect of the Marathon from ordering supplies
for the race and office, and also in specific areas such
as the Aid Stations (70,000 sponges, 30,000 apples!) and
Kapiolani Park (red nylon fencing, high visibility tape)!
a Macintosh computer from my husband as a birthday gift
17 years ago changed my life completely! Though my responsibilities
within the HMA has grown tremendously, having a computer
makes everything that much easier. I used to use an old-fashioned
electric typewriter WITHOUT any correction feature. Needless
to say, I used bottles and bottles of white correction
fluid to correct my typo errors! Nevermore!
and I have been members for the past 26 years. Our home
looks like an extension of the Marathon office with blueprints,
plans, and volumes of paperwork stored in files and boxes
around the house! Our three children have been helping
with the Marathon since they were in elementary and intermediate
schools. They've grown up with the Marathon.
do we and the other members continue to organize this
race year after year? Being involved with the Honolulu
Marathon means spending a considerable amount of time
in detailed planning meetings, coordinating with volunteer
groups, sponsors, contractors, media, making what seems
like hundreds of phone calls, and writing volumes of correspondence
and memos. Why do we do it? I think the answer is that
a common bond of fellowship and camaraderie exists between
the members who derive satisfaction, enjoyment, and pride
from the knowledge that a community service has been accomplished
in a world-class manner - one that brings together thousands
of average runners from across the globe to participate
in an event which gives an individual such a sense of
accomplishment when he crosses that Finish Line!
the responsibilities of everyone and you have a race that
has become recognized as being first in quality and one
which personifies the true meaning of ALOHA! It is estimated
that 57% who finish the Honolulu Marathon each year are
running a marathon for the first time. The youngest and
oldest finishers span more than seven decades. The Honolulu
Marathon caters to all levels of competition from superstar
to modest jogger.
Honolulu Marathon brings thousands of people to Hawaii
each year. The runners get a well-organized race, the
local people get a chance to participate in an event which
is world-renown, and the City of Honolulu gets national
and international recognition.
Honolulu Marathon brings in more than 100 million dollars
to our Island's economy in an otherwise slow period of
the year. There was 1 runner from Japan in 1976 and 15,149
in 2003! A majority of those runners were accompanied
by at least one or two family members or friends. Preliminary
reports from Japan show that the number of runners from
the Land of the Rising Sun may again exceed the 15,000
mark this year! 75% of the Japan runners choose to run
their first marathon here in Honolulu. They choose the
Honolulu marathon as their baptism into marathoning because
they've heard through the Bamboo Pipeline that the Honolulu
Marathon is primarily a "People's Race" and
that we care for each runner. The climate and beauty of
our Islands and the almost immediate access to their Waikiki
hotels from the Finish Line is another major factor. Though
15,000 plus Japan nationals may run the race, more than
10,000 others are just waiting until their own special
runner bounds across that Finish Line!
Honolulu Marathon receives support from hundreds in the
community who give unselfishly of their time, goods, and
services. The military stationed in Hawaii always comes
through for us. The United States Army has been constructing
the massive Photo Bridge at the Finish Line for many,
many years. Members of the United States Air Force, Navy,
SeaBees, and Marine Corps always help with the set-up
and take-down of Park construction. The hundred licensed
Shiatsu therapists from the Aisen Shiatsu School donate
their services to relieve the aches and pains of the weary
runners. The Mayor and the City and County of Honolulu
give their wholehearted support to the Marathon.
supporting the Honolulu Marathon are the State Transportation
Division, the City's Street Usage and Permits Sections,
the Honolulu Police Department, and the Outrigger Hotels
and Resorts, the official host hotels of the Honolulu
Marathon. The Outrigger Reef on the Beach is the Honolulu
Marathon's official hotel.
deepest thanks go to our major sponsor JAPAN AIRLINES,
supporting sponsors NIKE and D.C. Card. Without their
generous kokua, the Honolulu Marathon would not be what
it is today - a world-class, quality marathon!
you for joining us! Have a good run!