Overall Rating
Overall Rating (12 Reviews)
3.5
(12 Ratings)(12 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
3.3
SWAG
3.6
The Honolulu Marathon is fourth largest marathon in the United States. There is no time limit and no limit on the number of participants. Finishers shirt and finishers medal after your 26.2m! The new Race Day Start to the Park 10K replaces the old Race Day Walk. The Start to … MORE
Local Weather (Dec 07)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 79 78 80 81 80
L (°F) 71 64 71 72 67
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Recent reviews

    cperdue FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race is very popular with very poor crowd control. With a mass start and the Marathon and 10K both starting at the same time there was no room to … MORE

    This race is very popular with very poor crowd control. With a mass start and the Marathon and 10K both starting at the same time there was no room to move, making pacing at the start of the race very difficult.

    The scenery was amazing, the route rather easy with just one hill, which again was super crowded taking away from the experience for me.

    The finisher medal is huge and the finisher T-shirt was good quality.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    runnerbee FIRST-TIMER '18

    What could possibly go wrong with a race in paradise? Had high hopes for this race considering it's one of the largest marathons in the world, but in hindsight I … MORE

    What could possibly go wrong with a race in paradise? Had high hopes for this race considering it’s one of the largest marathons in the world, but in hindsight I should have gone in with little to zero expectation.

    Expo: Held at the Hawaii Convention Center, free trolley transportation was provided to/from Waikiki but my best advice is don’t count on it. The stops were not labeled at all so unless you spotted one of the trolleys with a huge sign that said “Honolulu Marathon Expo” on the road there was no way you could have figured out where the stop was. I asked a cop and some local ambassadors about it but they didn’t seem to have a clue. You’d think a race this big would be organized better.

    Race Start: Utter chaos. Heard about the disorganized race start but was told by the production that corral placement would be better enforced this year – didn’t happen. The announcers said many times in English and Japanese that runners were supposed to line up according to their bib colors, but a race with no time limit meant you had walkers who were not trained on proper race etiquette lining up in the front such that they walked right off the bat, creating a huge backlog of runners. I ran the first five miles or so trying to weave through the sea of walkers. The only positive aspect of the race start was the fireworks and the bus that transported runners from Honolulu Zoo to the start line at Ala Moana (highly recommend staying in Waikiki for the race as the walk from my hotel to the zoo was about 10 minutes).

    Course: Not too hilly at ~100 ft elevation. Start at Ala Moana, run through Waikiki in the dark and some multi-million dollar homes near Kahala Beach to finally finish at Kapiolani Park. Scenery was just mediocre, so it’s best not to get your hopes up.

    Aid Stations: Water and gatorade at every station and three energy gel stations. The pre-race instruction noted that there was energy gel provided at Mile 24 but in actuality that was provided at Mile 22.

    Crowd Support: Some but not to the magnitude you’d expect at a large marathon. Some goodies were handed out but they seemed to be catered to Japanese runners only (perhaps sponsored by the tour groups).

    Race Finish: After crossing the finish line I was immediately given a shell lei as well as the medal. However, the finisher village was another chaos. There were no signs directing you to the proper area for prize pickup so after running 26.2 miles you had to drag your tired self to every tent looking for the finisher shirt and the infamous malasadas.

    Final Thoughts: This isn’t a PR race. In addition to dodging people for the first five miles of the race, running in the heat and humidity is not something I am used to, so that put a damper on my time. In any case, if you want to check Hawaii off on the 50-state challenge then go for it, otherwise don’t bother.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Mueller375 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I’m trying to figure out how an event can continue to be this big yet be this disorganized with 45+ years of practice. I’ll start with the CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR of … MORE

    I’m trying to figure out how an event can continue to be this big yet be this disorganized with 45+ years of practice. I’ll start with the CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR of the entire operation including the race director to the Honolulu Police Department

    The amount of children (barely walking toddlers all the way up to under 18) that were on the course made my skin crawl.
    I walked up to a cop (HPD) to voice my concern that there are multiple cases of child abuse and wreckless endangerment of a minor going on right in front of him he responded “Yea, it happens every year especially with the Japanese tourists” I was so dumbfounded that I just walked away before I caused myself to get arrested.

    ALERT** Japanese Tour Groups Infestation Overload
    I understand that sounds bad but until you’ve experienced it yourself out of 30,000+ runners 50-75% are taking over the place. Japan Airlines is a huge sponsor and it’s obvious that they treat them much better than the rest of us

    Packet Pickup – non Japanese shuttles pick up and drop off to 3 locations very regularly was great thankfully we picked a random hotel nearby.

    Bib pickup – was smooth however I don’t think I was asked for my Identification

    Expo – fairly large but it wasn’t anything super special

    Pre-race Swag – All you get is your 1 miler shirt (if applicable)

    Pre 1 miler – NO transportation you get a discount at a mall parking lot $2.00 if you’re in by 6am and out before 9am however the lot is about .75 from the start line

    Post 1 mile – after we finish they ask us to stay and watch the elite runners run a sub 5 min mile which is stupid because they run so fast you barely see them go by then it’s a .75 mile walk back to your car

    1 Mile race swag- after the 1 miler they move us into the sand (exactly what you want if you’re running in the same pair the next day) they give you an ok medal (but since you CANNOT preview it before the run) you have to guess if it’s worth it.

    Pre-Marathon – race starts at 5am No transportation again (unless you are in one of Japanese tour groups. All roads are closed at 4am so you have to walk with the thousands of others to the start line (1.5 miles for me)

    Start line – they are reminding us to line up by our bib colors but only the avid running Americans are following the rules. You would think that a race that allows runners UNLIMITED TIME would but the walkers in the back or start them hours in advance so they aren’t walking in the sun for 10+ hours (this year’s last person was 17:50.52)
    Couple of big hills at mile 6-7 (100+ feet elevation) and you get them again on your way back at 24-25

    Post-marathon – they give you a map before the race like you are going to memorize it and then you wonder around trying to find water, food, finishers shirt shade and pictures
    We found out the Japanese Airlines has their own tents and sections with food and drink

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    norawong FIRST-TIMER '17

    Love the no time limit to finish! I walked most of the Marathon and still earn a gorgeous gold medal. Weather is perfect. Do bring a hat, your own bottle … MORE

    Love the no time limit to finish! I walked most of the Marathon and still earn a gorgeous gold medal. Weather is perfect. Do bring a hat, your own bottle water and snacks in a small backpack – apple or applesauce pouches or orange (peeled in a ziplock) and cereal bars are perfect snacks as well as filling. Your backpack will get lighter as you walk along.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    omnirunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race starts at 5AM in down town Honolulu. Most runners take a shuttle bus to a park to wait for the race. There are a few small bridges over … MORE

    This race starts at 5AM in down town Honolulu. Most runners take a shuttle bus to a park to wait for the race. There are a few small bridges over a canal from the park to get to the start line, so don’t stay in the park too long!
    I like the heat but the race was not as hot as I expected.
    This is a well run big city type marathon in a beautiful location.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '17

    A wonderful race to recover from the CIM, since it has a mostly flat course, lots of aid stations, super crowd support, and Malasadas (fresh donuts!) at the finish! I … MORE

    A wonderful race to recover from the CIM, since it has a mostly flat course, lots of aid stations, super crowd support, and Malasadas (fresh donuts!) at the finish!
    I go with my wife every year and we have seen the course record broken each year we attend, so we have been blessed with good weather. Going again this year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    susank FIRST-TIMER '16

    I really enjoyed this marathon, perhaps because it was pretty flat and easy, or maybe because you run the first two hours (5:00-7:00 AM) in the dark, but probably because … MORE

    I really enjoyed this marathon, perhaps because it was pretty flat and easy, or maybe because you run the first two hours (5:00-7:00 AM) in the dark, but probably because I ran with a friend who kept me pumped up for the first 13.1 miles. And of course the fact that it was a great reason to spend time in Honolulu, Hawaii, which I had never visited before.
    The initial walk to the race was a bit farther than anticipated, but that may have changed since 2016? No porta potties near where we began was also a downer, but the crowd’s enthusiasm was great. It seemed very crowded for the entire race; I never ran alone at any time. I felt like the support was good, although carrying your own hydration isn’t a bad idea since once that sun comes up it is HOT. There are a few climbs but overall it’s pretty even, twisting occasionally through neighborhoods and a really nice finish, downhill a little if I remember?
    I didn’t stick around for the party afterwards as I had people to meet, but it looked like a very good time! The finish was in a nice, tree-lined park area, where you stopped and picked up your finisher’s shirt and food/drinks.
    My favorite part was post-race, lying on Waikiki Beach the next day. It’s hard to beat that setting. This is a wonderful destination race 👍

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race is a big cluster if you ask me. I chose this race out of sheer convenience (I have family in Honolulu and we found really cheap flights. We … MORE

    This race is a big cluster if you ask me. I chose this race out of sheer convenience (I have family in Honolulu and we found really cheap flights. We also spend some time attending 75th anniversary Pearl Harbor activities.)

    The Pros: It’s Hawaii. Whatever that means to you. The medal was big and solid. The shirt was ok but there were opportunities to purchase others if wanted.

    The Cons: 30+ thousand runners. Majority of them are Japanese. And most of them had never ran or even knew the length of a marathon. The start was at 5am (which meant that the first 8-10 miles were in the dark – which means yes you run past Wikiki beach, but you can’t see it.) Most of the runners who were right under the start line had no business being there. I lined up behind the first corral (2-3 hours) because it was clear the corrals were not serving their purpose. When the gun went off – no one moved. More than half of the people in front of me (which should have been elite runners by the corral system) stood still and videoed the fireworks. I had to weave around probably 2000 runners before I could finally run in a straight line without avoiding walkers/gawkers. The course was so-so. Some nice views but not as scenic as I expected (like I said – the first 9 miles were in the dark.) I did enjoy some of the translated aid stations signs (one said “Vaseline – Do not Eat!).

    I was glad when the race was over. I would not run this race again. I’ve been to Hawaii 3 times now and likely wouldn’t return to Oahu again. Next time, I’ll visit the other islands.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Mueller375 Dec 11, 2018 at 4:47pm

    Yep I couldn’t agree with you more I was stationed here back in the late 90s so I looked forward to seeing it again but the race was a total… MORE

    Yep I couldn’t agree with you more I was stationed here back in the late 90s so I looked forward to seeing it again but the race was a total waste LESS

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    lmreloza FIRST-TIMER '15

    Love that it is not timed so walkers are welcome. It was my first time ever to participate in a race. I purchased the full but intended to just go … MORE

    Love that it is not timed so walkers are welcome. It was my first time ever to participate in a race. I purchased the full but intended to just go as far as I can go. Went to mile 21 and then needed a medic. After being with the first aid tent for 90 minutes they told me I could finish. The last 5 miles have an uphill climb in it (Diamond Head). I said I couldn’t. They said I could. They put me in a van and they drove me a few hundred feet of the finish line. They told me to finish. The crowd still cheered me on as I happily struggled to the finish line and received a shell lei and my medal. Bananas, malasadas and snow cones were readily available.

    I wish they didn’t run out of bananas or gels for the hundreds of walkers. Had to find a grocery store on the route to purchase bananas.

    Fantastic views and a lot of support. I heard people waited for the last walker to cross the finish line. I saw the results as being 14 hours. That’s pretty amazing support. I hope to finish this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Stephen26.2 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I've had this race on my bucket list for a long time. In order to streamline the logistics I used #MarathonTours. They took care of everything and I had a … MORE

    I’ve had this race on my bucket list for a long time. In order to streamline the logistics I used #MarathonTours. They took care of everything and I had a blast!! It’s hard to train for such strong heat & humidity but the race was very organized and all the volunteers were great. To my surprise, they never ran out of water or TP. I’ve run much smaller races where by mile 16 everything is gone. Not this time, kudos to the people who did the planning and purchasing.
    The finisher medal and tee shirt are very cool too.
    I might run this one again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    efebremd FIRST-TIMER '16

    I'd like to do it again more prepared in humid condition. There's is great support from the organizers and locals. Since there is no time limit, if you think you … MORE

    I’d like to do it again more prepared in humid condition.
    There’s is great support from the organizers and locals.
    Since there is no time limit, if you think you cannot achieve your goal, just enjoy the race and the scenery.
    Medal is awesome.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '16

    The marathon is started and finished in Waikiki, the tourist area of Honolulu. The expo is within walking distance of most every hotel in the area. This is the way … MORE

    The marathon is started and finished in Waikiki, the tourist area of Honolulu. The expo is within walking distance of most every hotel in the area. This is the way large city marathons should be organized. The Honolulu marathon offers a very inexpensive sign up, but you need to sign up a year in advance to get this offer.
    Expo: Close to hotels, nice sized, lots of goodies to buy, crowds are large, but the expo is in a large auditorium.
    The Race: Starts at 5 a.m., when the sun is still 2 1/2 hours from rising. This is a good thing, because it can (and did) get quite warm in Honolulu, even in December. This is a large marathon, and lining up at the start is completely on an honor system. If you are a first timer, and if you did not read the fine print CLOSELY, you might not be aware that faster runners line up first. I found that I was passing those walking the course for the first 2-3 miles. This marathon has absolutely NO CUT OFF time to complete the race, therefore there are a very large number of walkers. BUT….. you are in Hawaii, and this is a marathon that you should enjoy, so although in some marathons I get frustrated with walkers starting up front, I was completely ok with the laid back feel of this race. I did not find the course to be the most scenic of courses, but at the same time, if you looked around, it was enjoyable and beautiful. I was fortunate to run with a friend the first 13.1 miles, before taking off on my own. Once on my own, rather than take off and run hard, I continued to enjoy the crowds, visiting with a few others along the way. Again, I will repeat, run this marathon slow and enjoy the laid back atmosphere, because that is what most of the participants were doing.
    The shirt and medal, were both given at the end of the run. That is, you receive a “Finishers T-shirt”, which I wish all marathons would resort to. There was a party atmosphere at the finish line, and I have no idea how long it went on, because people were still on the course 18 to 19 hours later.
    This is a fun race. It does get warm, and it does get crowded. Enjoy Hawaii, and enjoy the course.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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