Racing in Hawaii: The Honolulu Ekiden Marathon Relay

On May 22, my friend Jenni and I dragged ourselves out of bed to participate in the Honolulu Ekiden Marathon Relay based in Honolulu.  The few days leading up to the race, the two of us started to dread race day saying we didn’t train enough, we aren’t ready, why did we think this was a good idea with just two people, and probably a few other complaints.  We originally were hoping our friend Shannon would be able to join us so it would be a three person team versus two, but she unfortunately was not able to make it out to Hawaii while we planned on being there.  I personally did not train much for this race, and honestly had not been running much the few weeks leading up to the race either, but regardless of that I still managed to finish my entire leg of the race.

The Honolulu Ekiden Marathon Relay could be run in teams of 2-6 people, as it had 6 different legs along the course.  The course was an out and back – other than one really shitty hill that was added into my section of the race – making the first half of the race 12.8 miles and the second half of the race 13.4 miles.  Jenni and I decided that she should run the first half since she is a better runner than I am and there was a 3 hour time limit to getting to Leg 4.  She typically averages a 2 hour half marathon time, where I average around a 2:25 hour time (when I am in shape that is, which I wasn’t), so we figured it would be best for her to start off and I would finish the race.

The race started at Kapiolani Park, and turned around at Sandy Beach Park before heading back to Kapiolani Park.  Jenni finished her half in just over 2 hours.  By the time I started running, it was close to 80 degrees and it was just all sun, the whole way.  Considering I didn’t train for this race or run much before it either, I actually did a lot better than I thought I would.  I ran the first 6 miles, and then decided to give my body a rest from miles 6-7 and try to hydrate more and let my body cool down a little since I also wasn’t used to running in those types of conditions yet either, and then ran from mile 7 to the end other than the really shitty hill around mile 10.

Jenni met up with me when I had less than 2 miles left to go and ran with me the rest of the way to the finish line.  Crossing the finish line was really awesome because they announced the two of us and they even put out a banner at the finish line for us to break as we ran across. We aren’t sure if they did that with every team or if it was becuase we were the only team crazy enough to run with two people and we the first two person team to cross the finish. Chances are they do it for everyone but who knows, we can pretend like it was because we’re just that good if we want. When I crossed the finish our time was under 4:45 for the whole race, which means I ran my portion in about 2:40. 

In all, this race didn’t actually end up as bad as the two of us thought it would be.  Another plus side to this race were the amazing views along the course.  The park I started in, Sandy Beach Park, was also super pretty near the ocean.  There was cooled lava leading up to the water, and a volcanic crater could also be seen from the park.  Now that this race is finished I can officially cross another state off my list of states I need to run in!

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