BibRave Race Review: Feeling Ohana at the Honolulu Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Honolulu Marathon 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 been 2 weeks since an amazing marathon weekend in Honolulu and 1 week since we finished our awesome adventures on the Hawaiian islands, and my brain is still somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The fact that it’s been 40s and raining nearly non-stop since we returned to ATL really doesn’t help much either. I never thought I’d be able to cross a Hawaii marathon off my list so early in the 50 states marathon game but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take this adventure at this time. If you’re thinking about doing this race, or visiting Hawaii in general, then do it! The time and cost involved may seem overwhelming, but I saved money throughout the year using an Acorns account and paid for flights and many of the excursions as I was able. Anything is possible. The marathon itself is the 3rd largest in the US but has a very local community feel to it. If you want all the amenities of a large race but enjoy running through neighborhoods with people camped out in lawn chairs on their lawns, then Honolulu Marathon is certainly worth the journey. For a full, extensive review of the race, check out my review on BibRave. Here’s my Honolulu Marathon Top 10:

  • International feel without needing a passport
  • Over 200 hotels in a 1 mile radius of Waikiki so plenty of housing options near the start shuttles and race finish
  • 5am start time is perfect for those of us still fighting jet lag (it’s 10 am east coast time!)
  • Fireworks! They’re not playing around; 20+ minute firework extravaganza at the start
  • Shuttles to the start are really easy
  • Merrie Mile: get a little shakeout run on Saturday and then enjoy watching elite runners blow away the out and back course along the famed Waikiki Beach Kalakau Ave. (The winner finished in 3 minutes 53 seconds!)
  • Shell necklaces: the medals for all races are quite nice but I was most excited about receiving a long shell necklace at the marathon finish
  • Malasadas! A Portuguese-style fried donut common in Hawaii. They have a whole kitchen setup at the finish making fresh malasadas for all finishers. YUM!
  • Cold showers: seems obvious, but yes, Honolulu is HOT and starting at 5am doesn’t actually improve the situation all that much. Right after you cross the finish line, there’s a bank of shower heads for an amazingly refreshing cool down. Also, the finish line is a 5 minute walk from the beach, so a post-marathon Pacific Ocean dunk is a must-do.
  • Sunrise over Diamond Head: the advantage of starting at 5am means that, depending on your pace, you’ll be climbing around Diamond Head just as the sun rises. There’s not many things in this world better than a Pacific Ocean sunrise.

Finally, thanks so much to the race director for sending this epic pic to Team BibRave.

Always remember to hydrate!

What’s the most epic race-cation you’ve had? What’s on your bucket list?

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