The Grand Honolulu Marathon Adventure! (Part 1 – Expo)

 

Disclaimer: I received entry to the Honolulu Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro Ambassador. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! While the opportunity came my way thanks to the awesome group, all views and opinions are mine.

I started writing this blog post as I was sitting in Hilo airport, on some awesome 70s furniture that matched the print of my computer skin (see, I am totally cool). Check it out below:

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Yes, I’m absolutely exhausted! It was only 9 days before this picture that I started my Honolulu Marathon adventure. A few weeks before I stepped on the plane bound for paradise I ran my long run of 28km (yes, I’ve been slacking on that review). I used a local half marathon to take up the bulk of the run and added another 7km before the race. It was the worst run I’ve been on and I knew that the issues that I was experiencing with my foot would only allow me 1 run for the remainder of the year. Luckily my coach was awesome and allowed me to stop running in the lead up to the marathon.

So I arrived in Honolulu on the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, so I was able to catch a couple of the commemorations and meet up with fellow BibRave Pro Christine before we moved into our fancy Hilton Hawaiian Village room (where they were also filming Hawaii Five-0, and as much as I tried to find Scott Caan he was no where to be seen – insert sadface here).

We ventured out to Pearl Harbor on Thursday (and scored the last two tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial for the day) since the weather had turned and then turned our attention to what we were there to do – run the Honolulu Marathon – by hitting the expo.

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By golly, there were so many people! If you aren’t familiar with the Honolulu Marathon, it’s one of the fourth largest marathons in the US and the expo is suited to fit the 30,000 odd people who walk through the doors. It is the largest expo I’ve ever been to, but it was really simple and easy to pick up my bib!

You simply walk up to the table with the range of your bib number (which is emailed to you before the expo) and the awesome volunteers sort through a box of bibs. Once you are handed your bib you need to make sure you get it tested out to see that the chip is working. Getting a gear bag was in a seperate section, you get a bag with a sticker showing your bib number. Now it’s important to recognise that you needed to drop your gear off at the finish line on the Saturday – it makes complete logistic sense to have all the bags in one place so no one is moving them (due to the sheer scale of people).

I also was able to pick up my Kalakaua Merrie Mile bib and shirt (you get your shirt for this one before the race). I was pleasantly surprised at the style of the Kalakaua Merrie Mile event shirt, it was a pink/red colour and the design was one of the nicest that I’ve ever received from a race!

It was now time to hit the official merchandise area and there was so much stuff!!! It was hard to decide on what to buy, all the gear was really nicely designed but I settled on a cotton muscle tank. I did notice that all the women’s tanks were the moisture wicking material, and I just wanted a cotton one. I found the race branded shorts that I desperately lusted after when I saw them on the race FB page back in 2015, but unfortunately the size L didn’t even fit (normally I’m a M).

After picking out the race goodies, we hit the rest of the expo and it was definitely a completely different experience! Since the race has a big Japanese contingent, there’s a lot of booths that are targeted towards them, with awesome mascots and giveaways. Trust me, I was so jealous about the Honolulu Marathon Line stickers!!! There were lots of booths selling general race merchandise, a heap of medical ones (sigh, should have bought Satohap there) and an awesome photo booth to show your targeted time!!

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We stopped by the 2XU booth, since they had advertised on the virtual bag about the new recovery line being available. While Christine bought the tights and socks, I had to consider it a bit more since 2XU is Aussie so I know the $AUD prices and also had to consider the conversion rate. I ended up buying the socks (they’re different in the way that they work for recovery and have a looser top) and future me would be thankful for this decision later down the line.

After walking through the expo twice and leaving our mark on the wall, we ended up making our way to the exit (by way of getting one more photo with props!!). Now we parked since we had a rental car for the day, but we did travel back the next day and caught the trolley. The transportation set up was awesome, the trolley actually dropped you off at several locations in Waikiki and the driver was so festive – I haven’t had as much fun on a trolley then the trip back from the expo!

Next Up:  The Kalakaua Merrie Mile

Next Up: The Honolulu Marathon

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