Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snapshot in front of the famous surfing pioneer "Duke" statue in Waikiki sporting the new cheetah print running skirts - (Marathon Madison wearing our kids "mini skirt" running skirt in cheetah tnt purple).

WOW! What a busy December it's been. We just got back from the Honolulu Marathon & our annual family vacation! We were there for the marathon expo & race and then stayed on a bit for a nice family holiday. When we arrived in Waikiki before the marathon, it was raining (make that pouring) cats and dogs. Not your typical tropical isle weather. It was one of the biggest storms of the year for the islands - and poor timing to say the least.

As the rain continued day after day after day during the 4 day expo, we wondered if it was going to let up for all the runners on Sunday. To run....or not to run! That was the question Christy & I kept tossing back and forth. It's so hard to work the marathon expos without getting caught up in all the running energy and pre-race excitement. We always want to run on race day. Normally, if there is a half marathon event, that is what we run. Unfortunately (or fortunately for our marathon recovering bodies!), in Honolulou, there is only a full marathon and a 10k fun walk. Since we are both coming down from our marathons in DC & NYC, we decided to be smart about it and sit this one out.
Here are a few shots from the marathon:

Finish line! About halfway through the marathon, the rain stopped and the sun came out. We felt so sorry for all those super-soaked runners. It was pouring rain at the start and about an hour or so into the race. We were standing in front of our hotel at about the 5-6 mile marker and people were stopping taking off the shoes and wringing out their socks already - ouch! I can only imagine the blisters and chafing that was going on towards the end of the race.

Runner in traditional Hawaiian costume in Crocs? (smart guy to wear the crocs on this running day)! This race is a huge destination marathon for a lot of first time runners, Team in Training groups and also Japanese runners. In talking with some locals about the event, we were told a lot of the Japanese runners do not train for the event, but come over with tour groups, etc. and just go out on race day planning to finish the marathon. We met one couple that had just married and were planning to run the race together to kick off their marriage/honeymoon. Lots of cool stories and interesting people!

As we stood at the finish line watching the runners come in - there was one Japanese lady that collapsed or fell about 200 yards from the finish line. It looked like her legs were noodles and she just couldn't get back up! I had a flash back about my horrible cramping experience in DC and truly felt sorry for this runner. Other runners stopped to help her up, but at first she was pushing them away. She started crawling toward the finish line - bare knees and all. She would try to get up again and then collapse on her rubbery legs and crawl a few more paces. Other runners would try to help her and at first she continued to push them away (it was apparent she was dead set on finishing the race on her own). Finally she conceded and let a lady on the sidelines help her to her feet. Once she was vertical again and took a few steps, she got her legs back and the crowd cheered her like crazy all the way to the finish. WOW! That was definitely an example of mind over matter. If there's a will, there's a way.

Congrats to all the finishers in Honolulu! You earned those post-race Mai Tais!