Race to register for marathon hits a roadblock

Flora Arceo
Flora Arceo
Linda Moran
Linda Moran
Andy Hirano
Andy Hirano
Pat Bigold
Pat Bigold

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKELE (KHNL) - The race isn't until the end of the year, but people are already eyeing the finish line.

At least 1,000 people showed up to register early for the Honolulu Marathon. Some people waited in line for hours to sign up.

Marathon officials say better parking at a new location may have been why so many showed up Saturday.

But people KHNL spoke with say the big discount and free gifts were reasons enough to wait in the long line.

"I'm an early bird person," one participant said.

"I think we're all waiting in line for the free stuff," another person said.

"I come early because I wanna get a three digit number, so the earlier you come, you can get a lower number."

Whatever the reason, these people didn't mind waiting, waiting and waiting.

"Every other year, it's been five minutes, you're in and out, this was a little unfortunate, it's a little longer," said Kaneohe resident Todd Lanning.

Linda Moran of Village Park is no stranger to the Honolulu Marathon. She's done it a few times, but she could definitely do without the nearly two hour wait.

"I thought this would be quick. I thought instead of having my husband drop me off, he would come. I'm glad he didn't come, because he would've been mad waiting for me in the parking lot," said Moran.

Even marathon officials didn't expect this near record-breaking first-day turnout.

"15 minutes before the doors opened, there were 500, they were all the way down the sidewalk," said Pat Bigold, Honolulu Marathon spokesperson.

Ben Habultzel was the first participant on that sidewalk.

"I thought there would be a lot of other people, so I was kind of surprised, I was the first one here," said Habultzel.

For almost 10 years, Niketown hosted the early registration walk-ups, but due to its closure, Sports Authority in Waikele took over.

And when the wait was finally over, Moran and others looked ahead to the December 13th race. The next step requires less waiting and of course, lots of training.

Early walk-up registration continues Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. The early bird fee is $30, compared to $225 if you sign up after November 13th.