Runners make last minute preparations in run-up to Honolulu Mara - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Runners make last minute preparations in run-up to Honolulu Marathon

George Seymour George Seymour
James Meyers James Meyers
Kalani Hoopii Kalani Hoopii
Gladys Burrell on right in lei Gladys Burrell on right in lei

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For local runners on the calendar, it's a big date in red: the Honolulu Marathon is just three days away, and runners are making their last minute preparations.

At The Running Room, where photos of past marathon winners grace the walls, Race Week means a pickup in business for the store that caters to runners.

"It seems like it," said George Seymour, one of the managers at The Running Room. "Usually Saturday, Sunday, we're pretty busy. Weekdays, it's not too bad."

According to the staff, most people have already bought their shoes for the race. It's the small stuff that they're sweating, like energy bars, supplements, and other ways to find relief while running 26 miles.

"We got things with some carbs in there, some electrolytes, hydrated, energy," Seymour said. "We got things that prevent chafing, things like that."

The big and little things all add up, with the marathon pumping about $100 million into the island economy each year.

So far, just under 21,000 runners have registered for the race. About 60 percent of those runners come from Japan, enough for Japan Airlines, a marathon sponsor, to add extra flights to Honolulu this week.

There now a Honolulu Marathon run at the same time in Afghanistan, started years ago by a Hawaii runner who was deployed there.

"A little bit different environment here than we're used to back in the great state of Hawaii," said Master Sgt. James Meyers of Toledo, Ohio. "A little bit chillier. Not much to look at."

"This is more of a combat situation while running down rage," said Sgt. Kalani Hoopii of Waianae. "'Cause in Hawaii you have a nice view of the ocean, and I'd rather run it at home."

There is one change this year: Gladys Burrell, who last year at age 92 became the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon, is cutting back. She's only going to run the 10-K race day walk.

"I may not do another long marathon, but it's tempting," said Burrell Thursday as she was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame. "It's going to be difficult in this shorter one to stop at 10-K instead of going on."

And another change: every runner who crosses the finish line this year will get a malasada, cooked at a tent nearby. Race organizers said they decided on giving a malasada because runners are hungry at the end of a race, a lot of them can be made in a short amount of time, and it's something local.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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