By Leland Kim
ALA MOANA (KHNL) - Close to a thousand students stormed Ala Moana Beach Park Friday morning. It's all part of a grueling ritual at Kamehameha Schools.
Each member of the freshman class does either a 10k run or a 3k swim. Students say this lesson in fitness applies to other aspects of their lives.
It's a test of stamina: 6.2 miles around Ala Moana Park.
"This is like the final exam," said Dan Kaneko, a freshman at Kamehameha Schools who finished first in the race.
"Come on!" cheered Arlis Legler, a ninth grade teacher at the school. "You're almost there, honey! Smile!"
Teachers and parents came to support Kamehameha Schools students. It's their final endurance test of the year.
"I used to be a distance runner and I know how important it is to cheer you on and what not," said Legler. "This is a good time. Beats the classroom."
Calvin Kalilimoku came out to cheer on his son Chad.
"Very proud, very proud," he said. "I'm happy he had the opportunity to go to Kamehameha Schools."
900 students run around the park ... Three long times around the park.
"While I was running, I was really tired and I just felt like giving up but you just got to push through it and persevere," said Kaneko.
This lesson in perseverance goes beyond physical fitness.
"Doing this run, it really helps me persevere in everything I do," said Noe Mikami, the freshman female winner of the race. "To know that even though it's hard, you can still accomplish whatever you want to do."
Passing on knowledge to others and encouraging them to do their best.
"You can do it," said Mikami. "You just have to keep your mind on what you want to accomplish and anything is possible.