On Your Marks: Honolulu Marathon Almost Here

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Tens of thousands of runners will hit the streets of Oahu, this Sunday, for the 35th annual Honolulu Marathon.

In fact, more than 17,000 are flying in from Japan, representing the latest major boost to the state's economy.

''Well, I think the most exciting part about the marathon is the energy," say local Honolulu Marathon commentator, Katherine Nichols. "In the days leading up to the race and right before. There's nothing quite like being there at the start when the fireworks go off and everybody is there, it's thrilling."

And we're still three full days away from the firing of the starter's gun.

35 years after a modest 167 entrants ran the inaugural Honolulu Marathon, more than 28,000 runners will line-up for this year's 26-point-2 mile jaunt.

''It's growing globally in a way that I think nobody could have predicted, in places in the world where no one thought anyone would ever run a marathon," explains Race Results Weekly editor, David Monti. "Like Bangkok, or Singapore, now have major races. This is a lot due to the work done here in Honolulu."

And the financial growth is significant.

Between the race, and accompanying Honolulu Marathon Expo, organizers hope see an infusion of more than $100 million into our local economy, for the third straight year.

And those who follow the sport, say, there's no end in sight.

''Honolulu will be even bigger and stronger than it is today," says Monti. "It's one of the great events that is embraced by the city in which it is held. People here know about the race, they get excited about it."

All the way to the finish line.

The expo runs for the next three days, at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Gates open at 9 o'clock Friday and Saturday morning.

Admission is free.

The 35th annual Honolulu Marathon, kicks-off at 5 o'clock, Sunday morning, along Ala Moana Boulevard.

Interested runners, can still register.