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Honolulu Marathon

The race starts very early in the day, the humidity can be quite high and oppressive, it has two huge climbing segments at Diamond Head and it can get crowded with over 20,000 runners but the Honolulu Marathon is a race that has many fans among marathon runners.

The course starts near the downtown area at Ala Moana Boulevard. Runners head west, with Mamala Bay and then Honolulu Harbor to their left, initially before turning around and going south-east along Kapiolani Boulevard. After 10km of the run the first major incline appears at Diamond Head. A steep climbing section is followed by several parts that go down and then up again. Runners continue going east, with the Pacific Ocean to their right, to Hawaii Kai. This is approximately 25km along the course. Runners then turn west to finish the race but will need plenty in reserve as Diamond Head again appears, around the 40km mark. The race ends at Waikiki Beach.

Runners will need to replenish fluids and there are sixteen drink stations along the marathon course. Water, sponges and energy drinks are available. There are many volunteers at the aid stations and also fans that line other areas of the course that provide runners with fresh fruit and sponges.

Those that make it to the finish line will receive a finisher t-shirt and finisher certificate. Snacks are provided at the Finisher's Food Court and there is an Awards Ceremony early in the afternoon after the race.

While December is the cooler time of the year for Honolulu, that can still mean the race starts in the dark of the early morning but with a temperature around 20 degrees Celsius.

Jimmy Muindi, of Kenya, has won the Honolulu Marathon several times and set the course record in 2004 with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 12 seconds. Some of the other winners include Nicholas Chelimo, Mbarak Kipkorir Hussein, Ibrahim Hussein and Simon Robert Naali. The fastest woman in the history of the event is Lyubov Denisova, the Russian runner recorded a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 19 seconds.

With the exception of the local runners, many runners will fly to the event and land at Honolulu International Airport. Bus services and taxis take people from the airport to the city centre. Tourist attractions in the area include the USS Arizona Memorial, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and Aloha Tower.

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