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Part of learning the culture of a place means you’ll have to immerse yourself into the community, getting to know the locals and the ins and outs of things. Whether it be watching community plays or going to community events, there’s never a shortage of opportunities for that in Hawaii.
Marathons and fun runs can be a great way to get involved and to get fit. I recently participated in a women’s 10K and was happy to see that a lot of tourists did as well. A group of them ran with signs on their backs boasting their hometowns; I overheard others at the start line talking about this being their first race in Hawaii.
Not going to lie, but I’m glad that my very first race was an all-women’s one. It wasn’t as intense as I thought it’d be; instead, I felt an instant camaraderie as soon as we got to the start line. Runners, joggers, walkers and even mamas pushing strollers crowded the stretch of Kalakaua Avenue near Kapiolani Park. Everyone was pumped up to do something healthy; plus, it was Girls Day, which I used as a major motivation to finish. Mochi never sounded sooo good!
The 6.2-mile course is a very scenic one, with a lot of community support. Volunteers cheer on runners and hand out cups of water mid-way through. It starts at the park’s tennis courts and then goes up toward Diamond Head lookout, where you get to run along the ocean. It’s one gigantic loop that takes you through Kahala and then back to the park. Here’s a map, in case your’e interested in doing it next time you’re here.
It’s crazy to think that while most people are just waking up, we had just finished running over six miles, and it was only 8 a.m. At the finish, each lady gets a rose and finishers t-shirt. There’s also tons of free refreshments and promotional stuff to check out. But I still had mochi on my mind! So we headed straight for mochi-land, also known as Foodland, and I scarfed it down in one sitting.
We always tell visitors to take in the sights and take in the fresh, Hawaiian air when they’re in Hawaii. Well, this is definitely one way to do that! There’s nothing like huffing-and-puffing it all in and really experiencing that hot Hawaiian heat from the soles of your shoe.
Photo Courtesy (second): Hawaii Pacific Health
HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH WOMEN’S 10K RUN • Every March (Free Zumba warm-up before the race at 7am) • www.hawaiipacifichealth.org/womens10k/