|Date||Second Sunday in December|
|Location||Honolulu, Hawaii, US|
|Primary sponsor||Japan Airlines (JAL)|
|Course records||Men: 2:07:59 (2019)|
Women: 2:22:15 (2017)
|Participants||18,805 finishers (2019)|
19,749 finishers (2018)
The Honolulu Marathon (branded JAL Honolulu Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii, first held in 1973. It is one of the world's largest marathons, taking place annually on the second Sunday in December. The marathon is popular for its location in Hawaii, and is also popular among first-time marathoners, many of whom are visitors from Japan.
The 40th Honolulu Marathon, held in 2012, had 30,898 registrants, and was the second-largest marathon in the United States that year, behind the Chicago Marathon.
The race began in 1973. During its formative period (1973–1978) the Honolulu Marathon doubled in size every year—a rate that has been equaled only once. That growth, like the growth of long-distance running itself, came about not from an interest in competition, but from a quest for personal longevity and an enhanced quality of life. Former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi has been inducted in the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame after documents proved that he was the true founder of the race 40 years ago.
Mayor Fasi died in 2010. With the Honolulu Marathon just days away, race officials say they have undisputed proof that Fasi made it all happen.
"We were clearing out some files and we saw a box labeled 1973 and we saw the documents that showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mayor Fasi was the creator and the founder of the marathon," said Jim Barahal, Honolulu Marathon President.
Now drawing more than 20,000 entries a year, the Honolulu Marathon is one of the biggest in the country. Back in 1973, there wasn't widespread interest in it. But Mayor Fasi knew about the Boston Marathon, and saw its potential here. At the forefront of the growth of the Honolulu Marathon was cardiologist Jack Scaff, one of the first physicians to prescribe running as therapy for heart disease. In 1977 Sports Illustrated's senior writer and Olympic marathoner Kenny Moore wrote a feature story about the race. That article was soon followed by the book "The Honolulu Marathon," by journalist Mark Hazard Osmun; the book was a revelatory chronicle of the then-unfolding social craze called the "Running Boom," as exemplified in the Honolulu event.
Over time, the race grew and changed, luring large corporate sponsors and paying substantial prize money to the winners. In 1995, the Honolulu Marathon enjoyed the distinction of being the world's largest marathon when it drew 34,434 entrants and had 27,022 finishers.
Unique to the Honolulu Marathon among American marathons is its popularity among runners from Japan, where there are very few marathons open to all entrants. In recent years, the majority of entrants have been visitors from Japan. The marathon is popular enough that the Honolulu Marathon Association maintains an office in Tokyo to process entries. Japan Air Lines has been the title sponsor of the race since 1985.
In 2008, 14,406 of the total 23,231 entries were from Japan, which made up nearly 62.0 percent of the field.
The 2012 Honolulu Marathon was held on Sunday, December 9, 2012. The field for the 40th Honolulu Marathon reached 30,898 entries at the marathon expo at the Hawaii Convention Center. 16,067 of those registered entrants were from Japan. The 2012 marathon was the largest in 15 years, and the second largest in America of 2012, only surpassed by the Chicago Marathon.
Organizers decided not to hold the 2020 in-person edition of the race on its original date in December due to the coronavirus pandemic, but reserved the option to postpone it to an alternate date in the first half of 2021. All registrants were given the option of running the race virtually or transferring their entry to 2021.[a]
Starting near Ala Moana Beach Park across from Ala Moana Center, the course progresses west along the waterfront toward downtown Honolulu, then loops through downtown and bends back east through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and out toward the eastern suburbs of Honolulu, winding through Hawaii Kai before doubling back toward the finish line at Waikiki's Kapiolani Park. Marathoners consider the course moderately difficult because of the tropical weather conditions, with temperatures starting at around 65 °F (18 °C) and rising to as high as 80 °F (27 °C), and a relatively hilly course compared with other marathons. Nevertheless, the race also remains a popular choice for first-time marathoners.
Satellite races in Iraq and Afghanistan
The Honolulu Marathon has been popular with U.S. military personnel stationed in Hawaii. With many Hawaii-based troops deployed abroad, the marathon coordinated with the military to organize satellite marathon races on U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan on the same day as the main race, with finishers receiving the same T-shirts and medals. The first such race was held in 2004 at a U.S. base in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. In 2005, the marathon organized a similar race at Camp Victory in Baghdad.
On Dec. 12, 2010, the 43rd Sustainment Brigade, home stationed in Fort Carson, Colo., now deployed to Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, organized a satellite run on the base. Nearly 135 people from several different nations participated in the run.
In recent years, on average, about 25,000 runners finish the Honolulu Marathon each year, and it has consistently placed among the world's ten largest marathons in terms of total finishers. Entry to the Honolulu Marathon is open to anyone who can pay the entry fee. Unlike other marathons of similar size, popularity, and stature, there are no qualifying standards to meet, no fixed limits on the number of runners, and no time limit to finish the course (all runners receive an official time and certificate).
Over the past 34 years, more than 585,000 runners have started the Honolulu Marathon, with over 482,000 finishers, for a finishing rate of over 82%.
Although the difficulty of the course precludes world-record pace performances, winners of the Honolulu Marathon have used it as a stepping stone to greater achievements. For instance, three-time winner Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya later won the Boston Marathon three times; and 1993 winner Bong-Ju Lee won the silver medal and 1995 winner Josia Thugwane won the gold medal, both in the 1996 Olympic Marathon in Atlanta.
Key: Course record (in bold)
|Year||Male Winner||Time||Female Winner||Time||Rf.|
|1973||Duncan Macdonald (USA)[b]||2:27:34||June Chun (USA)[b]||3:25:31|
|1974||Jeff Galloway (USA)[c]||2:23:02||Cindy Dalrymple (USA)[b]||3:01:59|
|1975||Jack Foster (NZL)||2:17:24||Jacqueline Hansen (USA)[d]||2:49:24|
|1976||Duncan Macdonald (USA)[b]||2:20:37||Kim Merritt (USA)[e]||2:44:44|
|1977||Jeff Wells (USA)[f]||2:18:38||Cindy Dalrymple (USA)[b]||2:48:08|
|1978||Don Kardong (USA)[g]||2:17:05||Patti Lyons (USA)[h]||2:43:10|
|1979||Dean Matthews (USA)[i]||2:16:13||Patti Lyons (USA)[h]||2:40:07|
|1980||Duncan Macdonald (USA)[d]||2:16:55||Patti Lyons Catalano (USA)[h]||2:35:26|
|1981||Jon Anderson (USA)[j]||2:16:54||Patti Lyons Catalano (USA)[h]||2:33:24|
|1982||Dave Gordon (USA)[g]||2:15:30||Eileen Claugus (USA)[d]||2:41:11|
|1983||Kevin Ryan (NZL)||2:20:19||Annick Loir-Lebreton (FRA)||2:41:25|
|1984||Jorge González (PRI)||2:16:25||Patti Gray (USA)[d]||2:42:50|
|1985||Ibrahim Hussein (KEN)||2:12:08||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:35:51|
|1986||Ibrahim Hussein (KEN)||2:11:43||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:31:01|
|1987||Ibrahim Hussein (KEN)||2:18:26||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:35:11|
|1988||Gianni Poli (ITA)||2:12:47||Cyndie Welte (USA)[k]||2:41:52|
|1989||Simon Robert Naali (TAN)||2:11:47||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:31:50|
|1990||Simon Robert Naali (TAN)||2:17:29||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:33:34|
|1991||Benson Masya (KEN)||2:18:24||Ritva Lemettinen (FIN)||2:40:11|
|1992||Benson Masya (KEN)||2:14:19||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:32:13|
|1993||Lee Bong-Ju (KOR)||2:13:16||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:32:20|
|1994||Benson Masya (KEN)||2:15:04||Carla Beurskens (NED)||2:37:06|
|1995||Josia Thugwane (RSA)||2:16:08||Colleen De Reuck (RSA)||2:37:29|
|1996||Eric Kimaiyo (KEN)||2:13:23||Ramilya Burangulova (RUS)||2:34:28|
|1997||Eric Kimaiyo (KEN)||2:12:17||Svetlana Zakharova (RUS)||2:33:14|
|1998||Mbarak Kipkorir Hussein (KEN)||2:14:53||Irina Bogachova (KGZ)||2:33:27|
|1999||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:16:45||Irina Bogachova (KGZ)||2:32:36|
|2000||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:15:19||Lyubov Morgunova (RUS)||2:28:33|
|2001||Mbarak Kipkorir Hussein (KEN)||2:15:09||Lyubov Morgunova (RUS)||2:29:54|
|2002||Mbarak Kipkorir Hussein (KEN)||2:12:29||Svetlana Zakharova (RUS)||2:29:08|
|2003||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:12:59||Eri Hayakawa (JPN)||2:31:56|
|2004||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:11:12||Lyubov Morgunova (RUS)||2:27:33|
|2005||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:12:00||Olesya Nurgalieva (RUS)||2:30:24|
|2006||Ambesse Tolosa (ETH)||2:13:42||Lyubov Denisova (RUS)||2:27:19|
|2007||Jimmy Muindi (KEN)||2:18:53||Alevtina Biktimirova (RUS)||2:33:07|
|2008||Patrick Ivuti (KEN)||2:14:35||Kiyoko Shimahara (JPN)||2:32:36|
|2009||Patrick Ivuti (KEN)||2:12:14||Svetlana Zakharova (RUS)||2:28:34|
|2010||Nicholas Chelimo (KEN)||2:15:18||Belaynesh Zemedkun (ETH)||2:32:13|
|2011||Nicholas Chelimo (KEN)||2:14:55||Woynishet Girma (ETH)||2:31:41|
|2012||Wilson Kipsang (KEN)||2:12:31||Valentina Galimova (RUS)||2:31:23|
|2013||Gilbert Chepkwony (KEN)||2:18:46||Ehitu Kiros (ETH)||2:36:02|
|2014||Wilson Chebet (KEN)||2:15:35||Joyce Chepkirui (KEN)||2:30:23|
|2015||Filex Kiprotich (KEN)||2:11:42||Joyce Chepkirui (KEN)||2:28:34|
|2016||Lawrence Cherono (KEN)||2:09:39||Brigid Kosgei (KEN)||2:31:11|
|2017||Lawrence Cherono (KEN)||2:08:27||Brigid Kosgei (KEN)||2:22:15|
|2018||Titus Ekiru (KEN)||2:09:01||Vivian Jerono Kiplagat (KEN)||2:36:22|||
|2019||Titus Ekiru (KEN)||2:07:59||Margaret Muriuki (KEN)||2:31:09|||
|2020||suspended due to coronavirus pandemic[l]|||
|2021||Emmanuel Saina (KEN)||2:14:30||Lanni Marchant (CAN)||2:41:24|||
2007 winner disqualified
Ethiopian Ambesse Tolossa was disqualified as the men's champion because the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found he had a banned substance in his system.
- 2002 Grant Hirohata-Goto, 33
Timing problems in 2007
In 2007 the Marathon organizers switched from the ChampionChip timing system they had used since 2000 to a new system from SAI which utilized a smaller, lighter, chip implanted in a strip of paper. For a myriad of reasons that are not yet entirely clear (heavy rains, improper usage, failed generators) the timing devices apparently failed to accurately record the start, split and finish times of all 24,300 participants, forcing race officials to manually review finish line video tape of all 24,000+ runners in order to confirm their correct finishing times.
- If the 2020 marathon is to be held on an alternate date, this would result in the possibility of both the 2020 and 2021 Honolulu Marathons being held in 2021, and registrants who did not run the race virtually would have the option of transferring their entry to either the (postponed) 2020 marathon, or the 2021 marathon.
- From Hawaii
- From Georgia
- From California
- From Wisconsin
- From Texas
- From Washington
- From Massachusetts
- From South Carolina
- From Oregon
- From Ohio
- It is unclear whether the marathon would be postponed or cancelled.
- "Honolulu Marathon". Archived from the original on 2020-10-25.
- "Honolulu Marathon 2018". Archived from the original on 25 October 2020.
- "AIMS - World's Largest Marathons". aims-worldrunning.org. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Honolulu Marathon". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- "You searched for historybyyear". Honolulu Marathon. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- Moore, Kenny (27 February 1978). "Honolulu Marathon Clinic". Sports Illustrated: 60–68. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- Cisco, Dan (1999). Hawai'i sports: history, facts, and statistics. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-2121-1. p. 228.
- Japan Entrants
- "Road Closures for the 2012 Honolulu Marathon". Hawaii News Now. December 8, 2012. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Update - 2020 Honolulu Marathon". 9 September 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-10-23.
- "Honolulu Marathon goes virtual amid pandemic". 23 October 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-10-23.
- Honolulu Marathon canceled due to coronavirus pandemic
- Satellite Races
- "Champions 1973-2006". Honolulu Marathon. 2001-12-21. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Honolulu Marathon 2018". Archived from the original on 2020-10-25.
- Honolulu Marathon. (2021, December 12). Pseresults.Com. Retrieved December 29, 2021, from https://pseresults.com/events/1207/results
- "Honolulu Marathon winner disqualified". Pacific Business News. June 24, 2008. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "All 24,000 Honolulu Marathon times flawed". Honolulu Advertiser. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- Moore, Kenny (27 February 1978). "Honolulu Marathon Clinic". Sports Illustrated: 60–68. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- Scaff Jr, Jack (1988). Your First Marathon: The Honolulu Marathon Clinic's Rules of the Road. Honolulu: Kakui Plaza Medical Associates.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Honolulu Marathon.|