HONOLULU (KHON2) — Runners, walkers and everyone in between picked up their runners packets at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 10, ahead of the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 12.

Demand is high but participants said, excitement is even higher.

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“Oh yeah,” said Kalihi resident Marnie Aduca. “I just go for the fun, yeah? Just cruise around, walk around, that’s it.”

“It feels a lot better,” said Marnie’s son, Kainalu, “to be in person because it’s a easier access of registering and it’s a better way to get into the feel of the Honolulu Marathon.”

According to Dr. Jim Barahal, president of the Honolulu Marathon, around 8,000 participants are expected to turn out on Sunday. They will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test when they pick up their packets, but Dr. Barahal insisted Hawaii is ready.

“They wanna be outdoors, they wanna participate in a healthy activity, not only for the community but for their own health and they want life to get back to normal.”

Dr. Jim Barahal, Honolulu Marathon president

“People in Hawaii have been really great through this and have understood the risks involved and have pulled together as a community,” Dr. Barahal said, “but I think it’s time that we all pull together again and begin to open up.”

Dr. Barahal said, other states and countries have led the way and it is time for Hawaii to join them.

“Between October first and November seventh when the New York City marathon was held, there were 22 major large marathons all around the world. 22! New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, any city you can name, not one reported case, not one reported outbreak, no super spreaders.”


Honolulu residents are hoping for the best and are thankful that a large event is finally returning.

“Well I mean, you can kind of see that things are getting back to normal,” said Honolulu resident George Schmelzer, “I think Dr. Barahal and everybody, they’re really trying to make this a safe event, so I trust them, yeah.”

For those that did not pick up their packets on Friday, the Convention Center will be open on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Participants will only be able to pick up their own packets due to COVID protocols, not for their family or friends.

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Click here for more information about the 2021 Honolulu Marathon.