It’s an event that draws in tens of thousand of people every year and next year the Great Aloha Run will mark its 35th anniversary.
Each year on Presidents’ Day, eager runners, walkers and joggers take to the course near Aloha Tower to make the trek to Aloha Stadium.
All this would not exist had it not started out as an idea.
“Buck Buchwach from the Honolulu Advertiser met with Jack Scaff and myself and he said, ‘I’ve already dreamed of a Great Aloha Run from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium,” said Great Aloha Run president and co-founder Carole Kai Onouye. “I said, ‘That’s kinda far, ah?’ And he said over 8 miles and I said, ‘Who would do it?”
As we’ve seen, there’s been no shortage of interest in the Great Aloha Run.
Since its start, its seen hundreds of thousands of finishers, with even more volunteers helping along the way.
However, the unique event is more than just a way to stay healthy, it has raised millions for local organizations.
To date, about $14 million has been donated to more than 150 organizations.
“My mother always told me whenever you take something out, you have to give back. Because if you don’t, that reciprocity thing, that’s not good, it’s not Hawaii,” said Onouye. “To be a Hawaiian, you have to think like a Hawaiian and that’s give and take and she engrained that in me and to honor my mother I wanted to do the same thing.”
Please join KHON2 as we look back on the Great Aloha Run’s beginnings, its leap overseas and explore what the next 35 years could bring for the iconic event.
The special feature airs Sunday, December 30 on KHON2 at 7:30 p.m.