On Saturday, when we arrived, we discovered the Great Aloha Run was one of the biggest races in Hawaii. Even though I was not acclimated to the weather, I thought running would be fun. And it was! But with the 70 degrees and 90% humidity, it was challenging. It honestly reminded me of running in the south in August. I guess that’s why there weren’t many longer races in the theme. I digress.
First, I had fun at the Great Aloha Run but there were several “weird” things that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I’m used to Northeast races which are well-oiled machines. One day I’ll write a post about the differences about races in different areas because it’s been interesting coming to the west coast with much more laid-back races. Anyway some weird things about the Great Aloha Run:
- The expo where you must pick up your bib costs money to enter. Race participants get in for free, but my husband had to pay $8 to go in. It was a regular race expo (and it also cost another $8 for parking).
- The Great Aloha Run said Poweraid sponsored it, but they had no electrolytes on the course—I assumed they would.
Before the Great Aloha Run:
We picked up my bib and medal the day before. It was interesting they gave the medal before the Great Aloha Run, but it made no difference to me.
The morning before, I woke up later than I preferred. You would think I’m going back 2 hours in time (from California to Hawaii); I would wake up earlier. That hasn’t been the case and I’ve just been sleeping a lot more. Probably just catching up on sleep. So I woke up at five and hustled to make the last bus that left at 6. I arrived at the start around 6:30. There weren’t a lot of places to warm up on the busy road, so I did a mile. I felt like complete garbage. The humidity, the travel, it was all getting to me. I ran around 10:15 pace and thought I was sprinting. I got into my corral, and the Great Aloha Run went off at 8 am.
Great Aloha Run Race:
The Great Aloha Run is 8.15 miles, but this year, it was a bit short at 8. I don’t usually put too much stock in GPS watches, but when the watch is short usually the course is short. No one runs tangents better than the course certifier, and I know I didn’t run the Great Aloha Run tangents well. The course had also changed a bit since the previous years.
With any big race, you know the first mile will be packed. We were. Luckily it spread out quickly on the wide streets. I ran a 6:58 first mile at the Great Aloha Run and honestly, I was shocked. I did not feel that good and I was already hot. On a good day, I thought I might be able to break 7 mins per mile but this was not that.
The next few miles of the Great Aloha Run went without much note. I discovered at mile 2 there were no electrolytes which was a bummer. I took water at every opportunity. I drank some. I poured some on my head. It was cold, which was welcomed. I ran a 7:07 for both miles 2 and 3.
Around mile 3 of the Great Aloha Run, we ran under a bridge and stayed under for 2 miles. It felt like the bridge was neverending buit it was excellent for some shade. Although it was about to storm and cloudy (why the humidity was so high), there wasn’t much sun to block. Miles 3 and 4 were mentally hard because it just felt like I wasn’t making any progress forward. I ran a 7:16 and 7:22.
I knew (from a friend) there were some smaller hills towards the end of Great Aloha Run. I also knew they would be rough because working hard in the heat. Usually, 50 foot hills aren’t a big deal, but at the end of a super hot race you’d think you were climbing mount Everest especially because most of the Great Aloha Run was so flat. I didn’t want to be above 8 mins, and I knew seeing that would frustrate me because I felt like my fitness was finally coming along. I ran miles six and 7 in 7:21 and 7:20. I was pretty pleased, and by mile 7 I just told myself 1.15 miles to go. Little did I know the course would be shorter than in years past. We had one final push uphill, and l and I just focused on the finish line. I ran as hard as I could (which was probably around 7 min pace) and finished in 57:37.
Great Aloha Run Thoughts:
I’m happy with my time at the Great Aloha Run. It was a challenging weather day, but I appreciate that because who knows what the LA Marathon weather will bring. They’ve had similar weather to this, and it was nice to run hard (albeit not as fast as I’m capable of) in that weather.
Questions for you:
Have you run the Great Aloha Run?
Have you ever done an 8-mile race?