Monday, February 15, 2010

The 2010 Great Aloha Run - Honolulu, Hawaii

I woke up at 2:00 a.m. this morning, so that I could volunteer at the annual Great Aloha Run.  It wasn't easy to wake up, but it's totally worth the experience.  It's my third year volunteering at the Great Aloha Run and my second time at the starting line.  Next year, I will run the 8 miles for the first time.

The actual run begins at 700 a.m.  We were there for hours, maintaing the crowds, while also directing runners to their designated locations.  It's always fun to interact with the runners.  Afterwards, we pick up trash and other items left behind, which can be totally gross! 

There are always older people collecting the cans and bottles.  You can tell they need the extra cash, so we always give them what we collect and they are truly appreciative.  Collected clothes items are donated too.  It's amazing how many people leave their sweaters behind.

Early in the morning, hardly anyone was around!  It seemed like forever.  I really wanted to see the elite runners, but none were around yet.  All the news crews were posted outside though.  In all honesty, today was one of the nicest days for a run.  Last year, it was cold, rainy, and windy.  But this year, it was beautiful!

Can you believe how empty the area is?

Throughout time, it got busier and busier.  Eventually, there were thousands of people.  In fact, this was a record breaking year with nearly 24,000 runners.

Before the race, we took the barriers down and let the people onto the street to post.  It can become chaotic.  I can see how a stampede can occur if there isn't enough crowd control.

First, there are the elite runners and the wheel chair participants. Then, the US Military runs in formation thereafter. 

There goes the US Air Force

The Army

After the US Military, the rest of the runners can begin.  People are in the sections that best fit their running times.  The good news is that you are given a device that monitors your running time from the time you pass the starting line until you cross the finish line, so it really doesn't matter what section you are in. Although it would be better in the front since you have less people to get through if you run fast.   

There goes some of the final runners passing the starting line.  In 8 miles, they will cross the finish line at the Aloha Stadium, where they will receive a "Finisher's T-Shirt," beverages and food items.

Every year, there are also people who dress up. I didn't see as many people dress up like last year. My favorite costume this year would have to be the man in a hooter's outfit. He wore super tight clothes and short shorts. It was SO funny. I wonder what I'll see next year ....

It's my third year volunteering, but next year I will run the Great Aloha Run.  I have to do it at least once in my life and next year would be the perfect opportunity.  I can't wait!

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