Honolulu Marathon pt. 1 - Why ?
honolulu marathon adventures running

Honolulu Marathon pt. 1 - Why ?

Ryan Leary

Dec 12, 2021. 5AM.

BANG! πŸ’₯ BANG BANG! πŸ’₯πŸ’₯! The blasts echoed off the high rise walls. It's still pitch black out..what's going on? I grabbed my phone just as a text from a friend a few blocks away arrived "Do you know what's goin on?".


I stumbled over to the window to see a full on fireworks show over the beach. Google: Honolulu fireworks sunday. The Honolulu marathon had just kicked off.

Seriously?! At 5AM?! Who are these idiots? Well I'm up, guess I'll make some coffee and play some Halo Infinite, that surprise release was awesome.

December 11, 2022. 3AM (1 year later)

My alarm goes off. It doesn't matter, I've been rolling back and forth for 30 minutes in anticipation. Halo Infinite turned out to be a dud. I'm off to go run this crazy thing. I'm the idiot now.


I don't really know how I ended up in this situation. I don't enjoy running. I'll chase a soccer ball or a frisbee. Hiking, cycling, and skiing are cool. Running just to run? Pass.

My friend that got woken up told me she planned to walk the marathon with some friends, and without thought I signed up. Looking at the confirmation email, it's more clear now - it must have been the Irish coffee I started the day with on St. Patricks day.

March 17, 2022. WHY

So now seriously committed because I got this email I should probably figure out why was I doing this? I'd need some kind of motivate...thankfully just mentioning it to people led to conversations that made it clear.

Why not just do a half?

This was the most common question I got. But I had a quick answer for this.

  1. The name is HALF marathon. That sounds weak. Nothing against those that do those, you have my respect. But I couldn't see myself signing up for a half of a run, I wanted to do a full run.
  2. I'd already done one. Nothing organized or anything. I just wanted to tell some friends that are runners that I did one, so one morning Β in 2020 I put on a new pair of shoes and did it.

I also love to talk to friends that LOVE running. Picture them clad in obnoxiously bright neon and disturbingly short shorts. Now when they tried to convince me running is amazing I could legitimately respond "eh, I gave it a good go, did the marathon thing, it's still overrated". At this point I wasn't worried that I'd become a psycho like them and actually find a love for running.

Reason 1: Β Troll my running friends by telling them that I ran a marathon and they haven't.

How are you gonna train?

Anyone can train and run a marathon right? A real test would be to do with with no training at all...right? Should I suffer for months or just really suffer for 1 day and a few of recovery? I should figure this out...

Wow Ryan...prepare to do A LOT of running

This was my dad's response when I sent him a screenshot of the confirmation email and said "I've made a terrible mistake". I enjoy type 2 fun. The death ride, long backpacking trips, etc. but Β a marathon felt out of reach. My knee always flares up when I jog and often I have trouble walking for a few days after. I really struggle in heat and humidity. I ran that half marathon, but the last mile was brutal, my legs fell apart, and it was a cool and pleasant winter day.

There was something exciting about setting a goal that felt unachievable. I know more people that have signed up to run a marathon and had to back out (injury, sickness, didn't train) than got it done. Could I manage? Could I be happy with myself hearing the fireworks at 5am again and watching everyone run by, knowing that I considered it?

Reason 2: Tame my inner bitch. Run the whole thing, no walking.

There was some local excitement too. As a fairly new resident, I wanted to partake in a local event that had so much fanfare. This was the 50th running of the Honolulu marathon, which was pretty cool.

Reason 3: Do new thing in my new location.

So thanks to an Irish coffee and a simple mention from a friend, I was signed up. Good thing I had 9 months to get ready...stay tuned for part 2 - Training.