Complete Honolulu Marathon Guide: Training, Route & Tips

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Do you want to make the most of your next marathon experience?

The Honolulu Marathon is one of the best marathons in the world and a great way to push yourself physically and mentally while taking in stunning scenery.

In this comprehensive guide, we provide everything you need tips you need to run a successful marathon in beautiful Hawaii.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey as you take on the challenging 26.2 miles through breathtaking Hawaiian landscapes.

Honolulu Marathon Guide - Overview

The Honolulu Marathon has become one of the most well know races in the running world.

While it boasts a challenging course with its challenging Diamond Head climb, its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the city of Honolulu make the experience unforgettable.

Thousands of runners from across the globe fly to Hawaii each year to participate in the beloved event, bringing their energy and enthusiasm as they tackle the 26.2-mile journey.

From the pre-race festivities to the cheers of the crowds along the way, the Honolulu Marathon offers a truly unique and memorable race experience. 

When is the Honolulu Marathon?

This event held annually in the Honolulu city. It began in 1973 with just 151 runners, has grown in popularity each year, now attracting more than 20,000 participants from around the globe.

The Honolulu Marathon takes place each year in December, making it the perfect way to escape the winter cold and enjoy the warmth of Hawaii's tropical climate while competing in one of the world's most scenic marathons.

This year, the Honolulu Marathon will take place on December 10.

What is the Honolulu Marathon Route?

The race starts in downtown Honolulu, a lively district known for its stunning beach and has many shopping mall.

The route takes runners through the heart of Honolulu, showcasing some of the city's most famous landmarks, including Diamond Head.

The Honolulu Marathon ends in Kapiolani Park and, as participants make their way through the 26.2-mile course, they'll see the breathtaking views of the island and cheered on by enthusiastic locals.


Rules and Regulations of the Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon is unique in its inclusivity, with no qualifying standards or fixed limits on the number of runners.

There are no cut-off times, making it a marathon that welcomes all participants to finish, regardless of their pace.

The race is conducted according to the Competition Rules of USA Track & Field. Also, road closures are enforced for the event, and participants must enter the starting area from specific points, which is more convenient for runners.

Section Key-Takeaway

The Honolulu Marathon is an inclusive race that offers participants the chance to run without a time limit while following Competition Rules of USA Track & Field and road closures.


Training for the Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon is no easy feat. It takes months of preparation and hard work to cross that finish line.

Let's go through some tips that you should know to get properly ready for the Marathon.

Getting Started with Your Training Plan

The first step to success is determining your current fitness level and setting achievable goals.

No matter if you're an experienced runner or just starting out, incorporating long runs into your training routine will help build your stamina.

And for hill workouts, head to places like Ala Moana Beach Park or Hawaii Kai to mimic the inclines of the actual race course.

If you plan to train at your local gym, make sure to do some solid cardio sessions and incline your treadmills for the hills coming during the Marathon.

Nutrition and Hydration are Key

Preparing for the Honolulu Marathon is not just about the physical training, it also involves focusing on your diet.

Nutrition and hydration are key to a successful race day. It's important to consume a diet that is high in carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables, and also far, which will provide the necessary energy for your body throughout the race.

Additionally, maintaining proper hydration is essential, especially as the heat and humidity can make you sweat more than usual.

Drinking sports drinks that replenish electrolytes lost during sweat-outs can help keep you hydrated and avoid dehydration. 

Section Key-Takeaway

To achieve success in running, set achievable goals and incorporate long runs and hill workouts into your training.


Prizes and Awards at the Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon is not only known for its stunning scenery, but also the impressive prizes and awards that participants receive.

All finishers of the marathon are rewarded with a stunning medal that symbolizes their hard work and patience.

It's more than just a piece of metal, it's a reminder of the commitment and perseverance that it takes to complete a 26.2-mile journey.

Awards for Top Runners

It's an event that brings together runners from all over the world to compete and celebrate.

In addition to the overall winners, special recognition is given to the top runners. The 1st place will be rewarded $25,000, the 2nd will rewarded $10,000, and the 3rd top runner will be rewarded $5,000.

On top of that, if you're fast enough to beat the record, you'll get rewarded a bonus of $10,000!

Section Key-Takeaway

The Honolulu Marathon rewards its finishers with great prizes going up to $25,000.


Essential Gear for Running in the Honolulu Marathon

When preparing for the Honolulu Marathon, it's important to have the right gear. Non-cotton socks are recommended as they don't absorb moisture, keeping your feet dry and comfortable throughout the race.

Depending on weather conditions, a running jacket could be necessary, especially in December, when the Marathon takes place.

Proper running shoes can greatly enhance performance and comfort. GPS watches and running belts can help you monitor your pace and carry essentials like energy gels.

Lastly, we recommend packing spare clothes for after the race.

Section Key-Takeaway

For the Honolulu Marathon, pack non-cotton socks, a potential running jacket, proper shoes, a GPS watch and running belt for pace monitoring and carrying essentials, and spare post-race clothes.



With our guide, you are now prepared to enter the Honolulu Marathon with confidence.

Whether you’re an expert or a newbie runner, the scenic beauty of Hawaii will ensure that your race is an experience of a lifetime!

Get ready to pack appropriately, stay hydrated, and make sure you have people supporting you during the training.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for the Honolulu Marathon?

The Honolulu Marathon is a challenging race that requires adequate preparation to ensure you cross the finish line. To prepare for this event, create a realistic training plan that suits your fitness level and schedule.

Incorporate strength training, long runs, and speed work to improve endurance and muscle function. Proper nutrition is also crucial, so fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods and stay hydrated. Rest and recovery days are also essential to give your body time to heal and prevent burnout.

How many people enter the Honolulu Marathon?

The numbers vary each year, but in 2021, over 16,000 marathoners took part in the event.

How hard is the Honolulu Marathon?

Running a marathon is a challenging feat, and the Honolulu Marathon is no exception. Covering a total distance of 26.2 miles, it's a pretty challenging marathon to participate in.

Is there prize money for the Honolulu Marathon?

The Honolulu Marathon is one of the largest and most prestigious marathons in the world, attracting elite runners from all corners of the globe.

There's real prize money at stake, with a whopping $25,000 going to the first-place finisher, $10,000 to the runner-up, and $5,000 to the third-place finisher.

WHEN IS THE Honolulu Marathon?

Held each December, this legendary race draws competitors from all corners of the globe to test their skills against one another in a stunning setting.