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Hibiscus Half Marathon

May 27, 2012

Today I ran the Hibiscus Half Marathon. It was a perfect morning for running in Hawaii; cool and overcast with intermittent drizzles.  Most races here start unbelievably early, this one had a 5:30 a.m. start time and I had to pick up my timing chip by 5:00. I bounded out of bed at 3:30 (I thought the alarm would never go off), made some toast with almond butter and banana, and drank an iced coffee. I drove a few miles to the start and enjoyed the local college radio’s “after party” show, there’s nothing like some bassy dub step at 4:30 in the morning! I picked up my timing chip easily and then proceeded to wait 20 minutes in line to use the bathroom. The smaller races here never have porta-potties, so all the ladies were waiting to use 3 stalls in a public park bathroom…. great!

I made it in and out in time and hopped in the starting lane. I tend to always start too far back in the pack, I like to give myself some room to breathe. This came back to bite me today because I felt that I had to run the first 1.5 miles much slower than I would have liked to. We circled around Kapiolani Park and headed up Diamond Head, running up the biggest incline of the race during the second mile.

  • Mile 1- 9:09
  • Mile 2- 8:49

We plateaued up on Diamond Head road and got a glimpse of the ocean and the early morning surf. I felt myself getting into the groove and passing the herds of people in miles 3 and 4.

  • Mile 3- 8:19
  • Mile 4- 8:03

The race headed down Kilauea Ave., through Kahala and out onto Kalanianaole Hwy. I was feeling so strong and so surprised that the pace I was holding was relatively comfortable.

  • Mile 5- 8:10
  • Mile 6- 8:16
  • Mile 7- 8:09

The turnaround came around mile 7.5 and we headed on Kalanianaole back towards Diamond Head. It felt so good to be running and the thought occurred to me that I may have been too conservative in the first half of the race. There was nothing I could do about it, so I decided to just push harder in the second half.

  • Mile 8- 7:56
  • Mile 9- 7:57

I drank gatorade at every other aid station, rotating with water, and ate a gel at about mile 9. Those things are golden, a little sugar and a little caffeine really go a long way! We started coming back into Kahala, down Kahala Ave.

  • Mile 10- 7:51
  • Mile 11- 7:56

Towards the end of mile 11 and beginning of mile 12 we starting climbing Diamond Head again, the last hill of the race. After getting to the top was the glorious downhill into the finish at Kapiolani Park.

  • Mile 12- 7:35
  • Mile 13-7:17
  • .1- 35 sec.


According to my Garmin I finished in 1:46:03, an improvement of over 2 minutes from my last half marathon in March. I am really happy that I improved, and I really felt that my training paid off for this race.

While I feel good about my performance, there is a nagging feeling that I could have done better, pushed myself harder. I ran the first half of the race in about 55 minutes, while I ran the second half in about 51 minutes. That is kind of a huge negative split and if I had that much steam in the end, I could have picked it up from the beginning. The good thing is that I get to do it all over again in two weeks when I run the North Shore Half Marathon in Illinois. I will be looking to beat my time and be under 1:45 there!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2012 1:14 pm

    Congrats on your progress! We run at about the same pace. My PR in the half is 1:47:22.

    Nice blog by the way 🙂


  1. North Shore Half Marathon « Living HI

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