|getting ready to start the Harold Chapson 8k|
|Not what we wear to races in Jan. in NC|
The Harold Chapson 8k is the middle race in the Aloha Readiness Series. It was proceeded by Bob & Ron's 5k that was held on January 7th and is followed by the Johnny Faerber 10k on February 6th. The Series is put on by the Mid-Pacific Road Runner Club to help runners prepare for the Great Aloha Run on February 21st, which is a 8.5 miler. Which kind of explains why there wasn't a great deal of information about the THC 8K on the web and the website itself was rather sparse. I don't think that the organizers gave much thought to people for outside of Oahu taking part in the race, and I can't say that I fault them. Also, everything about where the race was help and the packet pickup was really easy to find. I do wish that there had been a course map on the website rather than just a description, but part of me is a little glad that I didn't realize that I would be running up Diamond Head until the day before the race. The pre-race packet pickup was held at The Running Room: a nice little running store just a few blocks away from Waikiki Beach. If you are in Hawaii and in need of running supplies or need information about running in the area I would start with them.
|Hiroko and I as the race starts|
The morning of the race Hiroko and I got a little bit of a late start, and I had a bit of a minor freak out because I didn't think that we were going to make it in time for the race, but we did and everything was fine. There were a few things about the Harold Chapson 8k that were new to me. One was that most of the roads were going to be open while we were running. There would be some cones, police stopping traffic at crossroads, and some guides, but the streets were very much still in use by cars. In fact as we ran up Diamond Head we were told to stay on the sidewalk as much as possible and not run in the street. These directions weren't strictly followed for most of the runners on the return leg of the race because you could run facing traffic, but on the outward leg of the race most everyone stayed on the side walk. Also, Diamond Head is a very popular place for people to run in the morning because the view is just stunning, so there were a lot of people running with the racers, who were not actually in the race, which made things interesting as well. At first, I was a little taken aback by these thing because I have recently taken part in a race that was poorly organized and went of course in mid-race, but I could see that these things didn't seem to bother anyone and thought why should I get my panties in bunch . . . it is Hawaii and I am doing what I want to do, so I should just enjoy myself.
|Sharing the road|
The race was an out and back course beginning in Kapiolani Park and going up Diamond Head Rd. to Triangle Park, around the park, and back down Diamond Head Rd to the Honolulu Marathon finish line at Kapiolani Park. They did have a timing chip for the finish, but the start was a gun start with no timing mat at the beginning of the course, which wasn't important because there were only around 240 participants. The race began at 7am just before sunrise, which was around 7:11am and meant that if you ran a good first mile you would be ascending Diamond Head right at sunrise and getting one of the greatest views that any race has to offer.
|The first mile view of Diamond Head|
|Stunning Yard along the second mile|
|Sunrise at Diamond Head Beach Park|
|Front runners heading back|
|One last view from Diamond Head before the downhill|
|Hiro at the finish|
|Post-race walk on the beach|