Sunday, marathon day, began early. We were out the door around 2:30 am! The stars over the ocean were amazing! I’m going to leave most of the marathon recap to Kevin. After all, his version is much more exciting than mine, having actually run the marathon. So be sure to check out his race report!
We’ll leave my version at: It was super dark. Fireworks freaked out the camera at the starting line, but I still got a couple of decent shots. Mile 3 pictures didn’t happen because it was so dark. The camera kept freaking out due to the darkness, the fast pace of the runners, and a bright security light far down the road. It wouldn’t take an actual photo. It would try to focus, the flash would do a sputtering light, and that was it. It literally refused to snap a shot. I felt slightly better when a guy with a huge-lensed Nikon had the same problem. I felt even better because I learned this before Kevin appeared— in time to chuck the big camera and unearth the little one with video capabilities. It wasn’t a total loss as I did get a video of Kevin at this point!
Fireworks for the start! Crazy loud… and you know the cliché about Japanese tourists and their cameras? Oh, yeah. Totally based on reality. The marathon had 60% of its registrants from Japan, and I’d say most of them ran with cameras and cellphones. So, after crossing the starting line, they stopped, took out their cameras, and started snapping away. It’s amazing people weren’t trampled as other runners tried to get through!
After that, I headed off to the finish line. We’d mapped out my path the day of the expo and figured I’d be surrounded by other spectators. Not so. It was absolutely deserted! And downtown Honolulu in the dark, alone, for a 2 mile-ish walk, ALONE is perhaps not my first choice of ways to spend a morning. Kinda scary, not gonna lie.
I stationed myself at the 26 mile mark after capturing a few sunrise photos on the beach and grabbing a quick bite at Starbucks. So I was there a loooonnnnggg time. Hours in fact. And after all that, we missed each other in the crowd! I was looking for an orange shirt in the masses of runners. Kevin, who had removed said orange shirt miles ago, was looking for me and didn’t have a chance with all the spectators lining the road. So he ran right past me. I didn’t see him. He didn’t see me. Boo! (expletive, expletive)
I was getting worried as time ticked by and the temperature creeped up. I checked my phone as an ambulance raced by— remembering the too-hot, not-enough-water fiasco that was Chicago in ’07— and saw I had a missed call. From Kevin. Uh-oh! Momentary panic. Who had finished! Whew. Big sigh of relief… Coupled with the frustration of how did we miss each other?? Mostly relief, though.
We didn’t stick around too long after the marathon had finished due to a serious lack of post-race refreshments for the runners and of activities for English-speakers. There were plenty of tents bearing Japanese signage, but I couldn’t tell you what they were! So, we made our way slowly back to the car, which had been left about a mile away.
Finding our way back to our rental amidst the closed streets didn’t turn out to be a big problem at all. It was turning into the driveway itself that took major negotiating. The first police officer we talked to said it would be another 4 hours (4 hours!!!) before they could let us through. Now, keep in mind that we were in sight of the house. We were sitting in front of it, in fact. Albeit on the other side of the divided highway. They were running traffic both ways on one side of the divided highway, leaving the other side completely for the runners/walkers.
Now, I am all for safety, but this seemed more than a little ridiculous. Here we were going on 6-7 hours after the race had started. Our place was near the midpoint of the race, so all the runners (hard-core and otherwise) had long since been through this area. Even the more motivated walkers had passed by already. What was left were the leisurely, I’ll-take-all-day walkers… and even those crowds had thinned out. They were all in one lane at this point even. It didn’t make sense that we couldn’t complete the turn into the rental’s driveway when it was safe to do so now… Rather than in 4 hours!
We decided to get some lunch and reassess the situation after eating. We went to McDonalds and each got the third pound angus deluxe meal. (Spectating makes one hungry also!) We then found a more sympathetic police officer who agreed to move the barricade to let us unto that side of the highway so we could get into the driveway when there was a gap in walkers. Now, I should mention that he agreed only after he’d stood there and thought about it for approximately 10 minutes. No joke. Kevin asked the question and he just stood there, staring off into space, saying nothing for that time. Talk about your relaxed timetables and decision-making!
Once we’d finally managed to deposit the Jeep in our driveway, we settled in for a relaxing afternoon and evening. We went walking on our beach. We did a little laundry. (I know what you’re thinking: laundry on vacation?? Yes, laundry on vacation. Outside. 15 yards away from the Pacific. Read: not too shabby!) We made a nice dinner. And we made up a battle plan for what we’d be doing when. All and all, another stupendous day in paradise!
A coconut washed up in front of our rental and a spiffy lizard was in the tree.
I must admit, the first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the coconut was the line from Monty Python:
“Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?!?!”