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We know you’re unique. Your training plan should match.
Race profile, time of year, and altitude all factor into our plans.
Custom plans shouldn’t cost more than the race itself.
The Honolulu Marathon and Start to Park 10K start simultaneously and share the first 10K of the marathon route. The course begins at Ala Moana Beach Park and heads northwest through downtown Honolulu. Runners follow Honolulu Harbor past the historic clock tower of Aloha Tower and turn into Chinatown. Over the next couple of miles, the course passes incredible landmarks like the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil, and Kawaiahao Church, built with coral blocks from nearby reefs. After passing Waikiki’s high-rise hotels, the course leads runners past world-famous Waikiki Beach before passing the Honolulu Zoo and arriving at Kapiolani Park, where the 10K course finishes.
Those who are running the 10K course will enjoy a flat and fast route with only minor elevation changes. The marathon course, however, adds a handful of sharp climbs. These debut around the 7-mile mark with short, sharp grades around Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater. The route circles the crater before descending into the suburbs of Honolulu. Once the pack passes Maunalua Bay Beach, they’ll double back on relatively flat terrain for several miles, giving runners an opportunity to recover and check in with their pace.
When the course arrives at mile 23, runners are again faced with Diamond Head crater and the race’s final climb. As the last mile of the course curves around Diamond Head toward the finish in Waikiki, the route passes the Diamond Head Lighthouse. From here, it’s all downhill. At the tip of Kapiolani Park, runners turn to pass Sans Souci Beach and the Waikiki Aquarium on their way to the finish line, where thousands of supporters line the streets.
The 10K and marathon start together in the cool pre-dawn temperatures, and the majority of 10K runners will finish before the sun has a chance to really heat things up. However, the marathoners won’t be able to say the same. Marathoners will face many of the race’s biggest obstacles after the sun rises, and Hawaii’s heat and humidity can be very challenging for runners who have not been training in similar conditions. Custom Training Plans addresses this by helping you to develop additional strength and endurance that can support your performance when your race is run in more extreme conditions. In fact, every one of our workouts is designed to contribute to the fitness you need to achieve your goals.
Origins: The Honolulu Marathon was first held in 1973, conceived by then-Mayor of Honolulu Frank Fasi. His vision was not only to develop a race that would bolster the local economy by attracting tourists but also to provide an opportunity for Hawaii’s residents to participate in a world-class marathon event. The inaugural event attracted just under 170 participants.
Growth and Popularity: The marathon’s appeal quickly spread, and its participant numbers soared. Notably, the Honolulu Marathon doesn’t implement a time limit for runners, making it inclusive for participants of all abilities. This unique characteristic attracted many first-time marathoners and walkers.
By the 1980s, the Honolulu Marathon had become one of the top marathons in terms of participation, bolstered significantly by entrants from Japan. The event’s festive atmosphere, combined with Hawaii’s allure, made it a favorite for both competitive runners and those seeking a memorable marathon experience.
Significant Moments: Over the years, the Honolulu Marathon has witnessed several memorable moments. Elite runners from around the world, especially from African nations, have showcased thrilling performances. In the early years, the race was dominated by American runners, but by the 1990s, Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes became frequent winners.
The race course itself, which takes participants on a picturesque route showcasing some of Honolulu’s most beautiful landmarks and vistas, including the iconic Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, adds to the event’s allure.
Cultural Significance: The Honolulu Marathon is more than just a race; it’s a celebration of Hawaiian culture and spirit. From the traditional conch shell blowing at the start to the lei given to every finisher, the marathon deeply resonates with Hawaiian traditions.
Economic Impact: The marathon has made significant contributions to Hawaii’s tourism industry. Every December, thousands of participants, especially from Japan, flock to Hawaii, generating millions in revenue for local businesses.
Present Day: Despite challenges, including economic downturns and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honolulu Marathon has persevered and remains a sought-after event on the global marathon calendar.
The Honolulu Marathon, with its blend of athletic competition, cultural celebration, and tropical allure, has etched a distinctive mark in the annals of marathon history. Its legacy is a testament to the spirit of Aloha and the enduring appeal of long-distance running.
Generic marathon training plans give you little more than a chart that tells you to run X miles on X day, regardless of your current fitness, your goals, or the racecourse you’re running. When you choose to train for your race with Custom Training Plans, you get a comprehensive, 20-week Honolulu Marathon training plan. If you’re coming from the couch, we also offer a 24-week Honolulu Marathon training plan that provides four weeks of pre-conditioning workouts designed to get your body ready to train. Both our marathon plans and Start to Park 10K training plans include running workouts incorporating hill workouts, interval training, and sprints to increase power. Each plan also includes additional cross-training and mobility work that’s designed to build full-body fitness and endurance.
Wherever you’re starting from, Custom Training Plans can help you get there safely with workouts that are tailored to an intensity level that’s right for you. A training plan that’s customized to your current fitness level allows you to build strength steadily, avoiding the burnout that can come from overtraining. We develop each of our plans in concert with professional trainers so each workout contributes to your overall fitness. Whether you need a Start to Park 10K training plan or a Honolulu Marathon training plan, trust CTP to help you get to the finish line.
DETAILED DAILY PLAN
Letter from your coach
Weekly motivation email
How it works
- Complete our proprietary runner questionnaire so we can get to know you better.
- Your custom Honolulu Marathon plan is built based on advanced analytics with expert coaching oversight.
- Receive your custom Honolulu Marathon training plan, lifting + mobility guide, a letter from our coaches, and more within 24 hours.
- Finish the Honolulu Marathon with confidence.
With the expertise of USATF certified coaches and physical therapists, we built an advanced model to weigh the effects of runner-specific variables on training outcomes.
We analyzed unique characteristics of hundreds of races across the country to build a “race profile” into our model that accounts for elevation gain, altitude, time of year, and more.
Our model generates a unique training plan for you and your race, and all plans are reviewed by a coach and hand-tweaked before they make their way to you.