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What Inspires Us to Run 26.2 miles?

In Exercise, Feature on

Honolulu Marathon 2008 was my very first marathon. I had run 26.2 miles in the Ironman Hawaii earlier that year, but Honolulu was the first time I tackled the iconic distance run outside a triathlon. And call me crazy, but a marathon by itself is harder than being part of an ironman; not sure why, but it’s true!

Putting your body on the road to cover 26.2 miles is an incredible physical task for anyone, from professional runners to the novice. However, in my opinion the hardest challenge is the mental one! We all have a unique reason to show up to that start line, and that reason (hopefully) will keep our bodies moving to the finish line.

My passion for endurance challenges is that they make me feel alive and connected with nature. And the mental and physical “pain” during training and racing reminds me that I am blessed and healthy to be able to do them!

We all have different motivations. When our motivations fade, or we think we can’t go on, we can be inspired by others’ stories to keep us going. Sharing what inspires a few run club participants to take on next weekend’s 26.2 mile challenge, we can perhaps learn something new to help us in our own race:

I suffered a heart attack and underwent a quadruple by-pass surgery in 2011.  After the surgery, whenever I had any slight chest discomfort I got scared. Realizing that I did not want to live the rest of my life in fear, I decided to train and run a marathon to prove to myself that I am fine.  I ran my first marathon in 2012 and have since run one marathon a year (so far, all Honolulu Marathons).  I think that slow endurance running has been beneficial to my heart health.

Pui L.

I needed a goal that kept me on track and accountable to enable me to quit smoking.


To show my children that anything is possible. With a positive outlook on life, hard work and determination they will be able to accomplish anything that they set out to do! The love and support of Fabian, Maia and Tre gets me through the 26.2!

Maria T.

I’ve decided to run 26.2 miles to stay fit and to challenge myself. This year’s Honolulu Marathon will be my first marathon and my goal is to complete it the best I can. From there, I can work towards running faster for future marathons.

Dexter P.

UH cross country team 1977. It was kinda expected that we run. Me, Becky Russell, front row second from right. Time 3:33.

Rebecca A.

Physical curiosity, I just wanted to know. Once I knew I had to keep doing them!

Laura O.

I went to watch the 2010 Honolulu Marathon with a friend. Seeing the Kenyans fly by motivated me and my friend to run the 2011 Honolulu Marathon. But my friend decided not to run it the week of the marathon. At the age of 12, ran my first marathon in the time of 6:29:47.

Ryosuke A.

After years of “🐓🐓🐓 Chickening Out 🐓🐓🐓”, I decided to “Go For It.” I did it for self satisfaction. And it sure did feel great after I crossed that finish line.

Andrew G.

I started to run a marathon when one of my 4 brothers died from a heart attack at a young age. The cardiologist I went for a checkup discouraged me from trying a marathon. To prove him wrong I was determined to walk or crawl the 26.2 miles if I needed to. Now I’ve done 15 marathons in the last 5 years. Thank you Mr. cardiologist.

Phil W.

Because marathons are a blast. People, running, and lots of cheering. What’s not to like

Angela S.

Thank you for sharing and inspiring us! We will be at the finish line at the 2018 Honolulu Marathon to celebrate with you!