Sunday, December 13, 2009

Negotiating the Marathon

Today is Honolulu Marathon Day.  

For those of us unlucky enough to live directly on the last 5 miles of the race route, it means we are trapped for most of the day.   

But today was Patu's birthday.  Her 95th birthday.  Patu is the Historian for Daughters of Hawaii.  The Fearsome Four (as we of the Historian's Committee have apparently been dubbed) invited her out  for her birthday.  We offered dinner earlier in the week, but she chose to celebrate with brunch on The Day.  The celebration was to be at the Kaneohe Yacht Club, on the opposite side (but not opposite end) of the island from Kahala. 

In preparation for escaping this morning, I parked the car on the nearest side street yesterday afternoon.  Then came home and read the traffic instructions from the Race Committee.  

When I left the house just before 9 a.m., one lane of Kealaolu Avenue (a 2-lane street) was full of runners.  As I looked up the street, the pack was arriving.  Both lanes were filled with runners.  Several miles of runners, I knew, even though only a quarter-mile or so were in sight.  

Then it was a matter of winding through the neighborhood back streets to the one intersection where traffic was allowed to cross the race route.  Three uniformed police officers directed traffic there.  Good thing I was headed to Nu'uanu and Kaneohe.  Couldn't have gotten to church; an essential intersection was closed in that direction.  
The birthday party was lovely, with 9 of us attending.  Then home. 

By now it was nearly 1:30. Race publicity suggested that by this time of day, limited local traffic would be allowed and I could get safely home.  No such luck.  There were more walkers than expected.  The race was running really late.  The nice officer I spoke to said he was bailing at 2, but it didn't look like they would clear the road until at least 3. Too many walkers.  The runners finished hours ago.   He conferred with other officers at the intersection.  Nope, could not travel against the flow of walkers, even if an officer walked alongside the car.  Not even a place to park in a zillion miles so I could walk home.  Maybe if I went up to the next intersection, they suggested,  the officers there would allow me to travel with the flow of walkers, but in the lane being used for Emergency Response.  

That worked.  Thank you, Officer Mata!  I breathed a large sigh of relief as I pulled into the driveway between clusters of walkers.  Safe for another year. 

Give thanks for friends, especially those able to celebrate 95 years of living.  Hug a friend.  Don't forget to pray....  


  1. Oh Bonnie! I love marathons, half-marathons,
    10Ks, 5Ks, turkey trots, walks, anything that gets people out and moving on their own two feet. Sorry you were so negatively impacted. I know the public races are hard on the neighborhoods they pass through. But, they are sooooo much fun!

  2. Afterthought -- Didn't mean to sound quite so negative about the Marathon. 22,000+ people participated. Nearly 12 hours on the route is a long time and takes determination to finish. Many do the 10-k portion, either walking or running. It's a lot more fun (if your home is on a street that is closed for so long, as ours is) when you can plan not to go out at all.....


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