Exciting things happening at the 2015 Kona Marathon

As the Kona Marathon gets closer, the more excited I get. I wanted to share just a few more of the amazing highlights of the Kona Marathon with you.

Let’s hear it for the new course! The 2015 Kona Marathon will be located at the Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast. The race will start and finish at the Waikoloa Bowl at Queen’s Garden. The Marathon course has some moderate hills, never exceeding 290 feet above sea level with gentle climbs and drops. That sounds great to me!

I will be running with one of my good friends, fellow Marathon Maniac, Mark Kramer, who I met on my journey of 52. Sadly he lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. We are brother and sister in Arms. This year he will be finishing his 50th state with his good friend at the Kona Marathon. The 3 of us will run together, estimating about a 4:30 finish, but more importantly, crossing the finish line all holding hands, signifying that you can do anything you put your mind too, anything is possible, including finding a cure for pancreatic cancer!

What do you do when you are not running? You shop and eat of course. There is a fun family life style resort destination shopping experience with something for everyone called The Queens’ MarketPlace within the Waikoloa Beach Resort. With an exciting collection of boutiques, galleries, shops and services, plus a delightfully diverse Ono Food Court, upscale restaurants and a full schedule of free Hawaiian cultural activities and entertainment. E ‘Ai Kākou! (Let’s Eat!)

After the marathon at Hilton Waikoloa Village. The Host Hotel, is The Big Island Luau. How fun, right?  We will go there to celebrate so many things like Mark’s 50th state, My Honeymoon and seriously, just being alive. I’ve heard it’s an exhilarating experience, under a magical Hawaiian night-sky and swaying palms, featuring exotic dance, music and entertainment for the whole family with hula & fire dancers and a lavish Hawaiian buffet. E ‘Ai Kākou! (Let’s Eat!)

This year I will be representing Project Purple! Grateful my running continues to help the fight against pancreatic cancer with this amazing charity so close to my heart, whose motto is “Running to Beat Pancreatic Cancer!” Please Click here to make a Donation.

Click here to register for the 2015 Kona Marathon

Remember to use code KMGODDESS to save!

Looking forward to seeing you in the Land of Aloha! xo

Julie
We Got This!!

Kona Marathon past Rock Stars

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Every year, the Kona Marathon brings a wealth of fresh faces to the starting line, but its aloha spirit, welcoming staff and gorgeous locale also bring back past runners and winners. And with the 20th Anniversary just around the corner, we reached out to some past winners to celebrate this year.

Karl Honma

Karl’s first two marathon wins were at Kona, one of which was the Kona Marathon’s inaugural race in 1994. “Four young men that I coached supported me along the course and it was special to have the runner/coach roles reversed.”

Karl even celebrates birthdays at the Kona Marathon, where he rang in his fortieth birthday the last time he ran the race. On his 2013 return he comments, “This time, it will be my first race as a 50-year-old … it’s a birthday present to myself!”

Karl’s return to the Kona Marathon is testament to his passion for running and he’s proud of his continued involvement in the sport. “When I encounter former athletes and students, they always ask if I still run. My wife and 3-year-old daughter cheer for me at races and that’s so wonderful. I owe them. Others may run faster than me, but they won’t run harder.”

Connie Comiso-Fanelli

When thinking on her Kona Marathon win, Connie remembers the challenges, but also the good times.

The event is full of good friends and better memories, and returning for the 20th Anniversary is an exciting prospect for Connie. “The course has changed over 20 years, the some of the staff has come and gone, but it still has that ‘family feeling’ to it, and Sharron is keeping that tradition going strong.”

Running since 1978, Connie turned to the sport to improve her health. Now, after 35 years of running, it’s still a major part of her life. “I’m just grateful that I can still run after 35 years of competing, though not nearly as fast, still feeling the exhilaration and thrill of the sport. And I’m looking forward to seeing my friends in Kona again and sharing a cold Kona Brewing beer at the finish line!”

Justin Gillette

Running runs in Justin’s family. His brother is also a runner and Justin’s wife, Melissa, won the Kona Marathon alongside her husband in 2010. Justin has been running marathons since 1999 and currently ranks fifth in the world with 63 career wins. “This all started because I enjoyed my first run and wanted to do a second run. The second run became a third, which eventually led to a race, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Justin won his first Kona Marathon in 2008 and has since won the marathon every year. “When I first did the Kona Marathon in 2008 it represented my fourteenth marathon win. The race was still growing and evolving as an event, and likewise, I was still growing into a runner.”

Justin is excited to return for Kona’s 20th Anniversary. “The twentieth edition will be a neat experience where the past history of the race is honored along with the future optimism that is buzzing for the event.”

Jeannie Wokasch-Parente

Jeannie, an eight-time Kona Marathon winner, is a huge fan of the Marathon. She has participated in nearly every Kona Marathon since its inception in 1994 and loves coming back. Every year she chooses a charity to run for, helping that group spread awareness and raise money. The 2013 event will be dedicated to Talk About Curing Autism. When we talked with Jeannie she said “I love the Kona Marathon; they are like a family to me. I’d cry if I wasn’t able to run it every year!”

These are just a few of the talented, passionate runners associated with the Kona Marathon. Their positive attitudes, inspiring stories and dedication to the sport are just a few of the touchstones that make the Kona Marathon what it is today.

Kona Marathon supports troops in Qatar

The Kona Marathon and Family Runs is honored to announce that for the third year we have sponsored a Kona Marathon Military Shadow Run. Support of our Service Members putting themselves in harm’s way to protect and ensure our freedom is very important to our management team.

Being deployed in foreign countries and combat zones does not normally present our troops the opportunity to run in organized races. The Kona Marathon feels it is very important to promote these Shadow Runs in order to help build and maintain moral.

This year the Kona Marathon Shadow Run was held in Qatar. There were 39 participants from four U.S. Military Units:

  • Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE)
  • Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT)
  • United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A)
  • Central Command (CENTCOM)

The Kona Marathon Military Shadow Run was held in May in order to avoid the intense Middle East desert heat in June. Our men and women in uniform participated in all four Kona Marathon events; Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k and were awarded finisher medals and t-shirts for their respective races. In return, we were sent an U.S. Flag that was flown over the skies of Afghanistan in a combat refueling mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This flag will be proudly flown over our race finish line on June 23.

For details on the 20th Anniversary Kona Marathon and Family Runs being held on June 22-23 and the entire week of events, visit konamarathon.com.