Thousands of runners, walkers participate in Great Aloha Run

Aloha Stadium

More than 20,000 runners and walkers alike gathered in downtown Honolulu Monday morning for the 31st annual Kaiser Permanente Great Aloha Run.

A cannon got the race started, but before all that running, KHON2 wanted to know what inspired those to make it to the start line.

Chris Castillo’s shirt drew our attention. It read “I’m not saying I’m Superman, but my only weakness is Kryptonite.”

“This is my second-year anniversary from being down from 300 pounds,” Castillo explained. “So last year was my first year, and I was just trying it out to see if I could last, and this year I am really pushing it.”

Lots of friends and families did the run together, including the Jansens, who ran because of a little help.

“We have grandparents living at our house, so we have built in babysitters, so why not get up at 2:45 in the morning with your husband and drive down here to run eight miles?” said runner Alahna Jansen.

Kaiser Permanente has been partnering with the Great Aloha Run for years, and for good reason.

“We do it because this is about health, wellness, families, fun and thriving,” said Kaiser Permanente Hawaii president Mary Ann Barnes.

KHON2 also headed out onto the course and found firefighters marching with gear on to send a message.

“To raise awareness of what Kapiolani Children’s Hospital is doing in the fight cancer,” said Maui firefighter Joshua Dukes.

Dukes knows all about that. His son, Trucker, is battling cancer.

The Great Aloha Run is held every year as a fundraiser for dozens of local charities and the military.

But for most, this run is just about finishing, and that includes our governor. David Ige got a congratulatory kiss from the first lady and an extremely valuable finisher’s shirt.

As for the winners, Craig Leon came in first place. It took him 40 minutes and 27 seconds to cross the finish line.

“I train year-round, so it’s just another race in the calendar, but it’s a job for me almost,” said Leon. “It’s a year-round thing. It’s something I love. It’s a lifestyle, really.”

In second place, Makai Clemons finished in 43 minutes and 32 seconds.

As for the females, Erin Vergara came in first place at 46 minutes and 14 seconds followed by Polina Carlson, who came in just nine seconds afterward.

“There’s just a lot of people. It seems like everyone on the island comes out for this,” said Vergara. “It’s just a lot of energy on the course. I just ran here with (second-place finisher) Polina along the race, so that was good to have somebody to run with.”

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Nimitz Highway
Nimitz Highway

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