The Honolulu Marathon is one of the world's largest marathons, taking place every year on the second Sunday in December. The marathon is popular among beginner marathoners, many of whom are visitors from Japan.
Marathon Expo is held at the Hawaii Convention Center with about 30,000 visitors. More than a half of them come from Japan. The 2012 marathon in Hawaii was the second largest in America, and has only been surpassed by the Chicago Marathon.
The course starts at the famous Waikiki Beach. It passes through Ala Moana Beach Park across from Ala Moana Center, and then progresses west along the waterfront toward downtown Honolulu. The race loops through downtown and bends back east through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and out towards the eastern suburbs of Honolulu, winding through Hawaii Kai before reaching the finish line at Waikiki's Kapiolani Park. Marathoners consider the course challenging due to tropical weather.
The race took place for the first time in 1973. Former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi has been inducted in the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame for founding the race. With 20,000-35,000 participants, the Honolulu Marathon is one of the biggest in the USA. The Honolulu Marathon is also popular with U.S. military personnel stationed in Hawaii. Entry to the Honolulu Marathon is open to anyone who pays the fee. Unlike other marathons, there are no qualifying standards to meet, no lottery or fixed limits on the number of runners.