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Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for weight control/ loss. I ran this marathon because it is the first leg of the HI-3 marathon series -- complete all 3 marathons on the Big Island in the same calender year -- Hilo, Kona and Volcano.

It's also a very scenic route with great views. If you're lucky you can even see whales while you run along the coast.

Training:

I trained for 2 months following the "run less, run faster" program by the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) program. During my training I averaged 35 miles per week. For people thinking about running a marathon I would say this is a very good program for busy people. Run 3 days a week and cross-train the others. i just need to work on my speed work!!!

The best advice I've ever gotten was...have fun and enjoy the moment.

Race Day:

The 2008 Big Island International Marathon was what I expected.

The morning started with a bus ride to the start. I met up with the Big Island Bay Front Road Runners and we all prepped in our own little way for the day ahead.

Marathon runners and 10.8 mile runners start at the same time so you must run your own race. If you get caught up with the quicker pace of the 10.8 milers you're in for a long day.

The first 10 miles are a net down hill but a lot of rolling hills so do your hill work. Once you get to Hilo it's a flat course with many switchbacks so be prepared for that.

The aid stations are well packed and volunteers are very friendly!! Hilo is a 'small big town' so you see alot of friendly faces as you run. There are some lonely roads so it's best to latch onto someone if you can.

Overall a great course!! Hula girls awarding leis and medals at the finish. Massage tables for all runners...who could ask for more??

Recovery:

I didn't have any problems with my recovery. Rest rest rest. Easy week after the marathon then right back onto the FIRST program for my next marathon which is what I'm actually training for.

Running Gear Recommendations:

iPod
This race is iPod friendly and it helps pass the time on those lonely miles. This is the first race I ran with my iPod and the miles did seem to come faster.
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Trash Bags
Although the race does have a bag drop, the 6 am start can be cold and at times wet, so it's good to keep dry until you get going.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

All it takes is that first step!! The rest after that are easy. Being mentally prepared is 90% of the battle...most importantly have fun!! You'll thank yourself at the finish!! I promise you that!!

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to continue to run marathons. I'm running the remaining 2 legs of the HI-3. Plus, hopefully I can motivate just one more person to get out and run a marathon. Change a lifestyle for the better. Shoot 'IF I CAN ANYONE CAN!! For my next marathon, I'll try to run a little faster!!! hahahaha don't we all!!

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