Marathon runners bring economic boost to Waikiki

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Dec 09 2013 08:02:56 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 09 2013 10:47:57 PM HST

Marathoners celebrate their exhausting 26.2 mile Honolulu Marathon run with completion certificates, finishers' T-shirts and shopping.

HONOLULU -

Thousands of marathon runners returned to Kapiolani Park Monday, but not for another test of endurance.

VIDEO: Honolulu marathoners collect completion certificates at Kapiolani Park celebration

Instead, they came to celebrate their accomplishment, and many ended up helping Hawaii's economy.

The exhausting 26.2 miles are now behind them, an achievement that was years in the making for some.

"It was on my bucket list of things I wanted to do once," said Canadian runner Barb Muis-Mann.

After hitting the streets with tens of thousands of others, the marathoners didn't seem to mind the crowds that gathered just to collect completion certificates.

Then the sea of orange finishers T-shirts spread around Waikiki as many runners and walkers turned their attention to shopping.

"It's much busier, especially with the Japanese customers. You get them coming in for the marathon, so it's fun to see them come in with all their shirts the day after," said Emily Reckas of Crazy Shirts Waikiki.

Runners and their supporters are expected to spark a $135 million economic boost, with some of the money coming from the thousands of island residents who were at the race.

"We stay in Waikiki at a hotel and make it an event for us. It's a lot of fun," said Mililani resident Dan Inada.

Because of the Boston Marathon bombings, security was stepped up for this year's event and organizers expect future races to also face heightened safety measures.

"It did not concern me. I read (Waikiki) had extra security and you saw some of that. I didn't feel threatened," said runner Patricia Prickett.

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