Radio Amateurs Provide Essential Communications for the Honolulu Marathon

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KH6OWL, Dec 17, 2016.

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  1. KH6OWL

    KH6OWL Guest

    The 44th running of the Honolulu Marathon took place on December 11th 2016 and is the fourth largest marathon in the US and attracts around 30,000 participants.

    This year’s marathon had 30,126 entries compared to 30,797 in 2015. The marathon had 49% female participants, which is more than any other big city marathon. The marathon is unique in that there has never been a limit on the number of participants and there is no cut off time, therefore attracting both fast runners as well as walkers.

    Amateur operators arrived at the marathon and were on the air at 4 A.M. and some even reported working 18 hours until the last walker crossed the finish line. There were 13 Aid Stations located along the course, manned by some 2,300 volunteers working in shifts, serving water, sports drink, and providing professional medical assistance and communications. This year 35 amateur radio operators provided communications on the 2 meters bands, the 70 centimeters band and some even used the 800 mhz digital non-amateur radios, to communicate vital information between race organizers, aid stations, transportation vehicles, and the Honolulu Police Department Operations Center, as well as the finish line.

    Radio amateurs provided vital communicated from vans and aid stations to the medical tent. From a head injury to cramps and stomach pains, hams were there to ensure the aid station and the medical teams where ready to treat anyone who required or requested assistance. Amateur operators always kept the Net Control Station manned by Ralph Toyama, NH6PY, apprised of the location of the medical vans so the NCS could send them where they were needed in a timely manner.

    The race was broadcast live on KITV, the local ABC affiliate, and radio coverage was handled by KKNE.

    Radio amateurs are again behind the scenes providing a critical component at no cost to the Honolulu Marathon. It’s just another way amateurs give back to the community. More amateurs are needed for this event and other events throughout the year and the ARRL clubs are training and testing almost monthly. Contact the writer for more information to get licensed or involved.

    “I loved my first marathon experience!!! And I have all the Honolulu Marathon volunteers, cheerleaders, malasada makers, water/sponge people, and 24,000 running companions to thank….MAHALO! What a blast!!!!” Runner Rebecca Pickett.

    “I participated in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Honolulu Marathon as a Ham radio operator. I thought this year was the best run and we had the most Hams participating.” Clem Jung, KH7HO.

    More information about the Honolulu Marathon can be found at

    More photos of Amateur Radio Operators assisting in the marathon, please click here.

    Written by Stacy Holbrook, KH6OWL
    ARRL Public Information Officer – Honolulu
    Hawaii ARRL on Facebook
    W2CSI likes this.
  2. W2CSI

    W2CSI Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is great to see the ham radio operators help with an event.
    I want to thank everyone that help with this event!

    Best 73,
    Charles, W2CSI
  3. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Catalina Amateur Repeater Association, will be providing radio support at the next "Star Wars Disney Half Marathon". We have provided this support for many years and it's always an enjoyable experience. I'll see you at the finish line!

  4. KW0U

    KW0U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Each year my wife and I do several triathlons and 1/2 Marathons. As with Jeff in the last post, hams are frequently set up to help at these events. It's wonderful to see them involved in such a public service. Great publicity for the hobby too!

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