Everything You Need to Know About The 39th Annual Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run

It’s back for real after two years of virtual events, but expect some changes with the closure of Aloha Stadium.


Runners at the Great Aloha Run

Photo: Courtesy of The Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run


Great Aloha Run 2023: What It Is

The Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run is an 8.15-mile run that’s been around since 1985; it starts at Aloha Tower in downtown Honolulu and finishes at Aloha Stadium in Hālawa. Founded by Dr. Jack Scaff (also founder of the Honolulu Marathon) and Carole Kai, the run has raised $16 million for local charities and supported more than 150 nonprofit organizations. Open to runners of all levels and ages, the annual race averages about 20,000 participants.


The event went virtual in 2021 and 2022 because of the pandemic, so this year’s run is the first full-blown one since February 2020. For folks who would prefer to run without the crowd and at their own pace, participating virtually is still an option.



2020 Great Aloha Run

Photo: Courtesy of The Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run


Great Aloha Run 2023: When And Where

The Great Aloha Run will be held on Presidents Day—Monday, Feb. 20—beginning at 7 a.m. As usual, the starting line is at Aloha Tower, but the finish will be at the Hālawa lot at Aloha Stadium, instead of inside the stadium as in years past.


Race packet pickups will be available only at the Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run Expo on Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. The expo is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


Also, mark your calendars for “Aloha, Great Aloha Run,” a celebration featuring Hawai‘i’s finest entertainers, on Saturday, March 18. Details to come!



Great Aloha Run 2023: What It Costs

For everyone but keiki and seniors, it costs $60 to register online, and you’ll receive a finisher shirt and medal. Your last options would be to register in person at the expo on Saturday, Feb. 18, or Sunday, Feb. 19, but the prices go up to $75 on those days. Keiki and seniors however can sign up for $35 all the way through Sunday, Feb. 19. Day-of registration will not be available.



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Photo: Aaron Yoshino


What to Expect at the 2023 Great Aloha Run

Here is the race day schedule:


3 a.m. Stadium parking lot opens for cars.


4 a.m. Stadium buses to downtown begin.


4 a.m. Downtown streets closed to traffic: Punchbowl Street to Bishop Street, and Beretania Street to Nimitz Highway. Information booth is in front of Hawaiian Telcom, 1177 Bishop St. Streets reopen at 7 a.m.


4:30 a.m. First Waikīkī shuttle bus departs from the Sheraton Waikīkī bus depot.


6 a.m. Last buses from Aloha Stadium and Waikīkī leave for the start line at Aloha Tower.


6:30 a.m. Start line ceremonies begin. Everyone will gather at Aloha Tower prior to the race start, which for most participants is at 7 a.m. Slower runners and those with babies and strollers will be asked to position themselves toward the back of the crowd.


6:50 a.m. Sounds of Freedom, a special category for military people who run in formation with their units, and competitive wheelchair/hand-cycle participants start.


7 a.m. For everybody else, the 36th Annual Hawai‘i Pacific Health Great Aloha Run begins.


8:30 a.m. Stadium buses returning to downtown depart as they’re filled, until 11:30 a.m. Waikīkī shuttle bus returns hourly until 11:45 a.m.


11:30 a.m. Last buses leave for downtown and Waikīkī.


While there used to be entertainment and live music in prior years at the stadium, that’s no longer an option because Aloha Stadium is closed. There’s no shade or seating area at the finish line, so it’ll be a fairly simple affair this year: After you cross the finish line at the lower Hālawa lot, head to the cool-off space where you can receive water and a banana. Finisher shirts and medals won’t be presented at the finish line either – you’ll pick them up at the expo before the event, along with your race bib and packet.



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Photo: Aaron Yoshino


The GAR Parking Situation

It’s recommended that you park at Aloha Stadium for free and then take a shuttle to Aloha Tower. Consider carpooling as space is limited, or have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up. It’s a holiday, so street parking will be free.



The Virtual Great Aloha Run 2023

If you prefer the virtual option, you can start running now all the way through Monday, Feb. 20. Runners can choose their favorite number to feature on their virtual race bib or use 1985, which is the year GAR was established. Print out your bib and wear it as you finish your personal 8.15-mile road race. Finisher T-shirts and medals will be mailed to you.


Last year, more than 7,500 people participated, with registrants from every state plus Canada and Japan. A new feature for this year’s race: Participants can earn virtual badges at each mile logged and earn prizes and discounts from sponsors.



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Photo: Aaron Yoshino



  • Streets won’t be completely closed off, so nonparticipants can make their way along the course to cheer on friends or family members.
  • The run is baby- and stroller-friendly, but babies have to be registered per GAR insurance rules.
  • Remember, Aloha Stadium parking is free for GAR participants. Try to get there early because traffic can be slow coming into the stadium. Since the lot opens at 3 a.m., you could wake up early, drive over and nap in the car until it’s time to make your way to Aloha Tower.
  • Runners, stay hydrated and wear good running shoes that you’re comfortable in instead of brand-new ones. Four aid stations will be set up along the course, manned by volunteers and charity organizations; they’ll provide water and medical aid. The stations will be at Pu‘uhale Elementary School, under the viaduct on Nimitz Highway, off Valkenburgh Street and at the stadium’s Hālawa gate near the Ford Island bridge.
  • For ages 4 and up, there’s a Keiki Great Aloha Run on Saturday, Feb. 18. The 1.5-mile fun run, open to both kids and their family members, takes place at Ala Moana Regional Park starting at 7:30 a.m. The course starts between the Magic Island concession stand and the ‘ewa side of McCoy Pavilion. For $25, each participant gets a finisher shirt and there will be family-friendly activities too, like a bounce house and an obstacle course. However, the final date to register online was Friday, Feb. 10, at midnight. Packet pickup was held this past Saturday at the Running Room between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you missed the deadline, you can still enter older children into the 8.5-mile race if they are up for it.


For more information, visit greataloharun.com.