Radio Amateurs Provide Essential Communications for the Honolulu Marathon


Big Island ARRL News, 18 December 2016, 01:30 hrs, UTC, Post #68.

Accessed on 18 December 2016, 01:30 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Stacy Hollbrook (KH6OWL)–ARRL Public Information OfficerHonolulu.

Please click link to read the full story as printed in the “QRZ Forum”, dated Friday, 16 December 2016.


Amateur Radio operators on the island of Oahu played a key role in the success of the 11 December 2016 Honolulu Marathon.

Here is the complete text of Stacy Hollbrook’s report:

“Radio Amateurs Provide Essential Communications for the Honolulu Marathon

Discussion in ‘Amateur Radio News‘ started by KH6OWL, Yesterday at 8:23 AM.

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  1. KH6OWL

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    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…ial-communications-for-the-honolulu-marathon/

    For the latest Amateur Radio News and Information, please visit these websites: (breaking news for radio amateurs) (Simple Ham Radio Antennas). (breaking news from the worlds of science and technology)

    Please send your newsworthy items to at least two weeks before your event so I can notify our local print and electronic media in a timely  fashion.

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section


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