Great Aloha Run expo draws crowd
• Photo gallery: Sprint to the Great Aloha Run Expo!
By John Windrow
Advertiser Staff Writer
There was a healthy turnout yesterday for the Great Aloha Run Sports, Health and Fitness Expo.
Actually, huge turnout might be a more apt description, as thousands swarmed the Kaiser Permanente event at the Blaisdell Center's Exhibition Hall. But they were definitely a health-conscious crowd.
The three-day expo was a get-your-motor-running warm-up for today's 26th annual Great Aloha Run from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium, which starts with a bang at 7 a.m.
About 22,000 are expected to pound the pavement on the 8.15-mile course that starts Downtown and winds its way along Honolulu Harbor, down Nimitz and Kamehameha highways, and into Aloha Stadium.
Yesterday's expo was all about fitness and nutrition — everything from maintaining a healthy lifestyle with your pet, to losing weight, to training your brain, to monitoring your blood sugar.
The Duran sisters of Wai'anae — Chazlynn, 5, Chaeli, 3, and Rhiley, 2 — took in all of the sights with their parents, Chad and Reylynn, who will both take part in the run today.
The little girls went gaga over the many amusements, which even included pony rides. They were especially excited about the dogs that got their pictures taken at the Hawaii Pet Magazine booth.
Chaeli saw a puppy and told her mom she wanted to take it home.
"She loves dogs. She'd take one home right now," said Reylynn, who will be participating in her second Great Aloha Run. Chad is a first-timer.
They had just come from the Pikake Room, where entrants picked up race packets, which included an Aloha Run bib printed with an official number and a timing chip for each participant's shoe.
Chad also picked up special titanium tape to deal with any aches and pains he might encounter today.
"Just in case," he said.
Reylynn said the expo was a special treat for the family, with its "good food, exhibits and games for the kids."
The amusements abounded.
People jumped rope, played tennis and miniature golf, and learned CPR.
Kelly Chinn, 6, ran a virtual foot race in front of a TV screen, carrying a remote sensor that kept track of the distance he covered, the calories he burned, his strength and balance.
Kelly hardly seemed winded as he ran back to his parents, Colin and Eiko.
"He's pretty active," his mom said.
LOTS TO LOOK AT
Expo goers could examine mila, a seed that claims to boost omega-3 fatty acid intake; sip a Yoli Truth Blast drink, which offers whole-fruit organic nutrition with no sugar or caffeine; learn about the wonders of various fish oils; or check out a Whole House fan (it cools your whole house).
Karen Murashige, touting the wonders of yoga and tai chi, offered mind and body "brain education" to all interested parties.
"Anyone who comes here with a brain," she said, "has an infinite capacity for healing, mind-body connection and positive thinking if you set your mind to it."
Leeann Manuel of Maui checked out the anti-aging prospects of healthier, firmer skin at the Arbonne International booth.
"I think it's great," she said, looking at the jammed exhibits. "I think all of this is really exciting."
Bree Yap, at the Aroma-Breeze booth, hawked her aromatherapy oils that claim to help men stop snoring, among other remedies.
Yap aims her anti-snoring oil at men. "Only men snore," she explained. "Women purr."
She claimed to have hundreds of testimonials from happy customers, chief among them women who say AromaBreeze has saved their marriages.
"I kill 'em at every show I go to," she said. "I have something no one else has — very healthy, very unique, very healthy lifestyle."
As far as the traffic situation today, most roads near the airport should be reopened to cross-traffic by 8:30 a.m., and Salt Lake Boulevard between Kalaloa Street and Aloha Stadium should reopen by approximately 9:45 a.m.
Some traffic tips:
• 'Ewa-bound traffic toward Downtown will be diverted onto South Street and from there should use South Beretania Street to Punchbowl Street to get onto the freeway. Traffic on the elevated portion of the freeway should be light.
• Avoid using the Middle Street and Dillingham Boulevard intersection, as delays on these streets may result from the closure of the Middle Street interchange.
GREAT ALOHA RUN ROAD CLOSURES
All Downtown streets (from Beretania Street, and Nu'uanu/Bishop Street) closed from 4 a.m. to approximately 8 a.m.
Ala Moana/Nimitz Highway (from South Street west-bound to River Street) closed from 4:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana (from Waiakamilo Road to South Street) closed from 4:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Nimitz Highway west-bound (from Waiakamilo Road to H-1 Freeway/viaduct) closed 4:30 a.m. to after race passes.
Nimitz Highway east-bound/Ala Moana (from Sand Island Access Road to River Street) closed 5 a.m. until race passes.
Nimitz Highway west-bound (from Pu'uloa Road to Valdenburgh) closed from 4:15 a.m. to after race passes.
Dillingham Blvd. (at Middle Street for west-bound traffic under viaduct) closed from 4:15 a.m. to after race passes.
H-1 Freeway (Kamehameha Highway exit under H-1 Freeway) closed from 4:15 a.m. to after race passes.
Kamehameha Highway (Valdenburgh west-bound to Aloha Stadium) closed from 3:45 a.m. to after race passes.
Center Drive (Kamehameha Highway both directions) closed from 3:45 a.m. to after race passes.
Radford Drive (Kamehameha Highway both directions) closed from 3:45 a.m. to after race passes.
Kamehameha Highway (Center Drive to Essex/Salt Lake Blvd.) closed from 3:45 a.m. to after race passes.
Salt Lake Blvd. U-turn at Kalaloa Street (from Kalaloa Street, both directions, to Kamehameha Highway) closed from 6:30 a.m. to after race passes.
Source: Great Aloha Run