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ROTC runs circle around Oahu

by Lindsey Rowland, editor

At 3:40 a.m. Feb 27, a runner in an orange reflector vest runs along the dark coastline of Kahana Valley State Park on the windward side of O‘ahu. The ocean wind blows the race number 82 off the runners vest, and only two pins at the top kept it from taking flight. The runner’s feet move in a rhythm established by his goal-eight-minute miles, one after the other, keeping in sequence with the desired stride. It’s leg 12 of a 23-leg relay.


The 34th annual O‘ahu “Around the Island” Perimeter Relay is a 24-hour, 134 mile, 35-leg run with six-man teams making 25 exchanges.

HPU senior David Bell fielded a team this year. It finished the race in 19 hours, 4 minutes, and 42 seconds. “We ran the race to see if we could do it. And yes we finished. I ran roughly 21 miles myself,” said Bell at the finish line. “And I feel like I ran 21 miles,” he added.

The run started at Richardson Field on Kamehameha Highway across from Aloha Stadium and proceeded down the southern coast toward Diamond Head, around to Makapu‘u Beack Park, and continued up the windward coast to the North Shore, around Kaena Point, and back to Honolulu via Farrington Highway.

Predetermined legs (segments of the run) of 2.5 to 7.9 miles were assigned to runners, with each runner taking three to four legs total. Set up around the island manned by relay officials and volunteers were twenty-five exchange zones. At the exchange zones, runners would hand off a baton to another runner in their group who would then run until the next exchange zone.

Runners were ferried to next exchange zone point by van. And this continued for 134 miles. At all times someone from the team was running. Start times ranged from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday night, depending on how much time the team needed to finish the relay.

MBC/COM student Aujla Pritpal was also on the team. “I ran 20 miles with an average of 6:55 per mile,” he said. “I ran Leg Two, from the airport to Aloha Towers, which was four miles, and then Leg Eight from Kailua Elementary to the YMCA in Kane‘ohe, which was seven miles,” Pritpal added.

He also ran a five-mile leg in Haleiwa and a leg around Kaena Point. “The Kaena Point leg was muddy and wet; I kept sinking into the mud and had extra mud weight on my shoes,” said Pritpal. “I did pass one guy though and took an even greater lead on a pack of runners behind me.”

Bell’s team placed 32 overall and 26 in the division out of 87 teams.


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