Duke Kahanamoku Statue
Aloha! Are you excited for the Hapalua half marathon on April 16th? If you’re a runner, you’re probably gearing up for the big day. But have you ever stopped to admire the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, the legendary Hawaiian swimmer and surfer, that marks the starting line of the race? Here are some fun facts about this iconic statue.
First off, who was Duke Kahanamoku? He was born in Honolulu in 1890 and grew up near Waikiki Beach. He became an accomplished swimmer, winning multiple gold medals at the Olympics in the early 1900s. He also popularized surfing and is known as the “Father of Modern Surfing.” He even starred in Hollywood movies in the 1920s and 30s.
Now, let’s talk about the statue. It stands at the intersection of Kalakaua and Monsarrat Avenues, just a stone’s throw from the beach where Duke used to surf. The statue was unveiled in 1990, on what would have been Duke’s 100th birthday. It was designed by sculptor Jan Gordon Fisher and is made of bronze.
The statue depicts Duke standing on a surfboard, with his arms outstretched as if he’s riding a wave. The base of the statue is adorned with plaques that tell the story of Duke’s life and achievements. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take photos, and locals often lay leis at Duke’s feet as a sign of respect.
But the statue isn’t just a tourist attraction. It’s also the starting point for the Hapalua half marathon, which takes place every April. The race begins at the statue and winds its way through Honolulu before finishing at Kapiolani Park. It’s a challenging course, with plenty of hills and stunning views of the ocean.
So next time you’re in Honolulu, take a moment to appreciate the Duke Kahanamoku statue. It’s more than just a landmark – it’s a tribute to a Hawaiian hero and a symbol of the island’s rich history and culture. And if you’re running the Hapalua, remember to give Duke a nod as you cross the starting line – he’s sure to give you a little extra luck. Mahalo!