HONOLULU - Hawaii runners, including those in the armed services, are lacing up for the Kaiser Permanente Great Aloha Run, scheduled, here, Feb. 21.

The race, which is 8.5 miles long, starts from the Aloha Tower, here, and ends at Aloha Stadium. Participants of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Though the mail deadline has passed, participants can register at the Great Aloha Run's Sports, Health and Fitness Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center, Feb. 18-20.

The race has different categories for participants, including the military "Sounds of Freedom" category, which was inspired by a remark made by a Marine Corps general.

"When people hear cadence being called, whether during the run or on the local bases, it is the sound and a reminder of the freedom these young men and women have sworn to protect," the run's website reads.

Service members from all branches register and run in formation throughout the duration of the run. There is a fee for registering a unit.

At press time, 1,500 participants had registered for the Great Aloha Run, according to James Perry, program manager, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Last year more than 3,000 service members participated in the run.

"There's a certain sense of pride associated with running in formation," Perry said.

The Great Aloha Run has been an annual tradition for more than 20 years. Proceeds from the run go toward multiple community organizations. Last year, the military community received $14,000 in funds from the Great Aloha Run.

Great Aloha Run contacts
For more information about the Great Aloha Run, call 808-528-7388. For Sounds of Freedom details, e-mail santrel.mcclusky@us.army.mil or call 808-438-0823 or 808-285-3713.