This is another chapter of Kandi Kane’s journey to complete a half marathon in the fifty states. This stop was to be state number 35; half number 62. Along the way you may find some travel tips and a race review too.

Cuz R Chickens

My first experience with the 50th state was a turn and burn, which saved me money on unnecessary expenses. I left home early morning Friday and arrived Friday afternoon. I left Hawaii Saturday night and returned home Sunday mid morning. My sleep schedule wasn’t disturbed too much. My body was stiffer than normal, but that is to be expected since I can’t stretch or change my sitting position on a plane too much. My feet and ankles were swollen due to water retention from traveling.

I planned the trip 6 months ago when I purchased my first economy ticket on United. Be advised you can not have a full sized carry on, you don’t earn the same amount of points, you board last and supposedly they like to give you middle seats because you can’t pick your seats. You can carry a personal bag.

What I didn’t know

You can’t check in online because a clerk has to verify you meet personal bag standards. I tried checking in online and was very disappointed I couldn’t bypass the $30 fee. Determined not to pay the money, I got up early and drove to the airport.

My bag had the essentials, I figured at a race they give you a shirt, why not wear it home.

Pack the essentials

Running shoes✔ pajamas ✔ running outfit✔ Garmin✔ interval timer✔ water bottle✔ 2 portable cell phone chargers✔ 2 days of nutritious snacks✔ 2 days worth of under garments✔ personal hygiene kit✔ medical supplies✔ iPod✔ race belt✔ race belt speaker✔ Airpods✔ charging cords and plugs for each device✔ I forgot two pairs of socks.

I packed the tiny bag and was so proud of myself because it was smaller than the bag requirement dimensions. I checked temperature of my destination and decided to wear a run skirt for my flight to and from Houston.


As I drove to IAH, the needle on the thermostat began to rise. I was afraid my vehicle would overheat, but it didn’t. Miraculously my mind was at ease. If I missed the flight I would have lived. I would have been a little disappointed, but it would have been in accordance to His plan and I, for once, was cool with that.

I made it to the airport, parked without difficulty, and walked immediately toward the counter. I was stopped by the gatekeeper like on Ghostbusters. She told me I had to go to the kiosk and check my bag. I told her I didn’t have a bag to check. She looked at my bag and said yes you do. I stated the dimensions and told her I was allowed to travel with a personal bag. She told me I was wrong, point blank, period. No, I explained, I’m a rule follower, I showed her the document with the information and she stood there as I checked in because she had to authorize my bag by inserting her ID. Once she authorized me my boarding passes printed and she walked away.

As I prepared to leave the area, I noticed TSA Pre-Check wasn’t listed on my boarding pass. I return to an empty kiosk to add my known traveler number. Another agent walks over to see if I need assistance. I tell her I need to add my known traveler number to my boarding pass. She asked for my ID and I presented my military ID, but I explained to her I have my known traveler number ready. She ignores me and types in my DOD number. It didn’t work and she explained that I’m no longer pre-check. I explain to her I have number, again I’m told I don’t know what I’m talking about. I am aware that I am a black disabled female. I know I have cognitive impairments and I appear to be uneducated. However looks can be deceiving. I am an avid reader and I typically know things about myself.

I kindly say to the lady let me try, she mumbles your not pre-check. She insists on entering the numbers herself. Behold I’m TSA Pre-check! She stood there in shock; boarding pass 1 of 2 prints out and she handed it to me. I ask if I may have 2 of 2 since I have a connection, she smirked and looked in the tray and handed me my boarding pass, I thanked her so very kindly and went about my business.

After going through security I have arrived at my departing gate. I didn’t wait to board in category 5. I opted out and pre boarded as a person with a disability. I was seated on the last row 39C which is the left aisle seat.

In the back and near the restroom

The stewardess asked if I was a runner. I shared my story with her and she shared she was a marathoner too. She said she saw me at Chevron on the handcycle.  Small word. We both have kids about the same age. We chatted about racing and our young adult children until the plane was completely boarded. I slept from IAH to SFO.

Once the plane landed I exited. My arrival gate was my departure gate. The crew changed and an hour later and I boarded for Hawaii. I had the pleasure of having the exact same seat. It gets a little congested near the bathroom, but I didn’t care I paid a little less than $500 for a roundtrip ticket. Besides my bladder loved the proximity.

Free movies were available to watch in flight. Make sure you have ear plugs that plug in. If you don’t always ask a steward/stewardess for a pair.


We land and I’m not prepared to be outside. I have seen movies, but this is my first experience.

Everything is outside. I was like baggage claim is outside? What about when it rains? So happy it wasn’t raining.

I’m picked up by my friends who rented a car which was approximately $49 a day from Hertz.

We drive to the host hotel Hilton Wakiola Village. Most of my friends stayed at an Air B&B. My room was $229 a night plus 3 types of taxes.

Packet pick up was at the hotel. I was given a room upgrade for being a Hilton Honors member. I had an ocean view room, but it was changed to an ocean front room. I opened my patio door and was able to walk out to the beach.

You have an option to ride the tram or the water taxi to your stop. Going, we rode the tram; returning, we road the boat.

Parking is $30 a night; valet is $37 a night. There is also a shuttle that takes you to the King and Queen shops. There is food Court inside. Super happy because Subway is my pre-race food and it was in the food court.

Great view and photo opportunities.

I’m in Hawaii BABY!

Once I settled into my room, I took the water taxi back to the convention center to pick up my packet.

Very small expo. There was a Revel tattoo station and some cool buys. When you arrive to pick up your bib they hand you the bib after they take the bag check name off and attach it to your plastic check bag. You are then sent to the swag station where you pick up your emergency blanket, throw away gloves and the swag. The swag this year were Goodr glasses, your choice of some crystal, aqua, blue or black. You have an option of getting your paper beer bracelet with valid ID. Then you are free to take pictures at the back drops.

We had dinner at the shops at Macaroni Grill. It was much cheaper than paying $145 for the luau, but next time I’m going to check it out. Book early it sells out quickly.

Keep in mind you must be on the bus between 4:30-5:30 for the half and 4:00-5:00 for the marathon. Keep in mind the time difference and plan your sleep schedule accordingly.

I wasn’t truly affected. I was tired and slept a full 7 hours prior to race morning.

Race Morning

I woke up hydrated, ate breakfast and got dressed just like every race. I had to walk from the room through the resort walkway museum. So many cool things to see, but no time to take pictures. I had to walk because the boats and trams don’t operate that early. They stop operating at 10pm, but it was a really nice walk. There are stairs and an elevator to take you down to the bus area. The same place you would catch a shuttle to the shops.

Once I stepped outside I was reunited with run friends.

We live in the same town

To the bus!

We took over the back of the bus.

Once we arrived on location it was freezing. Remember it’s cold the higher up the mountain you go. I donned my emergency blanket and took pics at the start.

It looked like a Charlie Foxtrot with everyone standing around, but it wasn’t. Bag drop was in a truck that drives your bags to the finish. They collect your blankets before you start to run.

I had the pleasure of seeing another mobility impaired Boston mate. We are both training for Boston and Big Sur 21 miler.

In case you wanted to know the size of the blanket I assure you two people can fit comfortably.

We started the race promptly. I really didn’t have a race plan. It was a training run and I tried to keep my pace under 13:45 average. I would have liked a 2:45:59 for a PR, but I enjoyed training with my Boston mate much more.

I have heard how awful downhills are and how they burn your quads up. Well, I felt nothing. I just kept praying that my feet would turn over so I wouldn’t fall. The wind was an ally and an enemy on the race. We were pushed from front, back and side to side. We started the same time as the marathoners and weather conditions were favorable. At the start we had a flat followed by a gentle downhill that got deeper at the .1 mark.

Along the course was my favorite cheerleader David Clark. He is truly the best.

Denise and I take 1 of many photos on the course.

Below is a picture of David losing his hat to the wind. It flew across the highway, but he recovered it.

The wind was so strong it blew down mile markers.

We ran, I let gravity take my body down the slopes. I saw people fighting gravity thinking they are going to hurt tomorrow. I ran until we would level off or go uphill. As I ran downhill I pulled away from Denise, but slowed down once the grade allowed me. The steeper the grade, the faster I flew down the decline. I thanked God for her because in the end I wanted to walk. She kept me motivated to run. We took so many photos. We finished together, the purple sisters they called as we crossed the finish line.

My first Revel race and I loved it.

He leid me
State 35 Complete

After the race they passed out Hawaiian bread. Yummy carbs.

I took photos with friends and my one of my favorite cheerleaders.

I like the card you get with results much better than the thin slips of paper.

No PR today, but I felt great. My left foot held up and I was so happy.

Then I ate Domino’s Pizza an grabbed a Hawaiian beer that I used as a prop.

Definitely would recommend this race! I may return again next year too. It was that awesome.

My head is definitely in the clouds.

I returned to the hotel on the shuttle buses then walked through the walkway museum.

I took a gazillion photos. Made it to the room, showered, and took more pics.

Then caught the tram to the shops, ate Hawaiian bBG from Trippy’s.

Get the Spicy. It was yummy

I ate some snow, its shaved ice.

She insisted I try the toppings.

Then we headed to the beach and back to the airport.

Loved my state #35 even though it was a turn and burn. I did grab some Mexican food next door to the coffee shop; that Pollo burrito was on point.

3 Replies to “Kandi Gets Leid in Kona”

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