Hawaii Mom Blog: 2020 Bubble RUN Honolulu




February 3, 2020

2020 Bubble RUN Honolulu

On Saturday we laced up our shoes and headed to the North Shore for the 2020 Bubble Run 5K. The event was originally supposed to be held in Kapolei, however, about 2 months before the event, they changed the venue to historic Dillingham Ranch on Oahu's North Shore - a place I had never ventured out to before.

I had seen this event advertised in previous years, but due to the location, I never considered signing up. But when my sister-in-law asked us if we wanted to do the race, since the registration was free, we said OK!  Turns out, although registration fees were waived, every registered participant was required to purchase "medical coverage", which was $10.  But it still seemed to be a great deal since every runner received a race t-shirt, bib number, safety pins, temporary tattoo, and finisher's medal.

Packet pick up was one day only - the day before the race (Friday), at UFC Gym in Mililani. I decided to drove over there from work during my lunch break to pick up our race packets. Packet pick up started at 11 am, and I arrived at around 11:30, and the line was super long! It took me an hour to pick up our race packets - but I've heard that's how it is every year.  So if you plan on doing this race next year, keep this in mind!  You have the option of picking up your race packet on race day at the start, however you have to pay $5 per person (this is their way of encouraging everyone to pick up their race packets the day before).  

Since I saw first hand the scores of people registered for this race, I knew that we needed to go to the race site early to beat the jam, so we got to the race area by 7 am. There were already cars lined up on the side of the road.

We originally thought we had parked near the entrance, because we saw this ...

But in actuality, this was just one of the areas along the route.  We eventually figured out that the entrance to the race was a ways down, but at least we got free parking on the road and avoided the $20 parking fee.

We walked a ways to the entrance to the Ranch, and finally we saw some race volunteers, and the area where the shuttle stops to take participants to the start line.  A lot of people bypassed the shuttle and continued to walk to the start line instead of waiting for the shuttle, and if we didn't have the twins with us, we would have done the same thing, because they only had two small shuttle buses running back and forth, and I would say it took a good 15 minutes for the buses to make a round trip.

We eventually got to the starting area, and waited another 10 minutes or so to make it to the start line. 

At the start, there was a huge bubble machine with bubbles galore. 

We all had bubble boots to start off this 5K.

I believe there were five bubble stations total, throughout the race course - some were blowing bubbles more than others. 

I can see why they instruct you at the starting line, to hold your little one's hands when you go through the bubbles. The bubbles can get high, and thick!

 The course itself had sections of flat dirt,

and uneven terrain.  My kids tripped a few times, and many adults did too as I saw a lot of folks with dirty shorts.

The views were amazing.

And at the end, every participant received a medal!

Key takeaways from participating in this event:

  • If you're lucky to get in on their free registration promos, it's not entirely free.  You are still required to pay $10 for insurance, and $20 for parking (if you don't find parking outside of the race venue)
  • Packet pick up is one day only, and it's crowded (not sure how it was towards the latter part of the day, but if you're trying to beat the rush, line up at packet pick BEFORE the start time
  • There will be traffic heading to the race site. Cars were stuck in gridlock for a 2 mile stretch at 10:15 am.  So if you can, get there early, and get done early.

  • If you're bringing a stroller, bring something to cover it otherwise your poor baby will eat it in the bubble bogs (although you can go around the bubble bogs). This runner came well prepared! 

  • This race is not timed, and you are not assigned to any particular number (when you check in, they will scan your QR code, and then they'll randomly grab a race packet from a box depending on your t-shirt size
  • If you're a serious runner doing this run for time, you may want to reconsider entering this race - there is no official timer, and there are more walkers than runners.
  • Wear shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, because it will get dirty!

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