Norman K. Tamanaha was truly a pioneer of long distance running for the state of Hawai’i. Tamanaha got a lot of people interested in long distance running before it was socially popular and many years before jogging became the “in” thing with people of all ages.

Long before the Honolulu Marathon and Hawai’i’s lucrative triathlons became nationally recognized, a pioneer marathon runner named Norman Tamanaha pounded the highways and byways of Hawai’i preparing for the Boston Marathon. His storybook career is a classic example of the kind of heart it takes to make a champion.

Tamanaha did not win a world title or hold any world records, yet to this day, no runner from Hawai’i has equaled his feat at the Boston Marathon. In 1952, at 45-years of age, Tamanaha participated in his fifth marathon in Boston and finished in fifth place (2:52:10). He was the toast of the islands and the running community.

In 1978, the Hawaiian Master Track Club organized a 15-kilometer run, an annual event for more than 20 years, in memory of Tamanaha.

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