Outside / In the TV series Shaq vs, the cocky NBA Champ would take on other elites such as Tyson Gay on the track and Michael Phelps in the pool. Of course, the opponents would be handicapped to give the out-of-shape former Laker a fighter’s chance.
The Hapalua Half-Marathon on Waikiki Beach is doing something similar this year (without the 7-foot behemoth), featuring the world’s number one marathoner, Patrick Makau from Kenya, in the chase after Hawaii’s top runners for a coveted $5,000 prize.
Just like Shaq in his short-lived show, 24 select local runners will get a slight upper hand. While a five-second head start wasn’t enough for Shaq to take down the Olympics’ most decorated athlete in the 50 Free, Hapalua officials are hoping the 19- to 24-minute women’s lead and 7- to 11-minute advantage for the men will make for an exciting finish.
“We’re trying to handicap it for a fair fight,” says Race Director Dr. Jim Barahal. “Ideally, we would have everyone coming in about the same time.” Even if you’re not quite at Kenyan racing levels, anyone can register to run Hawaii’s best-known 13.1 miler. Mandatory packet pick-up information and registration information is online.