Sunday, September, 2015
29th State Completed
Runners: 537 (281 men, 256 women)
Start Time: 5:00 a.m. HAST (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
Course: Rolling, climbing hills the first half ... flat second half ... about 550 ft of elevation, but it feels like quite a bit more than that
Weather: 85 degrees & 88% humidity at times during the race, nearing 90 degrees at the end ... incredibly hot and humid
SWAG: Short sleeve dry-fit shirt
Race Organization: Very good
Crowd Support: None until the finishing chute
Volunteer Support: Exceptionally good, very kind & helpful
Water Stops: Really well organized and often
Food: Bananas, oranges, and gels along the course, with typical post race food
Finishing Time: 3:47:55
Average Pace: 8:41
Place: 40th/537 Overall, 5th/45 45-49 AG
Total Experience ... 1 2 3 4 5
I was dumping cups of water on my head to cool my body down at Mile 4 of the 45th Annual Maui Marathon. It was raining, and completely dark like the middle of the night, and the narrow shoulder of Honoapiilani Highway, which served as as our race course for most of the race, was lit only by the headlights of oncoming cars. I'd planned on pacing much slower than normal because of the brutal 80 degree & 88% humidity conditions at the starting line that would only intensify, but I quickly found myself out of control and running way too fast for this early in the race. I knew before too long I would crash ... and probably crash hard, but I was going to push it as long as possible. And after 31 previous marathons, this would prove to be though toughest, but most beautiful race, I had ever finished.
I probably won't have as many race details with this marathon review as normal. Also, I'll try not to bore everyone with every experience and all of the fascinating history we learned about Hawaii during our visit. Instead, I'll mostly share some of the photos of the amazing Maui landscape that captured during our visit.
As far as the marathon, I obviously didn't run the race I'd planned, but still finished with a respectable time considering the conditions ... and walking most of the last three miles. I also was "forced" into making my first ever Aid-Station Tent visit after crossing the finish line. I just needed a little time to sit there and recover, but apparently I looked like I was going to die so overly cautious heads prevailed.
But our 10-Year Anniversary trip to Maui was way more than either Michael or I could have dreamed, and accordingly, the race took it's proper place as simply one of many activities we enjoyed while in the island paradise. The race actually took place on the second full day we were in Maui, so we both had plenty of time to recover while enjoying an amazing vacation. Honestly, I'm not much of a "vacation guy", but I could've stayed in Hawaii much longer, and can't wait until our next trip back. It was our second trip to Maui, but this time I definitely fell in love with the beauty of the island.
|Black Sand Beach, maybe the most beautiful place we visited on the island, it was simply breath taking|
|There aren't enough photos to adequately show the beauty of Black Sand Beach located just outside of |
the town of Hana at Waianapanapa State Park
|The black sand, rocks, and cliffs are actually cooled lava. The dark gray and black color set against the lush|
green vegetation makes for seemingly unending picturesque views
|A view from one of the many cliffs at Black Sand Beach|
|Resort life ... we stayed at the beautiful Maui Sheraton at Black Rock on Ka'anapali Beach|
|Early morning walk with Michael on the beach at Black Rock|
(not entirely sure if I had authorization to post this pic ... forgiveness is easier than permission)
|Ka'anapali Beach is one of the busier destinations on Maui, |
but it's not too crowded for every to enjoy the warm sun and powerful surf
|My friend, Bobby, and me at the Maui Marathon|
Since the race started at 5:00 a.m., we had to be at the shuttle bus location at the finish line by 3:00 a.m. I'm not joking. This meant waking up at about 1:30 a.m. I met my friend Bobby at the bus, who was also vacationing with his wife in Maui. I met Bobby several years ago at the Myrtle Beach Marathon, where we instantly became friends. He's a great guy who I always enjoy hanging out with, but unfortunately since he lives in North Carolina, I don't get to see very often. He's a great runner who is also running a marathon in every State, but is going to finish way before me.
On the way to the starting line, we chatted and caught up a little, but also noted the hot and humid conditions outside. It was the middle of the night and literally over 80 degrees, with a sweltering 88% humidity. All of the locals kept commenting on how it was the hottest stretch they could ever remember.
While we were waiting at the staring line, we noticed what seemed to be an inordinately high number of Japanese runners compared to most races. But the race was sponsored by the Japanese Travel Bureau (JTB), and judging by the perfectly synchronized warm up aerobics they were all doing, it was obviously a large group traveling together. Shortly after their techno-music fueled dance with words neither of us could understand, it started raining. Typically rain will break intense humidity a little, but I remember thinking to myself that the conditions weren't getting better, and now my shoes were soaking wet. Plus the rain apparently cancelled the fire dancer ... bummer!
|Hundreds of Japanese runners warming up with synchronized dancing before the Maui Marathon|
|We watched as three turtles slowly made their was from water to the shore. Apparently Pacific Ocean sea turtles are the only ones that come out of the water to sun themselves.|
|The oft cloud covered West Maui Forest Reserve mountain range, on the non-ocean side of our resort|
|We had the opportunity go to the Old Lahaina Luau, the oldest and most authentic Luau in Hawaii. We watched and listen as the entertainers shared stories about their rich Polynesian heritage. It was simply beautiful!|
|One thing that was kind of funny was when missionaries first visited the islands, they set up sugar cane manufacturing, but also banned the Hula Dance and made the island natives cover up with more clothing ...ha!|
|Apparently fire knife dancers and twirlers are not part of traditional Luaus, but have become a custom over the years. The Old Lahaina Luau did not feature fire dancers, but the smaller Luau at our resort a few nights later did|
|Included in the price of admission were all the drinks, including Mai Tai Cocktails, that you could handle ... we had to cut Michael off after seven!|
|Twin Falls on the Road To Hana. This pair of water falls is normally much smaller, but the unseasonable recent rains made it a rushing river|
|One of the beautiful mountains in Iao Valley State Park in Wailuki|
|The Keanae Peninsula is one of iconic views on the Road To Hana|
|We both took a little detour from our diets while in Maui. After losing almost 20 pounds for our trip, Michael enjoyed some gelato for the first time in a while ... her eyes looked like a crack-addict during her first relapse after rehab!|
|Michael and me at our favorite hangout on Ka'anapali Beach ... Hula Grill|
|What would a trip to Maui be without plenty of island-grown pineapple|
|Receiving my finisher medal at the 2015 Maui Marathon ... not a great time,|
but I was really pleased that I didn't pass out or give up ... and even more happy that it was over!
|Michael and me, with our traveling companions, Kyle & Tracee ... GREAT PEOPLE!!! |
We had a really fun time with them. (Tracee is Michael's oldest sister)
|Beautiful cobalt blue Maui sky under swaying palms|
|Another "post-card" location at Makena Beach State Park on the South side of Maui|
|The end of another perfect day, with another perfect sunset with my wife on best friend at our favorite place in the world ... I've been truly blessed in my life and couldn't ask for more!|
... Be Great Today!