|Running on one of the numerous steep sections of the Kealia Trail on the North Shore|
THE NORTH SHORE
A week on the North Shore just outside of the town of La'ie was the perfect location to relax before my big race. I ran a few times on the beach out of Malaekahana State park (a great 4 mile run). The North Shore is home to the famous surfing culture of Hawaii and most famously the town of Haleiwa, where you can find the best surfers in the world enjoying the big waves. The waves on the North Shore are exciting! I made sure to find time between trail running to play in the surf. Since I am a bit better on the trail than in the water, I mostly body surfed. If you time the waves just right, the wave will carry you right into the shore.
|"Tapering" for my race by lounging on the beach|
|Views of the ocean on the first climb of the Kealia trail|
|Found a passion fruit on the Kealia Trail!|
The best fruit was the passion fruit I found just north of Haleiwa on the Kealia Trail. This is my favorite place to run on the North Shore because it is a pretty dry trail and there is lots of climbing! The first 1.5 miles climbs 1,500 feet with a view of the ocean almost the entire climb.
|Enjoying the view on the La'ie Trail|
Perhaps the most spectacular views on the island are from the Olomana Trail. The Olomana trail is right outside of Kailua, on the Winward side of the island. The "run" is really more of a scramble, as you use ropes and hand/foot holds scale many of the rocky parts of the trail after about 1 mile of running. I only went as far as the first peak (2 miles out), but there are 3 peaks you can climb, all as crazy steep and narrow and shockingly beautiful as the next. As the trail summits each peak, it becomes more narrow with rocky cliffs on both sides. Not a good trail for the vertically challenged!
|A little bouldering on the Olomana Trail|
|View from the first peak of the Olomana Trail. You can see the other two peaks in the background of the picture. Pictured: James Varner.|
|Also taken on the first peak of the Olomana Trail|
|Narrow ridge running on Olomana Trail!|
Honolulu was the last city I explored on my trip. The Ko'olau Mountain Range, between Honolulu (South Oahu) and Kailua (Winward side), boasts most of the trails near Honolulu. The H.U.R.T. 100 course runs on the Ko'olau Range, just North of the city. During the day, I enjoyed views of the city, ocean, and forest as the course climbed along the ridges. The race course was almost entirely uphill or downhill. There was virtually no flat trail running. I loved the bamboo forests and the music that came from the wind blowing the shoots into each other. On a climb, reaching the bamboo meant you were almost at the top of the climb. This translated to sweet relief from the intensity of climbing in a humid, warm climate.
|Running on the course, the week before the HURT100. Bamboo Forest.|
|There are many cliffs on the HURT 100 course.|
|The Salomon Speedcrosss 3 were great on the slippery, muddy, rooty course.|
|There are always beautiful flowers to admire on the trails.|
In the first 3 miles of the race, I sprained my ankle. Visions of finishing the race began to vanish as the pain seared up my leg and made me roll on the ground in pain. Yet.... I could not even comprehend quitting so early in the race, so I continued. I turned that same ankle 2 more times on the second loop (the course is made up of five 20 mile "loops"), each time falling over and rolling on the ground in agony! The first sprain had stretched the tendons/ligaments and the ankle was completely unstable. Thanks to a great taping job at Maikiki Aid Station by a talented volunteer and ibuprofen, I was able to finish the race and stay in the competition, finishing 3rd place woman and 15th overall in 28hrs and 35 mins. My time was good enough for the 8th fastest woman's time ever on the course. Very few runners even get under 30 hours and the finishing rate is has yet to be more than 44%! What a beautiful and tough course!
|Me and my pacer/crew James Varner before the start of the HURT100|
|One of the many climbs on the HURT 100 course|
|Some of the technical root section, pictured, during my last loop of HURT.|
|Another view of the roots on the HURT 100 course. Picture by Rob Lahoe.|
|Climbing up a particularly steep section on the HURT 100 course.|
|Finished the race!! Sitting finally!|
|The sign is the finish line and all runners must kiss to complete their run.|
|Me with my 3rd place award (special handmade tea set!) and my pacer/crew extraordinaire James Varner|
|Me receiving my award for 3rd, next to Hannah Roberts (1st).|
|Here is my sprained ankle. Resting on the beach.|
For more information on Trail Running on Oahu, get the book: Hikers Guide to Oahu by Stuart M. Ball, Jr.
Also check out my blog posts documenting many of my runs on the island of Oahu:
Best Damn Strawberry Guava Trail in La'ie
Climbing Exponentially on the Kealia Trail
Two Lollipops on the Hau'ula Trail
Part of Peacock
Backwards and Out of Order: HURT 100 Course Preview
Kamanaiki Ridge Run over Honolulu
Finished the HURT 100
And some more pictures from my trail running adventures on Oahu:
|View from the Hau'ula Loop Trail on the North Shore|
|James running on the Kealia Trail, North Shore|
|Me running on the Kealia Trail|
|Me running on the Kamanaiki Trail above Honolulu|
|Being silly on the Kamanaiki Trail above Honolulu|
|View from the Kamanaiki Trail above Honolulu|
|Eating bananas before the HURT 100.|