FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No Kilauea Volcano Runs in 2009
According to Volcano Art Center executive director Phyllis Segawa, the
issue of exploring alternate routes to replace the annual Kilauea Volcano
Runs in 2009 has been completed and the decision has been made to not
pursue an alternate site at this time.
The Volcano Art Center and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park announced
earlier this year that 2008 marked the final running of the annual Kilauea
Volcano Runs within the park.
The necessity and appropriateness of the three races — a 26.2 mile
marathon, 10 mile rim run, and 5 mile caldera run and walk — being held
within the national park had been under discussion between the two agencies
for the past several years. Volcano Art Center was aware that 2008 would be
the final year of the race in the park.
The event, conducted under a federal special use permit, required strict
compliance to ensure protection of the park's natural and cultural
resources and adherence to national park policy and law, and wilderness
The summit eruption of Halema'uma'u Crater that began in March nearly
forced the cancellation of the race this year, but park officials and race
organizers worked together to reroute the marathon and 10-mile course to
avoid the volcanic fumes and fallout. Sulfur dioxide gas and ash from the
ongoing eruption continues to inundate several miles of the former race
Segawa stated, "The park and art center have received many letters and
phone calls about the status of the race. The uniqueness of the runs being
held in the park was its biggest draw, but we fully understand the Hawai'i
Volcanoes National Park's concern and desire to protect the environment and
cultural resources of the park. The cooperation and help we enjoyed over
the past 26 years from the park has been outstanding, but at this time it
is just not feasible for us to find an alternate site and the amount of
manpower needed for such an event."