Great challenge in a magnificent scenery (about: 2003)|
W. K. from Summit, New Jersey, USA (4/5/03)
If you're the minimalist runner who is comfortable with challenging courses, basic amenities, but plenty of heart and spirit from the organizers, then this is the right race for you. This was the first official marathon on this Hawaian island. It was announced as being partly an off-road course that turned out to be entirely on lava dirt trails through mainly sugar cane fields and coffee plantations overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The course is in its entirety on private land, so don't expect any spectators to cheer you up. But most likely you won't need that anyway as you'll be so occupied with soaking up the beauty of the landscape you're cruising thru that time will be flying, barely comparable to any other long run. The many hills and uneven surface are demanding though, and so is the heat. However, if you stick to a slightly slower than usual pace (add 20 to 30 minutes to your PR) and take in enough fluids (that is you really should drink something at every water station) then you'll be fine in finishing without problems (and you will not even hit the so-called 'wall'). This marathon must also be a perfect training run for everyone preparing for Badwater or other similar ultras.
Apparentely the marathon was organized by only a few running devotees, all the more everything worked out without a problem.
But for the future be aware that the slots for the run are pretty limited, and this was not indicated on their website at all. As a consequence, the website was brought down out of a sudden the night before I finally went to register online. Fortunately the race director still let me register by mail, which I appreciated a lot as you can imagine.
It was my second marathon overall and a great experience rounding up a terrific vacation on the island. And in addition, when do you ever get again a chance to be amongst the first 20 finishers with a time slightly over four hours?!