I ran the Ha'ena to Hanalei 8 mile race this morning. "The 8-mile course begins at the end of the road in Ha'ena, traversing the scenic stretch of road and one-lane bridges along the breathtaking North Shore towards Hanalei Town. Turn left at Anae Road after the Waioli Bridge, and then turn right at Weke Road to the finish at the Hanalei Pier." This was the 29th annual fundraiser run for the Hanalei Canoe Club.
As with everything, racing is different here on Kauai. You runners will be able to appreciate these differences. First of all, I picked up my packet yesterday. They handed me my race number and gave me a Ziploc bag with a shirt. That's it. No timing chip, which, I kind of expected since it was only an 8 mile run....They shuttled the 8 mile runners to the starting line. I made my way to the bathroom and noticed several people with timing chips on their ankles. What? They had them layed out over a car and handed them out as they saw your race number. There was no real start line, per se, just a big area (the road) where everyone was hanging out waiting to start. And then all of a sudden people started running...hehehe. But the highlight of the race was entrant # 36. She was such a cute "little lady" black fur, four legs and a wet nose! Only on Kauai! ( :
I have told you about this course before, it is beautiful! The road is a curvy, hilly, two-lane road. There are a number of one-lane bridges, where one side of traffic must stop and yield to the other. They didn't shut down the road for the race, like every other race I've ever run. But again, this is Kauai, so, the cars just slowed down and waited for the runners to go to the side of the road. On the one-lane bridges, you only had room enough to run single file behind the other runners if there was a car on the bridge, which made it hard to pass during those points.
There were no mile markers, except the tiny barely visible highway mile markers that run backwards on the other side of the road. But they did have several aid stations along the way, which was great.
The finish line... there really wasn't one. It was more of a cluster. After they removed the timing chip there was someone handing out water and fruit (watermelon and oranges). And they had a pancake breakfast! (one of my favorite things, by the way). My friend made me a ti leaf lei, which, I must admit is the coolest "medal" I've ever received!
All in all it was a great race. I had low expectations going into it, but the beauty of the course far out ways the craziness....My Garmin said 1:14, but my official time was 1:12. Not bad for me.
Coming in to the finish line
I love Hanalei Bay!! (It was named #1 beach in the country)
The Wai'oli Mountain Range is magnificent!