Big Island 10.8 Mile Race (Read 540 times)


    Sort of an impromptu race that I signed up for instead of a planned neighborhood10K. This race is one of three races (5K, 10.8, Full Marathon) that are part of the Big Island International Marathon, hosted at the city of Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The course is essentially the first 10.8 miles of the full marathon, winding through the coastal rainforest and sleepy communities on the windward side of the Big Island. Flew over with the wife and da kid from Honolulu on Thursday nite, we figured we might as well make it a mini vacation. Friday was spent surfing and hanging out. Saturday morning went on a little warmup run and some strides…weather was very hot and humid (atypical for Hilo, which is usually raining 95% of the time, and last year it dumped 7 inches of rain during the marathon). By the afternoon however local weather returns with some intermittent heavy rains. The morning of the race I woke up at 1:30 AM, and couldn’t go back to bed, so just hung out and relaxed next to my sleeping boy (my wife had flew back for a canoe race). My friend then drove me down to the bus pickup at downtown Hilo at 4:30 AM. Took the 10 minute bus ride up the coast to the starting area. There are only about 500 runners registered for this race, which is really cool considering I’ve only entered big races so far. The atmosphere is so much better, much more relaxed. I ran into an old college roommate of mine who had found his running talent about 6 years ago. He won this marathon twice and ended up winning this year’s as well… No guns or bullhorns at the 6 AM start, just the race director yelling 3,2,1 go….and off we go. Right off the start was a steep downhill 200m descent to the coastal highway, followed by a gentle uphill along the highway before turning off onto a 4 Mile Scenic Drive along the coast. The first mile is mostly open pastureland and sleepy small communities, all downhill. I’ve driven this road few times when I was living in the area but can’t quite remember how the terrain was so I just took it easy. It was mostly downhill and then we reached the first gulch where it was really steep downhill, it was really hard not to fly down but I know there is a big uphill coming…the next 4 miles are pretty much a series of uphill and downhill as we go through several gulches…it was such an awesome route that I think I slowed down quite a bit, partly because of the ups and downs but also to look at the waterfalls and all the plants. Every once in a while there is a clearing and you can look at the ocean below, the tree-covered seastacks, and the sun rising on the horizon. Crossed the main highway and onto the old highway at mile 5, at this point I pretty much knew that I won’t be finishing at my intended pace of 9:00 – 9:15, which was fine because I was so stoked on the scenery, plus my legs were already pretty much rubber by now and sun is out in full force and humidity is way high. Miles 6 – 7 was not quite as scenic, part of which we had to run along the main highway on the shoulder, which was pretty sketchy. Thankfully we returned to being surrounded by mother nature in Miles 7 – 8. On the uphill portion I’m passing the parking area for my old surfspot (Honolii Beach Park) where I learned how to surf…quick glance over I saw that it was blown out and no surf (which was good otherwise I might be tempted to catch a few)…saw a bunch of people I knew hanging out there, wandering what the hell I was doing running up the hill…Miles 8.5 to the finish is pretty much all downhill along the highway…by mile 9 I can see the town of Hilo across the ocean and at this time I decided to give it all, although I had not much to give by then as my legs were jello. I’ve managed to pick off a few people and finish at 1:42:26 for an 9:34 pace…84/262 overall, 11/24 in my age group and 51/127 males. I missed top 10 and top 50 in age group and gender by 1 place each. I wish I am better at describing the scenery as it was breathtaking…you almost forget (I may have) that you’re in a race. If you ever come to Hawaii around this time, you should definitely do this race. I’m hoping to do the full marathon next year but the scenery isn’t quite as good after the first 10.8 miles. Oh and I need to get a better watch that can keep splits for the more technical portion of the report. Now back in Honolulu, quads and calfs are extremely sore but manage a recovery run today. Oh and found out the wife won her age group in her one man outrigger canoe race (sheesh), was a good weekend in the family. Peace out..

    Princess Cancer Pants

      *sigh* I want to move to Hawaii! You guys know how to do a race right! Great race report, and big congrats to your wife on her race, too! BTW, how cool is it when you live in a state that requires flying from different parts of the state to others...? Big grin k

      '17 Goals:

      • Chemo

      • Chemo-Radiation

      • Surgery

      • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


      She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

      ~ Unknown


        Thanks for your race report. I love the idea of running in a beautiful locaton like this! The temperature/humidity intimidates me though. What temp was it during your race?
        my legs were already pretty much rubber by now and sun is out in full force and humidity is way high.
          Wow, nice report. And here I was racing through blue-collar neighborhoods in downtrodden New Bedford, Mass. In March. When it was 30 degrees F and blowing 20-40 mph from the west. Steve, I'd be interested to see you run a flat fast 5k within the next couple/three weeks. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

          Runners run.


            thanks... temperatures i think only went up to about 80 - 85...it was the heat + humidity that was killer..Hilo is a pretty humid town but most of the time its either raining or cloudy, so when the sun is out you still get the humidity but you get the sun beating down on you...i talked to my friend who won the marathon, the winning time was slow (3+) he said because everybody was hurting and he really had no one to work with to set up a faster pace. That said, I'm always impressed how you guys can run in your those low temps, I'd have to wear a wetsuit to run over there Smile. Mike...there is no flat 5K coming up, but there is a 10K in 3 weeks that I might do if the quads recover in time Tongue
              Nice report. I'm jealous. But springtime's comin' to Tennessee. The redbuds are blooming. It's my favorite southern season. Hawaii is the last state I've got to knock off my list of places been. Congrats on a solid race and keep up the good work! 10.8 is a tough distance, but sounds like you breezed through it!
                Great report ! I guess there is a price to pay for running within all that beauty...ups and downs and all. The humidity would have slowed me down for sure. Sounds like you had fun, and to say the least the run was not boring. Entertainment along the way combined with some welcomed memories. Awesome. Congratulations to your wife for her victory!


                  sounds like a fun, beautifully scenic race...congrats! great race report! Big grin I ran while in Hawaii a few times...the humidity is bad but the wind! UGH! That constant wind in your face... howling. drives me crazy.
                  Jennifer mm#1231
                    Love the new Silver Surfer avatar!

                    Runners run.


                      sounds like a fun, beautifully scenic race...congrats! great race report! Big grin I ran while in Hawaii a few times...the humidity is bad but the wind! UGH! That constant wind in your face... howling. drives me crazy.
                      yeah strong tradewind days make running an adventure...but i'd take that over no wind days because then humidity goes way up and i pretty much lose all the water in my body when i go running (great for losing few pounds real fast and make me feel good Smile ). Mikeymike... i love the silversurfer althogh it would be more appropriate if it was a bronze surfer for me...i'm hoping they'll do a better job with the new Fantastic Four movie...Jessica Alba (st.jessica in a certain RA group) is a much better actress than what she did in that movie.