In my first year of running competitively, 2006 - I met Stacky and he invited me to the Hana Relays. It was a gorgeous 52-mile run done as a 6-person relay. Everyone ran three legs of 2.5 - 3.5 miles. For years, I've tried to make it back, but something always got in the way.
Seven years later, we went back. This time, as an all girls' team with some of the fastest women I know. We put our husbands/significant others all on a team, too, along with Stacky. It went like this:
Friday evening, Ikaika and I flew over to Maui to stay with these two, up in Kula. Ben put his costume together, and it involved some extra hair and a bad stache.
Since some of the girls were flying in on the first flight, and the race started at 5:30 am, I ran the first two legs. Keeping it under 6:45 is now officially hard to do for 5 miles. I have not been training. I have been working right through my runs. It showed. I was pretty jealous when everyone else had someone to hand the baton to at 2.5 miles in. We have a lot of pictures of 5 out of 6 of us:
Candes, me, Lectie, Mariane & Katherine at Hookipa (while Ingrid ran)
The thing about Hana is it's ALWAYS a hill. Even when the description of the leg said it was flat. Nope, up, down, gorgeous views - that's the road to Hana. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of photo ops along the way:
Katherine somewhere in between Paia and Hana.
Candes flying down the road, both feet off the ground.
There were six staring waves. We were in the first wave, and were out front on our own by the third leg. It was quiet, and we had to find the markers on the road for each hand off.
Chuck's Chicks at one of the hand-off points.
At leg 15 (of 18), the great Toddicus and his team (Running of the Bulls) came up on us at a hand off. They had started 30 minutes back, so technically, they were way ahead of us. Both our teams wanted to get to the finish line in Hana Park first. It was a battle. In leg 17, Ben passed Mariane to take the lead. KN was our final runner. At the start of the final leg, she was about a minute back. The road was winding, and from the car, we could tell she was gaining on the men's final runner. But we weren't sure if she knew it. The last leg is only 1.9 miles. I told our team - if she sees him, he's toast. KN doesn't lose. We were all looking out the back window of our van when the road opened up enough for her to spot him. We drove ahead to the park and waited so we could all run in together. We could only see a few hundred yards down the road... and suddenly, KN came around the corner in first. She had made the pass! She had to run up an awful hill on very tired legs to get to the park, and then we all ran in together, first across the line.
Chuck's Chicks and the Running of the Bulls
With Chuck (a.k.a Scott)
We ran 52 miles in 5:41, average pace 6:33 per mile. 29 minutes later, a womens crew from Maui that had started 30 minutes behind us came in for the win. We wound up 6th overall, 2nd women's team.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying Hana - eating, drinking, jumping off cliffs, and catching up with friends.
Ikaika was barefoot and holding a beer for his team finish. Surprise, surprise.