Monday, December 17, 2007

Ka'anapali to Lahaina and Back

Since I may one day consider participating in the Maui Marathon (or its half-distance configuration), I figure I must try running here at least once before I fly back to the mainland. Plus, I really need to work off all of the wonderful meals I have been enjoying while on the islands.

Unable to stay at our usual hotel since it is undergoing extensive renovations, my wife and I are staying at the Sheraton Maui Resort on Ka'anapali Beach. Looking at Google Maps, I figure I could easily run from the hotel to Lahaina Cannery Mall, but the round-trip is six miles. Having totaled less than 7 miles last week, I am not comfortable running such distances this morning, but I have another option: The Sheraton has a shuttle bus that regularly stops at the Hilo Hattie parking lot in Lahaina. If I run as far as Banyan Park and then come back to Hilo Hattie, the run would only be 4.5 miles...and I would get to see more of Old Lahaina Town.

Clouds and the West Maui Mountains block sunrise as I step on the beach next to Black Rock, but the sky overhead and to the west is mostly blue. It looks like a great morning to run and an even better one for taking pictures. Good thing my cellphone has a 2 megapixel camera

I run along the soft sand for as long as I can, but I have to cut through a park as I leave Ka'anapali. The park is nice and grassy with a bit of a dirt path through the middle, so it is nice on the feet. When the park ends, I try running upon a narrow wall along the highway, but the thought of falling upon the rocks below isn't exactly appealing, so I hop over the guard rail and hit the pavement. The sun has not yet come out by the time I reach the sign for Lahaina. The temperature is perfect for running.

Proceeding down Front Street, I pass the Old Lahaina Luau just as the sun and a rainbow begins to touch its roof. I realize I am going to sacrifice my pace to capture many moments of this run. I am really enjoying myself by the time I reach Old Lahaina Town.

As I cross under the banyan tree at the edge of town, I head west towards the lighthouse and then northeast towards the Hilo Hattie. When planning this run, I never once thought about the store being closed at this hour...and I only now realize it may be a few hours before the first shuttle will arrive.

I have little choice but to continue running. The weather alternates between rain and sun as I run to the highway, by Lahaina Cannery Mall, and on to Ka'anapali. The tropical rain does not feel unpleasant, so I really cannot complain.

Once back on to the soft sand in Ka'anapli, I make my final push towards the Sheraton. I can hardly believe I have run more than nine's not like I have been running such distances since starting this vacation. Heck, I haven't run this far since my half marathon over a month ago!

For more photos from this run, check out my SmugMug gallery

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