My advice to anyone thinking of doing the Maui Marathon… remember the sun can be brutal being so much closer to the equator. Maui is a great vacation destination and I hated to leave “paradise”. I stayed at the Hyatt near the finish line. The marathon is a “point-to-point” starting Kahului (the main airport is there) at 5:30 am and travels south to the ocean. From there you run through a mountain pass and then along the ocean up through Lahaina (tourist shops, food & attractions) to the resort area finishing in front of the Weston resort. The last 17 miles have ocean views or actually within feet of the ocean.
Once the sun rises it does not take long for the heat and built in humidity to take hold. The good thing, I guess, is that the sun is mainly at your back during this stretch. The marathoners meet at a shopping mall and because its still dark at 5am, the native dancer with his flaming baton was spectacular. After the entertainment, we walk about 5 blocks to the start line. There is no chip timing for this event.
The start is gradually downhill until we hit highway 380 and then gradually goes uphill to the ocean. I noticed the downhill and uphill more when I drove the course than when I actually ran it. After turning north we head for the mountain pass which did not seem too bad and runs from about mile 9 and you start the downhill about mile 12. The course is relatively flat from there to the finish.
You receive a plastic lei, a nice medal and cotton finisher t-shirt at the finish. Unfortunately I could not find anything to eat at the finish line except a cup of apple slices. The other thing I did not like is lack of cold water and/or ice at water stations. I am also not a fan of “Heed” or rather it does not like me, so I used water at every water station in my mouth and over my head and took salt capsules every 4 miles. I saw and heard the ambulances were very busy and a lot of people stretching with cramps since there was little shade along this course.
After buying a sandwich and chocolate milk, I walked back to my hotel along the ocean and jumped into the pool to bring my body temp back down to normal… very refreshing!
Maui is GREAT place to vacation but only has a so-so marathon. This was my 56th marathon and 48th state. Next up is Baltimore MD October 10th.