I flew over to the Big Island of Hawaii on friday morning from O'ahu for my third time participating in the Hilo to Volcano 50km/31mile ultra.
Snow capped Mauna KeaHwy 11 from Hilo to Volcano
This race has me coming back each year because it is an intimate affair (only 30 competitors) with abilities ranging from elite runner to novice weekend runner and everyone enjoys it. Part of the fun is that you need to take your own crew to provide refreshments along the way. Steve has been my crew for the past 3 years and always takes it very seriously and does an awesome job. This year was challenging in the fact that I was recovering from a particularly nasty bout of flu and had to blow my nose every 2-4 miles. Even so, my hope was to break through the six hour barrier which I did, getting my PR of 05:58:06; 15/30 and 6/10 females (2010 time was 06:02:17 and 2009 time was 06:09) for this uphill race from sea level to 4000ft in the town of Volcano near Volcano National Park.The atmosphere at the finish line is always extremely friendly and jovial and I left thinking that I'd be back for more next year.
Rainbow in the crater Kilauea Iki and Halema'uma'u
The rest of the weekend we spent exploring the Big Island which is incredibly diverse with an awesome amount of elemental power (mana). Some of the magnificant natural sights we took in were Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Volcano National Park with views of Kilauea Iki Crater, Kilauea Crater and the active Halema'uma'u vent, a walk through Thurston Lava tubes and along the Trail of Devastation where we were treated to a beautiful rainbow perfectly placed withing a volcanic crater. Then we took the Chain of Craters road and drove down to view the ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and had to high tail it out of the park to the aea of Kalapana to view an active lava flow that had burned down a house 2 days ago.
Our last day was spent south of Hilo at Pohoiki and the warm springs, heated by the goddess of the volcanoes, Madam Pele herself. We drove from Pohoiki along HWY 137 to Kalapana and a black sand beach, stopping of at an ancient Hawaian open air temple ruin (heiau) enroute.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call Hawaii my home.
Black sand beach at Kalapana
Aloha Big Island, a hui ho .
Post ultra I have embarked on the Master Cleanse to reboot my system for the year ahead: I managed a 5 day lemonade fast comprising of: 1 Tbls lemon juice, 1 Tbls lime juice; 2tbls Grade A or B 100% organic Maple Syryp and a 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper to 250ml water (a cup). I drank 4 liters of this mixture daily and am ready to start training for Big Sur Marathon coming up on 1 May.