Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Series Preview: Aloha Series

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be doing the Aloha Series.  It’s a series of four marathons in four days sponsored by Mainly Marathons.  Mainly Marathons puts on several series of races ranging from two to eight days.  Most of them are series where you run in a different state each day.

Some time back, I posted in the Mainly Marathons Facebook group, suggesting they add a Hawaii series, perhaps running on a different island each day.  It was apparently a popular idea.  Within a couple days, that post had about 100 “likes.”  Clint Burleson replied that the logistics of racing on a different island each day would be too difficult, but he might create a series of races all on the same island.  Later, Clint and Hannelore made a trip to Hawaii and scouted locations.  Soon, they announced the creation of the Aloha Series.

All four races will be on the island of Kaua’i.  We’ll have two different courses.  Both will be short loops that we’ll run multiple times.  On days one and four, we’ll run on paved paths at the Smith Family Gardens in Wailua.  On days two and three, we’ll run on paved paths at Kapa’a Beach Park.  The two courses are only a few miles apart, so I can stay at the same hotel for the whole series.

I flew to Lihue yesterday, arriving late in the evening.  By the time I checked in at my hotel, all I wanted to do was get to sleep as soon as I could.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get much sleep.  My neck and shoulders were so stiff after the long flights that I couldn’t get comfortable.  Then at 2:00 AM, my body thought it was time to get up.

Today, we had our packet pickup at the Smith Family Gardens, where we’ll be racing tomorrow.  I’ll have the same race bib for all four days, so I won’t have to do packet pickup again.

This evening, I’m going back to Smith Family Gardens for a luau.  I’ve heard this is the best luau on the island.  Seven years ago, Deb and I went to a luau at the Kilohana Plantation, which is also on Kaua’i.  I’m curious to see how they compare.  Everyone doing the races got a discounted price for the luau.  I expect to see most of the other runners there.

The marathons all start at 4:30 AM.  That’s good news and bad news.  The good news is that we won’t have as much sun exposure, and temperatures won’t climb too far from the overnight lows.  The bad news is that we’ll be running in the dark for the first half of each race.  Also, I need to get to bed early, or I won’t get much sleep.  It doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep at all last night.

Ideally, I’d like to run one of the races faster than four hours, so I can complete my second circuit of 50sub4.  Regrettably, I might not be in good enough shape to do it in Hawaii heat and humidity.  My best chance to do it is tomorrow, since I’ll have fresh legs.  I’ll need an all-out effort, which will leave me with sore legs for the next three days.  My only goal in the remaining three races will be to finish.  I’m looking at this as an opportunity to get used to running on tired legs.

Besides the marathons, they also have 10K, half marathon and 50K races each day.  The marathons and 50K races start at 4:30.  The 10K races and half marathons don’t start until 7:00.  That should help with congestion during the early hours, when we’ll be running in the dark.

After each race, I’ll try to find time to post a race report.  That’s if I’m not too busy relaxing at the beach.

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