Sunday, March 10, 2019

State Number 50: Maui Oceanfront Marathon January 2019 Race Report and Video

Oahu | Kauai | Maui Posts | Maui Oceanfront Marathon Report

Race report time!  We have two videos in this post:  a regular race video and an extended Director’s Cut version.  Decide if you have an extra 5 minutes before selecting which one to watch.  After the videos you can find Dave’s Race Chasing comments. Mahalo!

This was the big one, my last state.  The weeks leading up this race were very hard for me.  I was very nervous.  Like my blood pressure was high and I constantly felt like I was going to puke nervous.  I was so worried that I would get sick, injure something, our flight would be delayed, etc.    This lasted until the night before the race where the nerves were replaced by excitement.  

The race started at 5 am to help beat some of the heat.   We left the condo at 4am to make sure we were there in time to see the start line festivities.   We still got there towards the end of announcements so missed the 50 state roll call, but we were there in time for the traditional Hawaiian blessing.   This was a great show by locals who sang traditional songs and danced to them.   What a great way to start the day.   

Since I was finishing my 50 states, I was allowed to start at the very front of the race.  That was a first for me as a back of the packer.  It was very exciting and yes I was crying.   Stan was running with me and he started just a few people behind me. Pam and Dave were taking care of getting a ton of pictures and videos of me in the front row.  The start was signaled with the blowing of a conch shell of course!

We started well before sunrise so we needed to run with headlamps.  It was dark!  This is the first time I ran with one, but thankfully it did not bother me.   The beginning of the race was beautiful.  We ran by the ocean as the full moon was shining on the water and eventually we saw it set behind the mountain.  This is one of my most favorite memories of the race.   

The first 10 miles went fairly quickly as it was dark and we were both feeling good.   The sun was now coming up so we handed off our headlamps to Dave and Pam.  Mile 10 proved challenging and we couldn’t figure out why.  We finally remembered that the race director called this the Green Mile, a mile uphill.  It was barely perceptible but once we got to the top and made the turn we could tell that we had indeed been going uphill for the last mile.  We had some downhill portions here and then the real fun began.   We had some large hills/mountains to get up and over.  We ran into the rest of cheer section here.   Laura, Jan Mike and Lee were all decked out in their cheer costumes and brought us some needed laughs.   We made it through the hills and then it started getting warm, really warm.   

It was around mile 18 that I started getting worried.  I was feeling nauseous.   I don’t generally do well running in the heat and it certainly hasn’t been hot in Illinois to be used to it.   We slowed our pace dramatically because I really didn’t want to puke or heaven forbid not finish.   Stan was great and never complained at how slow we got.   I would run a bit and then feel pukey again.   We did have some fun towards the end and made a game of trying to pass a few people.     

Our support section was great with cool towels, drinks and salty snacks.   They were lifesavers!  Also the water stops on course were all well stocked.  They all had special treats.  The winners were the ones with watermelon and Otter Pops!

We finally made it in to Lahania and I started to get emotional.  It was finally almost over.   I knew I wanted to run across the finish line with an American flag, because I wanted to celebrate getting to run in every one of the states in our great country.  I am so very lucky!   It was great to have everyone cheering me on at the finish and it’s a moment I will never forget.   All the training miles, all the traveling and it was all worth it for that finish.   I got an extra medal for finishing my 50 states at this race and then went and jumped in the ocean.  Boy did that feel amazing!   

I can’t say enough good things about the Maui Oceanfront Marathon.  It was extremely well organized with great communication from the race director.  They made us 50 state finishers feel really special.  The course truly is along the oceanfront the entire way.   I really want to come back again and be better prepared for the heat and not have the pressure of the 50 state finish on my shoulders.  

I can’t thank my wonderful friends who joined me for this celebration enough.   Stan, Pam, Lee, Laura, Mike and Jan, Thank you.

And of course thank you to Dave.   None of this would have ever been possible without your constant support.  You made my dream come true.  I love you!


Regular Length

Director's Cut

Dave's Comments

We thought leaving the room at 4am would be plenty of time to get to the start line for all the pre-race ceremony.   It was only about 2.5 miles away.   By the time we arrived festivities were in full-swing and we missed Holly's name being called as a 50-Stater.   Bummer.    We did catch the entire cultural show complete with conch blowing, singing, dancing, and stories.  It was still dark at the start and Maui really did not invest in too many street lights on this side of the island.   Pam and I decided to see Holly and Stan at mile 5 since the rest of our crew would meet them around Mile 3 at our hotel (rented a condo in Kihei).   We couldn't see a thing at mile 5.    Luckily at mile 7 we were closer to the water and got to see the moon over the water.   At mile 9 the light was starting to come out.   We parked near the Kealia Pond, which is a bird sanctuary.  This allowed us to have some entertainment in between runners.

The course was pretty straightforward - follow the road along the ocean until you get to Lahania and deal with trying to find a parking spot.   Following the course wasn't a challenge.  Leaving some of the pretty beaches along the way was hard.   There were several pull-offs with no crowds and great views of the mountains and other islands in the distance.   While heading into town Pam got to see a baby whale breach several times while I was busy concentrating on making a left turn.

These were the shirts we designed for us to wear that day:

Snack options were pretty weak.   Most businesses were closed in Kihei at the early hours and mile 12-13 was the last civilization until mile 20-21 where there was a small convenient store and fruit stand.   I got a banana/strawberry smoothie from the truck and waved to our runners as they went by.  They had a nice setup at the finish with the 50-Stater cake and medals off to one side, a singer performing, a  row of misting sprays, and easy access to jump into the ocean.   Unfortunately no food or beer for us to buy.

After the race we headed to Kihei, cleaned up, and then had lunch at Maui Brewing.  They got this place right - great food, nice long beer list, pretty seating area with a view of the mountains, and nice merchandise.   After lunch we headed to the condo and let the cars sleep for the evening.   We crossed the street to the beach for sunset and "coffee" in our travel mugs because you can't have alcohol on the beach. 

It was so great to see Holly complete this goal and I am so fortunate that she actually had a goal like this.   Most of my goals relate to spending a night in a unique hotel.  To actually want to run 1,310 miles in total across our country is pretty amazing - and that's not counting all the other races and training she has done.   Amazing.   I've now been to every state, found some great restaurants and breweries along the way, toured some of our National Parks, and discovered I love Fargo North Dakota.    I'm proud of her, I love her,  and look forward to whatever comes our way next!