By Erin Cockrill
After a bit of a hiatus, a little training and a wedding, we were off to the sunny shores of Maui for our Honeymoon. Oh yeah, and to run in the Maui Half Marathon while we were there. I know, I know, who does that on their honeymoon? Well, I guess we do. It was at the end of our trip and honestly just the thing to get us moving again.
We headed up the coast from Wailea to Kapalua Friday before the race and we realized that we were going to drive right past the host hotel where packet pick up was. As luck would have it packet pick up and the race expo were just opening up so we hit it correctly. We walked into the expo if you can even call it that, and made a beeline for the packet pickup. Or should I say number pick up. They gave us our race numbers and I asked if our timing chips were in the bag and they replied “We don’t have chip times for this event.” Woa, what? Ok – since I wasn’t really serious about my time, I wasn’t all that concerned, but it did seem odd for a Marathon/Half Marathon race.
After that revelation, we walked back into the expo, expecting to find the usual sporting good suppliers hawking their supplies and wares- we actually needed some pre-race nutrition (a Cliff Bar, Power Bar, something?) and were very disappointed. What we did find were gift vendors selling Hawaiian souvenirs and crap for people to take home with them. When we did find the one booth that actually had sports gear, their selection was abysmal and they actually looked at us like we had horns growing out of our foreheads when we asked if they knew where we could find some FRS. What? never heard of it? We were in utter disbelief. So we left to have a cocktail. Like I said folks, this was not a serious race for us. Race morning and we were up at oh my god it is early o’clock because the race started at 5:30am. I understand completely now, but at the time we were sort of in shock.
We rolled up to the starting area and all of the other Half-ers were jogging around, stretching and getting ready for the start. There was not a huge field size, so it was easy for us to take our place at the very start of the race- personally for me to start on the actual starting line was a novelty indeed. But I digress. The race was started with a fire dancer, which in the pre-dawn hour was cool, but seriously unless you were right there, you couldn’t see him. I should add, that the full Marathon racers were bussed to the airport for a point to point race, versus our out and back course.
Finally, we were off- and within the first mile both Bobby and I were drenched in sweat and the sun hadn’t even started to come out. Now I understand the reasoning behind the 5:30am start. I felt heavy because of the humidity and a week’s worth of good food and pina coladas, but our pace was consistent and we were making good time. The course was unremarkable at best- I think the highlight was running down Front Street in Lahaina. The water stations were consistent and plentiful, and they had cold sponges to cool ourselves with and trust me we took them at every chance we got. While the water stations were plentiful, their gatorade preparation was severely lacking. One station had dumped the concentrate into the cups without diluting it. Yum. At the turn we were looking for some pretzels and instead we found oranges and potato slices. What? Potato slices? Who ever heard of such a thing? But apparently they are a good source of potassium. Not sure what happened to bananas. At mile 10 we asked for a gu or a shot blok or something of that nature, because we stupidly thought that there would be such items on the course. Um, no. But someone happened to have some extra shot bloks so we were saved. Yes, a total rookie mistake on our part for not having our own gu, but I really believe that I read that there was going to be something of that nature along the way, which is why we didn’t bring any. We finished by 7:30am and were greeted at the finish line with water and dried pineapple dipped in chocolate- oh that was probably the best part of the whole race. It was simply divine. Other than that the medals were kind of low budget and the t-shirts, while tech shirts were not spectacular. All in all, it was fun to say we did this on our honeymoon for kicks. Would we ever do it again? Not a chance. But if you are looking for a relatively flat course and an excuse to go to Maui, then sure go ahead and justify it. Just bring your own gu, water, sports drink… you get the picture. For this racer, I will be sticking to running only to the bar for a pina colada when I am in Maui from now on.
Next Up a race report from Long Beach Half Marathon, and a study in contrast.