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Running Roots

May 31, 2012

Tim and I have recently moved from our home in Palolo Valley further east of town in Hawaii Kai. I have been sentimental about leaving; I loved our place, the location, the view, and my well-trodded running routes. One of the biggest questions I had was: where will I run at our new place? Of course you can run anywhere, but I was familiar and comfortable with the quiet shaded neighborhoods of Palolo and Kaimuki. I thoroughly enjoyed my longer jaunts around Diamond Head, Kahala, and Manoa. Honestly I was afraid that I would not find routes that I loved that much.

In reality I knew in the back of my head that I was going to love my new neighborhood (pictured below). I would be within 1 mile of some of the most beautiful beaches, a protected bay renowned for snorkeling, plenty of hiking trails, and Koko Head crater (the largest hill in the photo) with butt-blasting 3/4, 1200 ft. gain trail to the top and a 2 mile loop trail inside the crater. But before I could feel at home in this place, I had to set some running roots (routes).

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Moving was hellish as it always is, and the first couple days in our new place were a blur of packing and unpacking, cleaning, and appointments. Life was hectic and seemingly unmanageable until the third day at the new place, when I went for a run. I set out into neighboring Kalama Valley and then down towards Sandy Beach. The neighborhood was quiet and way more peaceful than any run I ever experienced in town. The view of the ocean and Sandy Beach was incredible, I was literally 20 feet away from the waves glistening in the morning sun. All around me were mountains and the ever-present Koko Head. The route was a wonderful 6 miles that felt like 2.

The next day (this morning) I set out to run on the trail that loops around the inside of Koko Head Crater and is a botanical garden. Trail running through a botanical garden inside a crater- does it get any better than that? The trail is a mere 1.5 miles from my house, so I can just step out my door and run there. There were 10’s of different colored plumeria trees in bloom, fun cacti, interesting plants from Africa, a Native Hawaiian section, and many birds. In a word, it was beautiful.

Now that I have two solid and lovely running routes, and much more to come in the near future, I feel comfortable putting down my roots and calling my new house a home.

In other running news, I have registered for TWO marathons in the upcoming months!

First one up is in September, the Maui Marathon. The Maui Marathon is a point-to-point race that starts in Kahului and ends in Lahaina, covering 17 ocean-front miles. We are talking 17 miles run within 50 feet of the ocean! It has been voted one of the 10 most beautiful races in the United States.

And the second marathon is the Honolulu Marathon in December. This will be my second time doing the Honolulu Marathon, which runs around downtown Honolulu, around Diamond Head, out to Hawaii Kai, and back to Kapiolani Park.

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