The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Run up Mauna Kea (Record!)

Mauna Kea is a 13,796 ft volcano on the big island on Hawaii. For whatever reason I thought that while I was in Hawaii it would be fun to run up this. The trail head/visitor center is at 9,180 ft, and the trail is roughly 8 miles each way, at which distance there would be 4,616 ft of elevation gain and loss. Sound like fun? Actually it was awesome! The trail was tough since it was either fist size lava rocks on top of each other or loose sand but the scenery was breathtaking. Before I started I asked the ranger at the visitor center if there was anything I needed to know about the trail. He took one look at me dressed in my skimpy running clothes and thought "idiot!" He shrugged after a second and then began hassling me that 40 oz of water would not be enough. It didn't take me long to end that conversation and begin running. Needless to say I made it to the top in 2:02:50. Not the best but I stopped to take a bunch of pictures and I wasn't pushing it. It was surprisingly cold up there, but luckily I had my trusty Golite Wisp jacket which kept me perfectly warm. After a 3 minute break and a dozen more pictures I headed out. I was a little dizzy at nearly 14000 ft but I was feeling quite good and so I decided to push the pace on the way down. Needless to say, I made it down in a mere 51:13! I was quite happy with myself. I've yet to find a faster time so as of now I am claiming the ascent/descent and total time record for Mauna Kea. Total time was 2:54:03. Add 3 minutes if you include my break on top. If you visit the big island of Hawaii I highly recommend running/hiking Mauna Kea. However, the rangers/guidebooks recommend 8-10 hrs and 2 liters of water per person for the hike. Good luck trying to break my'll need it. Happy Trails!

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