Anyone, Everyone Who Competes in and Finishes the “Run to the Sun.”

As long as we’re on the subject of running, I simply must tell you of the “Run to the Sun,” an annual running race held on Maui. Most of us know that the marathon distance is 26.2 miles; now imagine a foot race that is 10 miles longer, and takes the runners from sea level to ten thousand feet over the course of the race!

Such is Maui’s “Run to the Sun.” As one who has done four marathons in his life (all of them the Honolulu marathon), I can “get my arms around” the marathon distance, but I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend running up a mountain that is over 10,000 feet high. The race starts in Kahului, proceeds along the flat, central part of the island, then starts the ascent of Haleakala at about the 15 mile mark. So that makes it even worse: 10,000 of vertical rise in the remaining 21+ miles, or an average of 470 of vertical rise for every one of those 21+ miles. This is as close to “unbelievable” as I’ve ever come when trying to conceive of an athletic event. And the real kick in the teeth is that, as I understand it, competitors don’t even get their finisher’s T-shirt unless they finish in 9 hours or less!  Talk about a long, tough day!


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