Tuesday, August 23, 2011
XTERRA KAPALUA TRAIL RUNS
It’s not like you need a good excuse to devise a plan to go to Maui, but just in case you do – we’ve got two ideas – the XTERRA Kapalua 5k and 10k trail runs on October 22nd based out of the Ritz-Carlton on Maui’s insanely beautiful northwest coast.
The course itself is green, in-and-out of the forest, and very challenging. It all starts on a big, green lawn at the Ritz, and the real fun starts when the course passes under the highway through a short tunnel and heads up the mountain.
Runners will face about three-kilometers of uphill, wandering through an overgrown golf course, along dirt trails, through Oleander forests and alongside 60-foot high ironwood evergreens to an unexpected mountain lake at the 650-foot level. Racers will lose that altitude running a slalom course through the old Kapalua Village golf course, which is now overgrown -- fabulously treed and with high green Bermuda grasses -- then suddenly into the open with fantastic views of the Pacific. As runners return to the 250-foot level there is a 200-meter technical, steep downhill into a gully where they'll jump over and duck under fallen trees and end up in a huge, rocky dry creek – at least we hope it will be dry!
The adventure continues through thick elephant grass, into a Cook pine nursery, up a short rope-assisted scramble to a paved road that curves and climbs 100 feet to the head of a neat, narrow single track downhill with switchbacks that drop all the way down to the beach. We simply had to throw in a calf busting 250-meter soft-sand scramble back to the resort. Ahh, but the race isn't over yet until runners climb the final 300-meters along a hedge protecting an ancient Hawaiian Heiau to the finish.
The finish is just a few feet away from three amazing resort pools where runners can take a dip and a moment for themselves to turn around and gaze out at the Island of Lanai and the blue Pacific Ocean. Post race participants can get anything they’d like at the Ritz pool bar, and just up the road but still inside Kapalua is the Honolua Store where there are tasty grinds for cheap. Later that night runners can take a quick drive into fabulous Lahaina, Maui's old whaling town and sample its best restaurants that include Kimo's, Hula Grill, Leilani’s on the Beach, and of course – Dukes!
Stick around because on Sunday, the world’s best will take on the XTERRA World Championship of off-road triathlon. It’s a perfect getaway weekend…join us!
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