Maui Half Marathon + 10k Race Recaps

Hey friends! Matt and I are currently en route back to DC after a great week in Hawaii of part work, part play. I’m back for my final trip recap: running the Maui Half Marathon and 10k! Plus, I’ll share a couple of the highlights from the wellness event I was in Hawaii for!

If you missed my previous Maui recaps, check those out first:

  • Hiking Maui, a Volcano Sunrise + Bike Ride and Scuba Diving Lanai
  • Road to Hana + Waterfall Hiking in Maui
  • Driving the Papanalahoa Point Shoreline + Maui Blow Hole

And now, for the race recaps! As you guys know, I’m currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30. I had originally planned to do a series of shorter runs while in Hawaii and just bag this weekend’s long run (I did a (really tough) 18 miler last week before leaving DC). But then I discovered that there was a race series, the Maui Marathon, happening near our hotel while we were in town – how fun! I love destination races. 🙂

Matt was up for the Maui 10k on Saturday with me and after some thought I decided what the hell – I’ll sign up for the Maui half marathon on Sunday too! Good excuse to get in a supported (aka water stops and a set course) longer training run that would be way more fun than slogging through the miles solo. 🙂 Double races it was!

I’m glad I ended up signing up for the races because as it turns out they were the only two runs I did while in Hawaii! Oops. 🙂 Matt and I did so many early morning excursions/adventures that by the time we got back to the hotel in the afternoons we were tired and it was too hot to run! And you all know how I feel about the dreadmill. 😉 I attempted it at the hotel gym one afternoon and made it one mile before throwing in the towel – torture. I need fresh air and scenery for my runs! Palm trees are an extra bonus. 😉

The Maui 10k started at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday – we arrived a little earlier than we needed to because I forgot it wasn’t a huge DC race! Gave us time to take some pictures and stretch out, use the portapotties, etc., though.

It was a beautiful morning – the sun was just rising as we waited for the race to start. Right at 6:30 we were off!

Matt and I both commented our legs were feeling pretty sluggish – probably a combination of not running for a whole week, plus being sore from a boot camp the day before and various other outdoorsy adventures we did earlier in the week (hiking, surfing, etc.). The first part of the course was on a highway so not beautiful, either, which didn’t help. But soon the road took us right by the ocean – now that’s more like it!

By the time we turned around the sun was really heating up but with views like this it was hard to complain. 🙂

Home stretch!

We picked it up a bit when the end was in sight and finished side by side. Fun race!

Success! I always have fun doing races with Matt. 🙂 Official results:

I was surprised to see I was 5th in my age group – cool! Matt had the exact same finish time – we had agreed to stick together during the race and keep to a comfortable pace for both of us. It was nice to have the company! Also, my Will Run for Bacon tank got some smiles from fellow runners. 🙂

Post-race refuel back at the hotel – I started with an eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, potato, and veggie course, and then moved on to fresh fruit! The fruit was SO GOOD in Hawaii – I’ll miss it!

Matt and I spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool – I miss this view! Also: swimming after a run feels so amazing. Really helps with speedy recovery and shaking out the legs!

Sunday morning came at us quickly – the half marathon started at 5 a.m. and our alarms went off at 3:45 – oof! Matt was amazing and offered to drive me there and drop me off (and then go in search of coffee and somewhere to cheer along the course). When he dropped me off at 4:35 I had just enough time to wait in the portapotty line and get to the starting area! It was pitch black out and they had a fire twirler do a quick performance before we started – so cool! Wish I could have gotten a better photo!

Aaaaaand we’re off! It was really dark for the first 45 minutes or so of the race so I couldn’t really get any photos, but it was cool running in the dark with everyone – very calm and meditative. The only sounds were feet hitting the pavement and runners around me breathing in and out. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

I was also surprised by how good my legs felt – way better than they had the day before! The lack of sun blazing down on me probably helped, as did the shake out swim the day before. Whatever it was – I felt good out there which was a pleasant surprise, especially since I’d only gotten about 5.5 or so hours of sleep. 

Around mile 3.5, I saw Matt – yay! He was hanging out in Lahaina near a Starbucks he’d found so he could get coffee – perfect! 🙂 He ran alongside me for a little bit and it gave me a nice boost. He said he’d be there in the same spot when I came back around mile 9.5, so I knew I had that to look forward to later!

This was a fun course because it took me past a lot of our vacation highlights – the spot where we had a delicious dinner out (in the pouring rain!) at Mala Ocean Tavern, the boat ramp where we left on our scuba diving boat, the beach where we surfed, etc. It was a fun trip down our vacation memory lane. 🙂

  • Mile 1: 8:58
  • Mile 2: 9:01
  • Mile 3: 9:07
  • Mile 4: 9:01
  • Mile 5: 9:14
  • Mile 6: 9:02

Around 6 a.m. the sky started to brighten up just as we had some beautiful ocean views. So pretty! I stopped for a hot second to take this picture because I couldn’t get a non-blurry one in the dim lighting while moving – worth it.

I also started eating an espresso Hammer gel – yay caffeine – around 6 a.m. (I took about 45 minutes to eat it – easier on the digestion if you eat it slowly) – I bought it at the race expo because I didn’t have any fuel with me since I wasn’t planning on doing this race! I’ve had Hammer gels a lot in the past and know they sit well with me so I knew it was a safe bet. I didn’t have my trusty hydration vest with me, either, so I stopped at the water stops – hadn’t done that in ages! There was a water stop about every 2 miles and I grabbed water at all of them – didn’t want to get dehydrated in the heat/humidity. Tip: dump out some of the water and pinch the top of the cup to form a spout – way easier to drink while still running!

When we turned back at mile 6.5, I noticed how cool the moon looked – beautiful, right? This was worth another super fast photo stop to capture!

I had emailed with my track coach about my pacing strategy for this training run half marathon, and he said if I felt good I should try to do some marathon goal pace miles (we’re thinking my marathon goal pace as of now will be about 8:45 or so), so I started picking the pace up a bit after mile 7 since I was still feeling good. I ended up picking the pace up more than I realized – the views were gorgeous and the course was quite flat, so all of that really helped!

  • Mile 7: 9:01
  • Mile 8: 8:50
  • Mile 9: 8:39

Around mile 9.5, I heard a yell and saw one of my AnneTheRD nutrition clients who I knew would be in Maui randomly at the same time (she’s the reason I knew about this race, actually, because her friend was running it – hence why she was out cheering) – such a fun treat to see her! And only about a minute later I saw Matt!

He ran with me for a few minutes again and snagged some action shots, too. Thanks for getting up so early to chauffeur me and to cheer me on, Matt! You are the best. 🙂

Feeling strong and energetic after seeing my nutrition client and Matt, I kept picking up the pace a bit. The sun was still not fully up – made a huge difference in temperature!

  • Mile 10: 8:39
  • Mile 11: 8:38
  • Mile 12: 8:45

I couldn’t get enough of these views!

Before I knew it we were in the home stretch. There was a guy behind me right on my heels and I made it my mission to not let him pass me. 😉

  • Mile 13: 8:13
  • 0.22 mile nubbin pace: 7:24 (!)

Hello, finish line – and accompanying adrenaline rush! 🙂

Official finish time: 1:56:48! I was randomly 5th in my age group for this race, too! Apparently I’m consistent. 🙂

Beautiful medals, huh? I love the beachy colors and theme!

I’m really happy with my impromptu 13.1 mile training run – great way to get in some fun but speedier training miles in practice for Marine Corps! A nice confidence booster after last week’s terrible 18 miler, too.

The rest of yesterday morning was busy! Matt and I made it back to our hotel, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, right at 7:30 – just in time to hit up a stretching outdoor fitness class that Phil and David of Burlingame Fitness were hosting as part of the Wellness Weekend that we were in town for. It felt really nice to stretch out after the race – and in such a beautiful setting, too – the class was held down by the beach!

The Burlingame Fitness guys led a few classes over course of the wellness weekend; Matt and I went to their Friday morning HIIT/interval workout as well. Sadly that one had to be under a tent because it was raining, but it was still such a fun and great workout! We were both sore after it. If you live in or are ever visiting San Mateo, CA, where Burlingame Fitness is located, check them out – really cool guys and great instructors!

After breakfast and getting cleaned up, I hosted my final talk of the weekend – my Nutrition for Runners session. I went through the 5 biggest nutrition mistakes runners make and used that as an intro into how to properly fuel before, during, and after endurance workouts. I also shared samples of my Homemade Citrus Sports Drink – and handouts with that recipe and the recipe for my Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates. The talk went well, I think – it was a smaller group than I had for my How to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings talk on Friday but I got some good questions!

I can’t believe how quickly this week flew by – Matt and I are sad it’s over but grateful we had the opportunity to spend the week in such a gorgeous place. A huge thank you to the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Kapalua for inviting me to speak at their wellness weekend (and for paying for my flight and most of our hotel since I was a speaker). It was an honor to be there – we miss it already!

Have you ever done a destination race? Where was it? I really want to do a European race someday – on the bucket list! 🙂

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