Monday, September 23, 2013

Maui Marathon 2013

The facts: Team Asha has run Maui many times before, and by all accounts we knew it would be warm and humid. The first thing we did was to research the race conditions. We had to factor in heat and humidity training and ensure that all the runners were well conditioned for the terrain and conditions. Those long, warm runs at Oracle Trail and all those reminders about hydration sure paid off.

We settled into our apt on Friday evening...WOW! What a view! We had an ocean facing apt on the 4th floor (Paki Maui)...with an amazing view of the blue pacific! Great selection by Minali!

On Saturday we drove along the beautiful 'Road to Hana' - it was raining and the verdant forest was beautifully juxtaposed against the ink-blue pacific waters...gorgeous!

For dinner we had a light Italian 'carb' meal and headed home for an early night.

Team Maui was Minali Patel (1st marathon), Jigesh Patel, Pooja Jadhav (2nd marathon), Pravin Shankar (multiple marathons) and Sweeper in chief yours truly.

Pravin's wife, 7 month old daughter and Megha Chawla were our cheering squad. Megha, who was on a holiday in Maui took a day off to come and cheer us along the course!! True Asha spirit. Give back to our runners for everything you have received from the program. It was awesome to see her along the course.

We were up at 2:00AM - breakfast was cooked and we headed out to the bus pick-up at 3:30AM. Met up with Pravin and we got to the start by 4:40AM. This a relatively small race with a large international presence. After a lively warmup led by a dance team from Japan, we were off at 5:30AM. Pravin took off at the start and disappeared at a blistering pace. Pooja started off at an amazing pace and kept it going well past the 18 mile mark. We then settled into a easy pace and she finished strong. The super thing about our runners was that they offered to help other suffering runners along the way!! That is how strong they were! This course is probably next in coastal beauty to Big Sur. Jigesh and Minali also finished strong - in fact, Minali wanted to sprint the last mile :)) - It was just awesome to see all of them finish. The smiles were infectious. Huge congrats to Minali for finishing her first marathon!

The first 7 miles are inland and along the sugarcane fields, after that the race runs along the coast. It does get warm and the humidity is 'in your face' even at 5:30AM. This is a race where you cannot afford to to mess up your hydration or electrolyte intake. Ensure that you sip at every aid station and carry your fuelbelt with you. You may need to try salt tablets during your training runs, to fine tune ythe quantity you need to imbibe....just to see if it agrees with you and does not cause GI distress. Get some sleep before the race and ensure you eat will and hydrate before and after the run.

After getting massages we picked up something to eat and headed back to our apt for a shower and some celebration. The recovery was so good that we all went out for a nice meal in the evening and signed up for snorkeling on Monday!

Monday: We were up at 6:00AM - everyone was fine, we headed out to Molokini crater for some amazing snorkeling.

After an hour in the water, we all went to Makena Bay - 'Turtle town' off the coast - in deep ocean water and swam with the majestic turtles for little over an was an experience of a lifetime.

We took a few short videos too:

1) Swimming with turtles 1
2) Swimming with turtles 2

Pravin and family drove to Haleakalā (house of the sun) peak (a sleeping volcano crater) to soak in the beautiful views.

All our runners showed the classic fitness attribute, that fitness is not about how fast you run, but how fast you recover from a run.

I love running with new runners, meeting different Asha runners over the years and making new friends - Our Maui group was fun and we did a heck of a lot in 3 days...including - running a marathon!
Would I run Maui again? Yes, in a heartbeat.
Would I recommend Maui Marathon to others? In a heartbeat.

The race was well organized, with plenty of water stops. Enthusiastic volunteers and well manned roads and crossings. It is a warm and humid marathon, so train accordingly.