Caren Ware's Blog

September 20, 2011

All that it is CRACKED up to be.

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,Marathon Running,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 1:22 am

I am on my way to time the MAUI MARATHON.  I was determined to get an EPIC run in before
all our time on the island was dictated by the needs for timing . Here’s a RAVE run beyond rave.  Park a car at 8,000 feet on the road to the Haleakala Volcano on Maui, Hawaii.  Get dropped off at 10,000 feet on the moon scape crest of the eroding crater where the most powerful telescope in the
world is perched.  It is a grand perch. The wind whips, the clouds whirl, and an ocean air seeps into every cell.

Thankfully, the clouds were high for the moment and we were gazing at the entire island of Maui. In the clouds was a horizontal line of…?  Not LA Smog, but Hawaiian ‘Vog’.  Volcanic haze.   So out of the usual for anyone from the mainland.

Thank you, Cindy from EPX for being just as enthused to RUN the crater.  She has lived on the island and owns property here.  She flew in to vend at the Maui Marathon.  We flew in to time.  I begged to steal this one day of adventure on the island; adventure not involving timing or selling! She told me  it would be fantastically f-ing worth it.  She was so right.

I was instructed to hunker into a sandy running shuffle,slide down the side of the volcano.  Then we  would be crossing across surreal geology. That the flora would consist of only one plant that can grow in ashen elements, the silver sword.  That a cabin was built deep in the crater valley that you could get a key to and could experience an evening in a crater.  That would be cool.  But we didn’t have that kind of  time.  We had time to RUN the 12 miles crest to crest.  One side is a sandy slope down; the other is a craggy, cliff hanging climb out of what they rightfully call the ‘switchbacks’. Switchbacks so surreal I felt I was back in Peru approaching Machu Picchu.  I was awed by the originality of scape at every turn.  And how silent it was down in the crater pan.  Fauna was staying clear of inhospitable here.

We only encountered two parties of people on the entire moon walk of a run.  A couple that had the KEY
to the cabin for the night. They winked.  And three world traveling foreigners who hooked up to explore Hawaii.  They smiled in their varying accents that they were from New Zealand, Australia, and Germany.  They thought we were cracked to be RUNNING down and then  Up the volcano.  Hiking it was whipping enough.

Whether runner or hiker, we were unified that this was an epic place we were experiencing.   Haleakala Volcano.  It was a run to rave about and a reason to appreciate being in good health enough to explore at a clip.  It was all that it was cracked up to be.

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