After many times running to the top of Haleakala, I could not wait to run into the crater. In the old days, Aka Bill had invited me to join him for a moonlight night run up there but it never worked out. This time invitation this time came from Marian Yasuda. It was to be her final high altitude training run before Western States.
When Marian, Steve and I arrived on the first flight over, Gil and Cheryl greeted us with the van and food ready for us to go. Now that is what I call service.
Keeping in mind the thought of altitude sickness becoming an issue made me a bit concerned. When you drive quickly from sea level to 10,000 feet, it could have an impact. Gil is not the slowest driver in the world either.
As we stepped out of the van at the top, the cold and windy air hit me in a way that gave me a bit of a scare. I was with experienced ultra runners which made this challenge seem more comfortable.
As we started down sliding sands for a 4 mile decline, I can say it was kind of reminded me of running in packed snow. The beauty and the altitude took my breath away.
The turn around was at the hitching post. I now got to experience that weak feeling light headed symptom. In the medical field I think that call it hypoxia. Steve and Marian didn’t waste much time going up and boy, are they strong. Cheryl was close behind so I could not let being out of breath slow me down.
After getting to the top for the first time, I could not wait to run 12 miles across to the other side. The view was so breath taking that we had to stop many times just to take it in as it was so beautiful. Going from no plant growth to beautiful green vegetation in just a couple of miles was unbelievable.
This will go down as the most unique and beautiful run I have ever experienced. Not only because of the altitude and location but the people I got to experience it with. Thanks Marin, Steve, Gil and Cheryl for that life time experience.
Click here for a few photos