Sending JanM off with aloha!
Aloha Jan, the Honolulu Marathon, and the Evil that Lurks Beyond: Week End Training

I'll be staying in Pauko, north of Kona, for eight days around New Years and I'm looking for some good trail runs around the area. I hoping for trails within 30 minute drive and I'm looking for runs up to 15 miles on trails. Any good suggestions out there. I've been running in central Alaska at sub-zero temps for the past month so I'm really looking forward to some warm weather to stretch the legs out. Thanks for any suggestions.


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Look for Mana Road in Waimea. It's a dirt road that winds around the base of Mauna Kea for some 47 miles or so, and open to public access with no permits needed. Kings Trail is great, but leave the minimalist shoes home, it's got a lot of sharp lava rock! A little more driving will get you to Hawi, where there is a coastal trail by the air strip, that leads to a heaiau where Kamehameha the Great was born. There is a short but scenic trail into Pololu Valley, too. For more of a challenge, there is Puuhue Road, a dirt that heads uphill between mile markers 17 and 18 on the way to Hawi. It's 10 miles round trip, with about 1600 feet of climbing. The Na Ala Hele website has some more info, as does this MTB site:


The Kings Trail comes up from the south and can be found at the south end of Puako. There is also a Fisherman's coastal trail that runs south, and perhaps north, along the coast. Both are rugged, rocky, tough trails that are more trek than run.
Both go through resorts and require a bit of finesse to re-find them on the other side of 'civilization'.

If you are at Puako you can head up the road and then try the Saddle road for a long jaunt to the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa access roads. Takes of bit of planning as the distances are a bit deceptive and you will need to pre-drop. The Mauna Loa access road is a fun jaunt from about 5K to 10K feet in about 18 miles. If you are still feeling OK you can try the quick Six to the top of Mauna Loa intersection. (Or you can drive up the road and do the trail to the top of Mauna Loa which will take you a good 8 to 10 hours at those elevations.

where ever you go plan on a lot of reflective gear as you are a fun target. It is no great shakes running BI roads.

Mauna Kea has a great 10 miler trial from the visitors center. I would suggest running it from the bottom at the saddle road as going up to the center and trying the ascent is often a sure fire way of altitude sickness. The road up from the saddle is great fun and can be as much as 20% grade in places. The trail is THE bitch of ten milers. At this time of year plan on bad weather, cold, wind, snow and loss of life and limb if you don't watch yourself very closely. Trail up and road down is an alternative.

There are some trails up Waimea way. And I believe there is an interesting run up Hualalae. Remember there is a lot of ranch land that requires permits and may have large herds of semi-wild cattle.

The volcano is always worth a few days of hiking even if it is a few hours from the Kona coast.


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