Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blast From the Past! (2 Years Ago Today!)

I keep a family blog, and I happened to find this entry today as I was reminiscing.  Two years ago today, Rick and I were in Hawaii running the Maui Marathon.  Here was my race report:

Before leaving the hotel race morning

Map and medal

Maui Marathon, Sunday, September 20, 2009

The marathon has been a dream of ours since we honeymooned in Hawaii five years ago.  We wanted to do a marathon then, but we went in July (and wanted a summer wedding since I was teaching and was off all summer) and there were no marathons then.  So we hatched the idea to return to Hawaii at five years and to run a marathon then.  Well, Maui's came up as a possibility but the only problem was that we would have to train all through the hot summers of Alabama.  We faced lots of lone runs (we used to do most of our long runs together), downpours (yes, I ran through a horrible downpour since it was the only free time for me to do it), running while moving to the townhouse, very hot weather (90 degrees), stomach cramps (we were both unaccustomed to these---had to do with the strange hours we ended up running, I guess), hiring a sitter so we could run together at times, and dark runs (that was me, and it was scary! I was at Edgewater near the lake on the apartment side).  But three 20-mile runs and 16 weeks of training later, we were definitely ready.  Our only marathon since the kids had been born was Wisconsin last May, so we were eager to get back into marathoning.  Hawaii was our 13th state in our 50-state marathon goal.

The expo is usually a really big event with lots of vendors selling running clothes and other equipment.  The Maui expo (held on Friday, September 18) was actually pretty small and only had the vendor selling the Maui marathon wear.  We were hoping to buy some Sportsbeans there, but there weren't any.  It was also strange to not have chip timing (so, knock off a little time--maybe 10 or 20 seconds? from our start time since we were obviously not toeing the line at the start!).  There was a big table with information written in Japanese, which makes sense since we later learned that, out of 3,000 runners in the 5K, 1/2, and full marathon, 500 of those were from Japan (and over 100 from Canada).  It was neat to hear translations at the carbo luau and the start line done in Japanese.  Just all in all a different feeling than most of the other expos. 

We headed over to the carbo loading luau after getting our race packets. It was at the Maui's Westin hotel, which was landscaped very nicely.  There was even a huge waterfall with flamingos in the lobby!  I really was looking forward to this meal since it got great reviews.  It was really good!  I had salad, pasta, garlic bread, and beer, and it was all-you-can-eat, so we had 2 plates! And while we were eating, there was luau-type entertainment but on a smaller scale.  There was some music and some younger performers (elementary and junior-high age).  I really liked the younger kids and thought those little girls looked so cute dancing the hula!  It was peaceful watching the sun set on the beach behind the stage, but we had a long drive so we headed back pretty soon after sunset.

Sunday, Race Day

We woke up at 3 a.m. to get ready for the race and to drive to the start line.  It was at a mall, so we parked near the Macy's and headed for the start line.  It was weird being at a race in the pitch-black, and it actually didn't get light until a few miles into the race.  It was hard to see the ground for little bit, making running a little scary.  Many of the Japanese runners had flowers and skirts on as a costume and had their legs all taped up with what looked like painter's tape.  There was a fire-dancer for some pre-race entertainment (also a first for us!).  The race started at 5:30 a.m.  Don't think that it was cool though, since both Rick and I were drenched in sweat a couple of miles into the race.  That is unusual for us, and I later learned that the weather in Hawaii has been a bit hotter than normal lately (highs in 80's but maybe more humidity?). 

We split up in the beginning, and I ended up finding a couple of guys to chat with to pass the time.  One was a guy who had just gotten married ("mauied") in Maui on the beach.  He had run all 5o states and had some good information for Rick and me about "doubling up" states (running a race in one state on a Saturday, and another state on a Sunday).  He had proposed to his wife in the New York City marathon near the finish line of his 50th state.  Pretty neat story.  Another guy I met, Phil McGain, is a world-champion windsurfer who lives in Maui.  He just completed his first Ironman and was trying to get sub-4 hours for this race, so I thought pacing with him was a good idea. Usually the runners I meet aren't such serious athletes, which is another unusual thing about this race. 

Near the fourth or fifth mile, the sun was beginning to rise, and I had fallen into sub-9 minute miles (our goal was 9-minute miles).  I thought I was starting a little too fast (I usually get excited at the beginning and regret it later), but I ended up with almost equal splits since the first two miles were crowded and really slow (near 10 minutes each).  I really liked having the ocean to my left, but I didn't like the traffic to my right.  We also did a big amount of rolling hills in the beginning.  The aid along the course was pretty good, but their sports drink tasted weird (I thought it tasted like tea but Rick said it was bubblegum).  Anyway, it was clear and very watered down, and the only sports "gu's" I could find were warm raspberry (yuck!), but I took them since we never did find any Sportsbeans to buy and I knew I needed the energy.  I liked the cold, wet sponges that they handed out.  They felt wonderful!  And I was drinking and pouring two cups of water at every aid station (I never stopped so I kind of poured and drank at the same time). 

I ran a bit with Rick, but then we got separated and I ended up doing most of the end alone.  I loved running through one area with shops and music playing and just felt very lucky to be out there running.  Around mile 20 or so, I started to feel tired (not a good sign), but I really pressed on since I wanted to break 4-hours.  The last few miles were very tough.  There weren't a whole lot of spectators or entertainment, and it was very sunny and flat.  Finally, I saw the end of the race but it took forever to get up the the finish line from there!  My time was 3:53:56, 8:55-minute per mile pace.  My calves were killing me when I stopped (got a medal and a lei). 

Rick ended up with a time of 4:08:45.  We had to wait over an hour for a bus, and luckily, we had brought enough money to ride it (over an hour back to our car at the start line).  We both thought it was $1 total per person, but we brought $2 per person (we each carried $2 in case the other set of money got lost) so we had just enough!  I gulped down a couple of Tylenol at the hotel which helped a lot, as did our walking and hiking the next day.  One purple toenail, but no blisters!  A very fun and memorable race!

From the Marathon Website (better description of places than I could give!):

The Maui Marathon is a Point-to-point, from Kahului to Kaanapali on the island of Maui. This 26.2-mile course is recognized as one of the ten most scenic marathons in the USA as well as the oldest consecutive running marathon in Hawaii. A major portion of the course runs within 50 feet of the Pacific Ocean. The Maui Half Marathon is an Out-and-back from Whalers Village in Kaanapali Resort. This flat and fast course passes through Lahaina Town tracing the final 6.55 miles of the marathon course, turns around at Launiupoko Park and returns to Kaanapali Resort following the same route.

Our official results:

119 Katie Maehlmann #845 30 - 34 F Madison, AL 3:53:56 08:55

184 Rick Maehlmann #846 30 - 34 Madison, AL 4:08:45 09:29


  1. What a coincidence! I just booked my flight and hotel (Maui's Westin hotel) to Maui. When I was finished my reader account notified me of this post. I loved reading it! I know I will be running a different marathon in Maui but it was still fun to read your recap. I'm hoping that the humidity won't totally kill me since I'm used to the dry air of the west.

  2. Hi Little Lou, Glad the recap helped you a bit. You will LOVE Maui!!!! And I hope the humidity won't kill you either. Just try to train in as similar conditions as you can. You will see that my time was better than my husband's in this race. I attibute that to the fact that most of my training was in the heat of the day. His was in the early morning when it was "cool" (as cool as it gets in the summer anyway!). Good luck!