Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hana Relay

Every year, sometime in September, the Hana Relay takes over the north shore of Maui. It is a huge event, with close to 200 teams of six running fifty-two miles from Kahalui to Hana. The narrow, winding, cliff-side road is jammed packed with athletes, support vehicles, and fans, thousands of people relaying their way to Hana.

While the road to Hana is beautiful, the ocean views and jungle vines are a mere backdrop to the real show. Each team picks a theme and then stays in character ALL DAY. Truck beds are converted to WWF wrestling rings, "flight attendants" pass out snacks and serve drinks, Jesus's run in robes with a wooden cross, Honey Badgers don't care about their blisters, horns beep, hair band music blasts, butts moon, and everyone is crazy from the first start time at 5:45 am until the last team crosses the finish line at 3 in the afternoon.

It's just about the most fun you can have on a Saturday in September.

The start. What kind of race doesn't have a man in diapers, a uniformed airline pilot, and the luck of the Irish?

Staying in character is key at the Hana Relay. 
You don't just run 52 miles, you throw dodge balls, scream 
slogans, and cheer your heart out too.

One of the rare quiet moments that comes as teams spread out later in the day.

Note: Visitors to Maui be warned. Hana Relay day is the single worst day of the year to take that road trip to Hana you've been dreaming about. Don't do it. Seriously. The two hour drive will take you six, and you won't enjoy it. Seriously! Join a team and run there instead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Really!? How cool! When we were on your island we attempted to drive to Hana and it was so congested (the winding road) that we finally turned around and went back. I was disappointed...but the rest of the island is beautiful too!!