Kona, Hawaii – Kaloko Drive Great Run

What’s in the fog?

If you are interested in great runs in Hawaii and want a crazy fast PR for a 10k, then this is the route for you. To start this run, you will want to drive to the end of Koloko Dr and go past where it crosses Huehue st. In my run, I parked two miles down the hill and then ran up to this point. I stopped my watch and started my downhill run.

As you can see from my picture, the visibility was not great and only got worse as you went up the hill. It got progressively colder, and I topped out at 4500ft.

Susan and I started, and just off in the distance, we could see a big animal coming down the middle of the road. At first, I thought it was a cow. Susan mentioned it was probably a goat, but as it got closer and ran towards it, we could see it was a dog.

Dog in the fog

It charged us and then stopped. We stopped and slowly backed up to our car again. We drove a quarter mile past where we saw the dog then started again.

In the back of my mind, I thought I need to come back down the hill, then run past that point. Susan was doing an out and back, so I asked her to wait as I go by in case I need to jump into the car.

Start my Hawaii great run again

Susan and I started on our uphill journey. The plan was for Susan to run up a mile to a mile and a half and return to the car. I was going two miles and then starting my run down the hill. The first evident thing was that the hills are really steep. It was so steep that I gave up on running up the hill. I walk ran to the two-mile mark, then started my journey back down the hill and the potential encounter with the dog!

Start your great run in Hawaii!

I started my run and wanted to do an 8-minute pace. I worked hard on slowing down, and on each curve, the road was very steep. It was just steep enough that it was painful to run. Once you got to the long flat parts, it was a little more relaxing. You can see from splits that 8-minute miles were not in the cards, and I literally let my legs go. On each of the short curves, it was very steep and uncomfortable. The momentum I gained coming out of the curve helped me on the flattish sections. I am hesitant to say flat because it was never flat, only less steep. I found myself doing sub-seven-minute miles and powering through slight uphills. Suddenly I was having fun.

Dogs unseen

At two miles, I saw Susan and the car but no dog. I slowed, then stopped running and made a game plan with Susan. She would drive at my pace by the road where we saw the dog, and I would run next to the car. She put down the back window so I could literally dive into the car if needed. We did this for a quarter-mile and then decided she would meet me at the bottom of the hill.

How fast can you go?

The rest of my miles were fast and going faster. Coach Meghan had told me to run a three-mile warm-up and a five-mile workout. When I got to five miles, I said to myself, “Self, do one more mile and get a 10k in!” I just kept going, my quads started to burn and hurt, and I passed the six-mile mark I pushed on. I went over the 10k a bit but finished very strong. You can’t see the uphill sections from the chart, but you can see the 4 times I slowed down (2 times I stopped)

Do I recommend this route? YES, and I would do it again and not stop my watch. My elapsed time was 47 minutes which put it outside my 10k PR but I am confident that I could this is under 44 minutes and it does train your body to run faster. The hardest part is your legs.

Shredded Quads

In November, I ran the Mt Charleston Marathon, which was all downhill. I was sore for 2-3 days after. I was sore for a solid week after this run, and it was due to the extreme downhill. I dropped 2635 feet in 6.3 miles. I think my marathon was 5000 feet in 26 miles. I could not do this for 26 miles, but maybe with the right training, I could do it for 10 miles. This is really a great run to do in Hawaii.

Check out my downhill run(s) in Minneapolis







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