Honolulu runners – no rain, no rainbow

Honolulu runners – no rain, no rainbow
Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, HI

House close up and the large city, tiny in the distance
Honolulu in the distance. Wa’Ahila ridge, state recreation area, to the right (out of shot). And yes, the house looks quite reasonable. Heck of a steep walk to town, though. And few pavements, almost as if no one walks it.

After some struggling, I have finally managed to get Garmin Connect to accept my most recent uploads, so it now shows my recent runs as an hour plus on the 4th March, west from seaside avenue in Honolulu, an hour east from seaside avenue at 11.28 on 2nd March, and a coastal run in Auckland at 6.24 on 2nd March. Some day I will look at that and think “Wait. What?”

Running again, I had Monday off, spending some of the sunny part on Waikiki beach and exploring Honolulu a little more, it feeling like a big city, complete with road crossing after road crossing. The hostel is only two blocks from the beach, or one from a river with a promenade, so the location is great even if the other residents are mostly not – back to grumpy westerners concerned about image rather than chat.

Muddy bank, with steps starting half way up it, as if the builder got bored
Built steps, got bored.

I’d done my usual search – x place, running – and found that Honolulu runners have a tuesday night run out of a shop. 5.30, perfect. I spent the morning climbing the hill behind the city, slightly surprised there were no signs to the ‘state recreation park’. It’s almost as if you’re supposed to know about it, and it is certainly not a place many people walk to, some of the route didn’t even have pavements. On a particularly steep bit I passed an older American walking down who had stopped for a break – “I’m gettin’ too old for this ****,” he offered – and plodded on up. I made it to the park and along the road to the car park. There were no obvious signs for pedestrians, though I did later follow a path that brought me back to the entrance. I’d had my walk, really, so followed a hiking trail into the woods until faced with a steep downhill and then retraced my steps and made my way down, with fabulous views of the old volcano, Diamond Head, and the city below, bathed in sunshine. I had to fight for the view a little, suburbia was thick all around, but my main feeling was ‘glad I don’t live here – every run or bike ride ends in a steep hill’.

Lots of people walking and sunbathing on the beach
Beach. Obligatory. Later.

In the warmth of the evening I jogged to the shop. At first it seemed everyone there was Japanese, but I soon met Danny, Linus, Chad and Kirsten to add to Akiko et al. Chad was

Steep street walking back to Honolulu, with skyscrapers in the distance
See, steep. From earlier. No pavement. Nor sidewalk.

on the verge of his own round the world, while Kirsten was from Norway, studying at the university. She nearly gave me the European version when I asked what she studied, but stuck with the one she’s developed here – “weather”. Apparently, saying “meteorology” has led to too many discussions about why she isn’t on the mainland, “surely that would be better for the telescope – you know, to spot the meteors”.

She’d thought I was Australian, which is becoming a theme. My next door neighbour on Wednesday’s flight thought the same, before offering “New Zealand’s British, right? You could have a British accent but be from there?” He was smiling, on balance I think he was joking.

After some faffing with street crossings, we ran onto the promenade, much further west than I’d made it before, and ran a rolling hills session, four reps for me, with inbuilt extra obstacles, because three bride and grooms were having photos taken atop different hillocks, facing the sunset. Glorious run, and the nature of the route, from tree across hills to fence at end and back, made for lots of encouragement and smiling faces from other Honolulu runners; a great workout to do with people of different speeds.

Back at the shop and we had bright blue Gatorade, chatted and I made my way back to the hostel to shower at leisure, pick up a beer and enjoy a warm evening. Probably my last for a while.

Reading: Jeff Somers, The Terminal State, Mary Renault, The King Must Die.

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