FKT: Alyssa Clark - Oahu Circumnavigation (HI) - 2023-12-13

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 1h 20m 52s

It’s hard to know even where to start writing about this experience. I’ve wanted to do this run since 2015 and getting to run this was a dream come true. I ended up having so many of my favorite people run, crew, bike, and come along for the adventure which made this even better. I decided to start on Kailua bridge right by my friend’s house at 5am on Dec 12th. I ran counterclockwise as I wanted to save the North Shore section for the end when I needed the most mental boost and the area I know the best. I started off feeling good with two of my friends Grace and Maria biking behind me and Reaghan and Nick crewing me out of their truck. Seeing the sunrise around Makapuu lookout and Hawaii Kai was stunning. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was and how much joy I felt getting to be out doing what I love. Melissa jumped in for a few miles and I then picked up my second set of crew, Mel, Teresa and Keith who biked and ran with me through Waikiki, downtown, Salt Lake, Ewa Beach to Electric Beach. This part got quite hot and I could not be more appreciative of all the ice, fluids, sunscreen and care I had during this section. There was definitely a rough patch when I was just hot and feeling like there was a long way to go, but we worked through this and once I got out of that rough spot it was super smooth sailing all the way up to Kaena Point. Because of my crew, I was able to keep moving pretty much nonstop and didn’t really need to take any breaks. I was also impressed by the route as we avoided a lot of major traffic and the bike paths and side trails were places I’d never run before and enjoyed the new scenery! We cruised through the West side with the company of Kelly in the brightest and most fun yellow Hawaiian suit I’ve seen, and Nick and Reghan running and driving with me in the truck. Nick caught incredible footage of the sunrise and sunset. I never spent a lot of time on the west side when I lived here so I really enjoyed seeing the area up near Kaena point. It’s stunning and I was super thankful to get to see it during the golden hour. All systems felt pretty great for me body wise and I was keeping up with calories and hydration. 

Nick and Reghan sent me off at Kaena Point Trailhead on the west side with my running pack loaded up and headlamps ready. Running on trail and seeing the waves crash as the sun was starting to set was an incredible moment I will never forget. I was beaming just thinking about how incredible the experience had been so far. I was still feeling great with no shoe or sock changes and everything feeling solid except the start of some chaffing from being soaked in sweat for the last 12 hours. I went all the way around Kaena point, through the Bird Sanctuary to the pill box as I wanted to do the full perimeter. I would suggest this be changed in the GPS track as it is the true perimeter trail and right now the gpx cuts it off. Steve came out to meet me on his bike which was a blast to chat all things HURT and learn about his life more. The sun had just set when I came up on the party night crew of Anna and Felicia who were blasting Chainsmokers and had disco balls, party lights and glow sticks everywhere. They brought all the energy I needed and kept it up for 12 hours straight. They are the best hype people I’ve ever met. We cruised along Farrington with Felicia and Anna switching off pacing and driving next to me. Things were going pretty well except my stomach was really starting to bother me as the pavement just seemed to be catching up with me and really jostling everything. We had some intermittent rainstorms and bathroom breaks in the beach bathrooms but kept moving through 100 miles in around 7:10. I’ve run Kam Highway many many times but sections were taking way longer than when I used to run them fresh. I definitely went into the dark zone and was pretty quiet but Felicia and Anna kept me going along with seeing Alex and Connie cheering me on and writing chalk messages which was awesome! Steve came out and checked on us when we got to Sunset beach and we kept moving forward. 

I was definitely slowing down, but we got our secret weapon, when Eric decided to come straight from work at 10:30pm to pace me for 25 miles to Kaneohe. He upped the energy and got me through a massive storm with sideways rain and high wind that could have derailed us. All the slooshing and pounding really got to my stomach and around Kualoa ranch, I emptied all the contents of my stomach in a rather extra fashion. I pretty much instantly felt better after that and Eric was even seemingly impressed by the puke and rally. We started being able to see the lights of Kailua which made it feel real. I struggled a bit to keep energy up but kept taking in liquid calories and after a few spurts of walking, kicked my butt back into slow running. Turning left onto old Kam Highway was incredible as it was the first road change we’d had in awhile and I knew we were getting close. We moved pretty well through a bit more rain and some surprising hills before we hit the mall and I felt like I could actually think about the finish. Taking the second to last left and being in such familiar territory around my husband’s old house lifted my spirits along with Grace popping in to finish the last few miles with me. We turned onto K Bay drive and I felt the relief of getting to sit down almost upon me. With two miles left, Teresa and Walt pulled up which floored me since it was about 6am and they live on the other side of the island. We crossed the last intersection and I picked it up to touch the bridge and immediately grabbed the guard rail to sit down. I finished surrounded by friends with a champagne and pumpkin bread party on the side of the road as onlookers wondered what the heck we were doing :D I’m so thankful to all of my crew, pacers, friends and family who made this possible. It was an absolute dream come true. I finished 25 hours, 20 minutes and 52 seconds