FKT: Michael Tappel - Mauna Kea (HI) - 2021-10-26

Route variation
round trip from the Visitor Center
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 18m 31s
GPS track(s)

Incredible morning on Mauna Kea - cloudless and windless, which the rangers tell me is quite rare. Unlike the previous FKT which was set on the summit road, I did my round-trip on the Humu'ula Trail, a popular hiker's route that is shorter but steeper with tougher terrain (loose gravel, sand, volcanic scree). I used this Strava segment - Mauna Kea summit trip - to determine where to start and turn around: the Visitors' Center and the true Summit, respectively.

No doubt someone who is better acclimated to altitude can surpass my performance - I am a sea level runner and did this with 0 acclimation. Nonetheless, I felt pretty good until reaching 12,500 feet at which point dizziness slowed me down a little bit.

I did run to the true summit, where I paid respects with a small offering before turning around and hightailing down the trail. The sand and gravel allows for a pretty fast glissading descent, so I definitely had fun with that. All in all, great and challenging run with stellar views on a nice day (can easily see both Big Island coasts, plus Maui/Haleakala in the distance).