FKT: Tara Warren - Kalalau Trail (HI) - 2019-11-25

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
5h 30m 23s

I ran the beautiful Kalalau Trail from Ke'e Beach to the Valley. It's a shoreline trail that hugs the most western point of the island as an 10ish mile out and back journey (20ish mile total). With around 9500' of climbing (6500' from my Sunnto data), you can imagine how this path is constantly moving dynamically up and down in a rhythm like the waves crashing below. There are many variables that change the speed of the trail. It is almost always muddy. Even on a dry day, the mud sweats and makes the already technical (meaning rocky, root covered obstacles) incredibly slick. Running the Kalalau in the rain is almost a little easier as it washes off the slippery mud making it just "rain slick".

There are three water crossings which are easy to just wade through on a calm day. However, microbursts can come through and flood out the crossings sometime stranding trail-goers. As I'm not a heavy water drinker, I was able to just carry in a 500ml flask and then fill my "Be Free bottle" filter from the streams. So far so good there.

I started at 5:30 am to avoid the heat and traffic from the crowds. There is a new permitting system in place there that is super planned out and seems to be effectively capping the trail use and touristy traffic. Although I had the proper multi-day permit, at no time was I ever asked about it or even saw anyone checking for permits.

The first time I ran this trail was right after my mom's passing. It was a special experience that helped me emotionally more than anything I had I been exposed to at that point. I knew that for my first FKT I wanted to accomplish this goal right here. There hasn't been a female FKT standard as of yet, although I know many women have accomplished this goal already. I used Strava for my benchmarks, wanting to make sure I was faster than the fastest female times there. I did it. I ran hard and ran my guts out in honor of my sweet mom.