Hawaii Recap: Running Diamond Head

Sorry for the radio silence!

Lots of posts this week about my trip to Hawaii, which was pretty darn great.

To recap, this trip was part work and part fun. My field’s biggest conference of the year was in Honolulu, and I tacked on two days of vacation on the front end. Spouse also tagged along for the first half.

Here’s where we stayed:



The Moana Surfrider opened in 1901 and is the oldest hotel on Waikiki Beach.

It’s also located at the end of the hotel strip, nearest to Diamond Head. Here are two shots of Diamond Head from the hotel’s beach area:

photo 1-11 photo-86


The five hour time difference between Central time (our zone) and Hawaii kept me waking up at the un-ripe hour of 5 AM most days, and that was all the push I needed to put on my running shoes and go for a spin.

One great thing about most Westin hotels is that they provide running maps, and the Moana Surfrider was no exception. (Don’t forget to ask the door attendant upon return for a cold bottle of water and chilled towel. Most Westins also have those ready and waiting).

The first morning, Spouse came with me and we did a 3-4 mile route along the ocean and circled a park. Being up so early meant we got to see tai chi students on the beach, plenty of yoginis with mats on the sand, and lots of surfers. I loved it.

One thing nagged me that day: I saw that the hotel running map had an alternate route that took you all the way around Diamond Head. I knew I had to do it.



The next day, Diamond Head was mine.

I took a right out of the hotel and ran along the ocean, finally turning onto Diamond Head Road.

I’m chalking it up to forced perspective, but for the life of me, it seemed like I never got to the tip of Diamond Head. I felt like I was running forever and it was mysteriously almost all uphill.

I hadn’t even rounded the halfway point and I was ready to give up. What seemed to be the end of Diamond Head was always out of my reach, visibly taunting me.

But then something amazing: I turned a corner and the city sprawled below me, stretching out to my right.

I’d completely circled Diamond Head and hadn’t even realized it.

The illusion of never reaching the end was just that: an illusion.

There was no official “end,” rather a pentagonal or hexagonal route. The points of the diamond kept shifting from my ground perspective and what I thought was an unreachable tip was really a series of turns that I’d already mastered.

There’s a metaphor for life here somewhere.

The rest of the run was a downhill cruise back to the hotel with a huge smile on my face.

photo 2-9