Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tantalus 10-Mile

10.10.10. - Ten miles, October 10, 2010

Return to Honolulu
The last seven days I've been in Honolulu, Hawaii. I spent time growing up in the islands; junior high, high school and part of college - some pretty incredible years. This past june my step father passed away and my mom choose this time to return his ashes to Honolulu, the only place he called home. I may do a short post here about that, maybe, I haven't decided yet. He never really left Hawaii and he was well loved by the friends he left behind when he moved to Florida.

Excited for the Race
Anyway I was not a runner when I was living in Hawaii, in fact I hated it. In high school it was the part of wrestling practice I dreaded the most and in my years in the University of Hawaii I ran sporadically only because I wanted to lose weight. I had never participated in a race in the islands and was itching to do so. I did some googling and found the Tantalus 10-mile road race. The start was only a mile from my old apartment and only a few miles from where we were staying Waikiki. The morning of the race I was nervous and feeling heavy from the last four days of eating and drinking. Oh you know I was catching up on all the ono (delicious) local food that I've been missing - the best Hawaiian food is still in Hawaii. It was also exciting to be racing again however, felt so good to pin another number and line up with my fellow runners and so soon after the 100 miler. Not having any expectations except a finish I positioned myself in the middle of the pack and endeavored to hold that position untill the finish.


The Course
The course changes direction each year and this time we were going counter clockwise. The first five miles was a gentle uphill in long switch back sections. It was tough in that it was long, it also false peaked right before the top. One thing I've gotten better at is hill running, I'm stronger and more patient. I ground it out all the way to the top with persistence and strength. If I had to guess we probably peaked at a couple of thousand feet, not too bad for 5 miles. At the false peak I let loose thinking we had already started the final descent and had to scale back once we hit the final uphill but it got me on the right mindset for the next five miles. I found that extra gear that got me chasing. I thought some of the switch backs on the downhill were tighter on the turns and steep on the apex. I would come in wide and dive into the apex of the turns like a race car, cutting some distance and picking up speed. I wasn't a runner in my youth, oblivious to the whole concept until I learned it, believe it or not, from a video game. Works great with bikes too. There was hardly any traffic on the roads and only executed the turn when there were no cars. Slowly and steadily I reeled people in as I did in the last 2 miles of the climb. I started to slow down the last two miles but kept my focus on my turnover. The thought of getting passed back kept my short stubby legs turning. I crossed the finish line a lot faster than I had expected and was pretty stoked. My legs hurt bad on all that hard surface downhill but it was as much fun as it was intense.

I drove the course after the race to take pictures. Here is a lone runner climbing up the same road we ran.

A view of Oahu's famous landmark, Diamond Head. Waikiki to the right.

Looking back the way we came. That guy running ran the course backwards and he left as I was finishing.

Up and up.

Lush and green at the top.

A Great Run
I clocked a 1:22:26, 36th overall and 8th in the age group. Considering where I am right now, still in recovery mode from the Pine to Palm 100 and with low weekly mileages, I was happy with the results. More importantly I felt good. My body, it seems, has responded well to the 10 days of rest that I gave it after Pine to Palm followed by short runs and a return to the gym for body work. At the top of the last up hill I looked at my watch and it said 54 minutes, if that was the halfway point that would make it 10.8 minutes per mile for the first five. It would also mean that I covered the last five miles in 27 minutes for a 5.6+ pace. Without a Garmin I can't truly say but I like the ballpark figures.

Actual time and placing updated from the official results

Shortly after I finished.

It was a great event and I enjoyed myself. I got to talking with the race director afterwards who was out directing traffic by the finish line. During the race I also made the acquaintance of Tim Quinn, another ultra runner from the bay area. I hollered at him because I recognized the "Dick Collins Firetrails 50-Mile" logo on his cap that he was wearing backwards. We've never met but we have done the same races and know some of the same people. Got to talking with him a bit more after the race. I hung out for the time it took me to drink a soda and take some pictures. I then drove the course so I could take more pictures and was rewarded with a rainbow when it started drizzling.

Tim Quinn.

With Tim at the finish.

I was back on vacation mode after that run, haven't run a mile since because of all the activity with the family but I'm back now and will be preparing for what's left in the schedule. The remaining weekends of October are packed with running events and I'm much more confident that my body will be able to keep up.

Folks hanging out post race.



  1. Tim Q is awesome, I met him at Capitol Peak 50 in 2005...and man, he is clicking like he is 20! Puts shame on so many, he and Dan Brenden.
    This is looking gorgeous! I am totaly envious, and I am totally wanting to go, to run a short race, and to enjoy all this lush.
    Great run, mister.

  2. Great job Rick. Brett and I were talking this morning about being crew/pacers for you if you want to do HURT. I'm totally jealous about all the fish I'm sure you were eating while in HI.

  3. Congrats on the great run, Rick! It looked like a lot of fun and the pic of Diamond Head brought back nice memories of the Honolulu Marathon. Glad to hear your P2P recovery is progressing well, too.

  4. I totally agree Olga. I passed Tim on the climb and only finished a minute ahead after bombing the long downhill. He must have been flying on the downhill and the guy is 63 years old! He's an inspiration. Thanks, I am enjoying the shorter races too.

  5. Thanks Ric, it was a lot of fun. It wasn't the Honolulu Marathon or the HURT 100 but I'm glad to have finally participated in a running event in Hawaii. I hope to be back for HURT one day.

  6. Nathan, people will be envious if I showed with the 2nd and 4th place finishers of this years HURT as part of my crew. That would be quite the trip and I can show you guys around the island afterwards.

    Indeed I ate fish every day I was there. I frequented the seafood shops and stocked up on all the types of poke. I wish we had something like that here in the bay area. We didn't even hit the restaurants. Most of the food we ate was the local everyday type fare that could be found anywhere. Seafood was at the top of that list.

  7. i wish to be like tim q when i reach his age! hahaha! how i wish you could run HURT so that i can learn some tips from you. you made a nice run on the said race despite your latest beating on P2P 100. nice pictures. good luck!

  8. Nice, what a blast! I didn't manage to run on Kuaui but now I have anexcuse to go back!

  9. congrats on a great run

  10. You deserved a little time in paradise after P2P! Nice running!

  11. Sounds like a fun race. I love Tim, I paced him at States last year. He's an amazing runner. I hope to see you out on the trails soon, Rick.