For those who are training for an Ironman, or just enjoy pushing your limits, uber athlete, Kathy Winkler has shared her top three runs in Kona.
Kathy's top three runs
1. It is hard to beat Alii Drive. Nothing makes me feel more like I am actually IN Kona than to start at the pier and smell the ocean and run on the humid shade covered street...just an out an back. You can go all 7 miles down to the pit, or turn around somewhere shorter along the way. There are mile markers the whole way. It is hot, and you can refill your water bottle from a fountain at Kahalu beach if you need to.
2. Run from Manini Beach to Honaunau. About 6 miles. It is the run to the City of Refuge the locals used to have to take to seek refuge from the King after committing a crime, although now it is paved. Imagine being out there without water in the heat of the day on lava! Take water, there are no resources and go early as there is no shade and it gets hot! Bonus, no traffic, great beaches on either end.
3. The bummer with Kona is there is not really any dirt to run on. You can go from the energy lab to the end of the road and turn left; take the "dirt," sand and lava trail along the water to Pine Trees Beach and then make a loop by going back up to the Queen K Highway and returning to the energy lab. Again, smarter to go early and avoid cars and heat. There are bathrooms and water at Pine Trees if you need to stop.