by Misty I.
Has anyone ever called you nuts? Crazy? Perhaps they have, but you just donʻt know about it! One funny thing Iʻve noticed about the Hilo to Volcano relay is that when people find out you are entered they donʻt hold back and they call you “crazy” or “nuts” straight to your face! Running a 31.1-mile relay from Coconut Island (Moku Ola) in Hilo to Volcano (Cooper Center) is not for everyone, and although it is challenging it is also a lot of fun! For the second year in a row, I participated in this ultra relay with some friends. Last year, three of us ran (and medaled!) in the Masters Division (40 and over) and had a wonderful time. Although last yearʻs 2016 Hilo to Volcano was a great experience the first time around, it was not easy for me. Let me give you some background info just in case you are unfamiliar with the relay. Each person on the three-man team runs roughly 10 miles total but in two-mile segments. This year, we wanted to add more people to our relay team so didn’t have to run 10 miles uphill. Essentially, we wanted to run but didn’t want to work as hard, so we found a fourth person and signed up. Unfortunately, a few days before relay day the fastest runner in our group was not able to participate. Upon hearing this information, I immediately panicked as I thought I was back to being on a three-man team and would have to run 10 miles like the year before. The truth is my training regimen after the holidays was lackluster. However, a few days before race day our husbands felt sorry for us and decided to enter and run some 2-mile segments. Thank God! If you ask me, that takes some cojones to jump into an uphill race the week of without training! Thank you, husbands!
On relay day we started out at Coconut Island to cheer on our starter! After watching the start, we piled into the truck and headed for the first “tag off” at Mile 2. This continued for the next 31 miles as we rotated team members until we eventually got to Cooper Center in cool Volcano. Although our team did not win a medal this year, our friendʻs sonʻs team got the first place medal in the menʻs open division!
Overall, it was a very enjoyable race and it was inspiring watching the human spirit on display that day. It’s amazing how the simple act of running an ultra relay race with your friends (and spouses!) can change your mindset to one of growth and abundance. Through the sport of running, I have learned that self-discovery truly begins where your comfort zone ends! Consider getting a team together for the next Hilo to Volcano Ultra Relay in January 2018! Cʻmon you can do it!