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Make a Trip of It: Planning your Maui runcation

Run Oregon loves running - that's no surprise.  In our newest "Make a Day of It" feature, we aim to showcase some information Matt has been working through on his runcation planning to Maui later this month. First the running: The first place to start may be checking in with the Valley Isle Road Runners. VIRR was founded in 1970 and has grown to over 700 members. They sponsor 7 island events and have Wednesday evening group runs at 530pm in Kihei. Obviously a variety of beaches across the island offer challenging and memorable runs. The west side of the island doesn't seem to have a lot of designated running routes aside from the local roads. Runner's World has an old article with a few routes, and I plan to take advantage of the Kaanapaali / Lahaina and Pali Trail information. Maui Running also has information if you are looking to explore some more remote trails.

Where to stay:

There are tons of great locations to stay in Maui. The 4 “main” locations to stay are:

  • Kaanapaali / Lahaina area (western coast)
  • Kihei (central south)
  • Kahului / Paia (northern coast)
  • Hana (eastern coast)

Tha majority of the big resorts are found in the Kaanapaali, Lahaina, and Kihei areas. There are so many that you can spend anywhere from about $100 night up to four figures. When we settled on the Kaanapaali area (where we stayed on our last trip about 6 years ago), we randomly decided to check out VRBO and booked a rental condo managed by Maui Paradise Properties for about $850 (plus refundable deposit) for 6 nights. All of the reviews seem to be very positive with this company, and working with the management team has been a breeze so far.

If you are looking to splurge a little bit, check out the Travaasa Hana, Fairmont Kea Lani, or the Grand Wailea (all clocking in around $500/night, but they are absolutely stunning properties).

What to do:


One of the best things about coming to Maui is just the opportunity to have minimal plans and do nothing. No kids, no work, no problems. We plan on taking in as much beach relaxation and reading as we can. However, we do plan on doing some activities – and Maui has a lot of them. From hiking  or driving up Haleakala Crater, driving the iconic Road to Hana, or taking in one of the ziplining or helicopter tours, there is tons to do.

For those beer nerds like me, Maui has two breweries on the island – Maui Brewing Company (there are a few locations) and Kohola Brewing Company (located in Lahaina).

One of fondest experiences from our last trip was taking a snorkel tour. While there are a variety of companies who offer tours in the pristine Hawaiian waters, I am specifically fond of the Pacific Whale Foundation. We had such an amazing time doing the Lanai Snorkel and Dolphin Watch last time that we figured why mess with a good thing. I believe we will be checking our their Molokini & Turtle Arches tour this upcoming trip and we are pumped! In addition to their snorkeling tours, PWF also has whalewatching and sunset dinner options.

Speaking of Pacific Whale Foundation…

Where to Race:

The Pacific Whale Foundation actually puts on a race each February called the Run & Walk for the Whales. The 2017 event will take place on February 4 and features a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and 2.5 mile walk. “All proceeds from the event support Pacific Whale Foundation’s humpback whale research in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific, marine education programs for local school children, as well as conservation programs including efforts to keep marine debris out of our oceans, prevent vessel-whale collisions, and end whaling worldwide.” The races take place at Maalaea Harbor and all participants will receive a shirt to go alone with the event. Afterwards, registered runners will receive 35% a post-race whalewatch cruise.

I would recommend utilizing this website when planning your racing calendar in Maui. I am going to assume most people are vaguely familiar with the two most popular events on the Island – the Maui Marathon in September and Maui Oceanfront Marathon in January. There are other cool races as well such as September’s Hana Relay, and the holiday-themed Zombie Run, Turkey Trot, and Christmas 5k.

Stay tuned later this month to Instagram for images from our trip!

About Matt Rasmussen (1271 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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