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Run Oregon Road Trip: Planning a runcation in Maui

Fairmont Kea Lani

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 early next 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, there are a variety of beaches across the island that offer challenging and memorable runs. The west side of the island doesn’t have a lot of designated running routes aside the Kaanapaali Beach Walk and local roads. Runner’s World has an old article with a few routes as well. Maui Running also has some great information if you are looking to explore some more remote trails.

Where to stay:

There are tons of spots to stay in Maui – from vacation rental to resorts. The 4 “main” locations to stay are:

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

The majority of the big resorts are found in the Kaanapaali, Lahaina, and Kihei areas and you can spend anywhere from about $100 night up to a four figure dollar amount. It can be a financial commitment to even get to the island, but I highly recommend that you check out the Fairmont Kea Lani as a spot to splurge.  There are 450 rooms, ranging from basic studios to larger multi-bedroom villas (if you are venturing over with a family or a running crew), and it’s absolutely stunning.

The last time we were in Maui we stopped in here solely for a spa session and sort of fell in love. It’s the right mix of being luxurious without being pretentious. There were plenty of families with kids running around and heading to the 140 foot water slide and pool. But at the same time, there is also an adults-only pool and a swim-up bar if you want to avoid that whole scene and just have poolside drinks delivered all day.

Though Kea Lani has a fitness center on site (and in the midst of getting a giant $2.8 million dollar makeover), if you are looking for a more all-encompassing wellness trip (maybe a girl’s weekend around one of the local races), Fairmont’s Inspire Your Energy package is a great consideration. This encompasses not only lodging, but daily breakfast, fitness classes (like barre, yoga, pilates, etc), a consultation with a fitness instructor, 2 hour-long body treatments in the spa (and daily access to it’s facilities for 12 hours/day), and an inspirational novel as well. I feel our fitness-forward readers would love this option.

Fairmont Kea Lani also has a private beach, which really cuts back on the need to continually travel around, find parking, lug out beach chairs, navigate other beach-goers and find a spot to set up. Just walk down to the sand, grab a towel from the concierge, and soak in the sun and waves. Shoot, you could even forego the need for a car, use a Lyft to get to-and-from the airport (and Maui Brewing Company – my staple recommendation), and just hang out on the 22-acre property all day. There are plenty of restaurants to enjoy on site (90% of their produce comes from Maui) and, depending on the ages, kids can eat free (under 5) or for 50% off (under 12). Score!

We can’t wait to go back and explore for longer than the few hours spent last time.

Private beach!

What to do:

One of the best things about coming to Maui is just the opportunity to have minimal plans and do nothing aside from running. No kids, no work, no problems. We plan on taking in as much beach relaxation and reading as we can after some sunrise miles. However, we do plan on doing some activities – and Maui has a lot of them. From experiencing the amazing Haleakala National Park (worth the crazy early morning drive for the sunrise), 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 and actually in the original MBC brewing space!).

Some of our fondest experiences from previous trips has been taking a snorkel tour. While there are a variety of companies who offer tours in the pristine Hawaiian waters, we are going to check out the Pride of Maui and most likely their Molokini & Turtle Town Snorkel Tour. The last time we were there, a hurricane had just passed the island and thus the waters were pretty terrible for snorkeling. We are keeping our fingers crossed for better seas this go around. In addition to their snorkeling tours, the Pride of Maui also has whalewatching (depending on the season) and sunset dinner luau options. They provide the gear, lunch, AND an open bar.

Where to Race:

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 Oceanfront Marathon in January and the Maui Marathon in October. There are other cool races as well such as September’s Hana Relay, and the holiday-themed Run of Love 5k, Turkey Trot, and Christmas 5k. In fact, even over the past 2-3 years, I have noticed a big uptick in the number of races on the island – though things are a little more thin in the summer months.

Stay tuned to Instagram in June for images from our trip!

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About Matt Rasmussen (1412 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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