Monthly Archives: September 2015

Maui Oceanfront Marathon



Flight booked — this is really happening.  Super excited!



Fri, 15 JAN16  UA1736  DENVER, CO (DEN) 11:45 AM  MAUI, HI (OGG) 3:50 PM


9 more 2015 marathons — busy Fall season — then only 3 states left next year: Hawaii in Jan, Illinois in April & Steamboat Springs CO in June…and I’m a full-fledged 50 Stater!



Woke to overcast skies & an hour commute to Ohio – my 39th marathon, Adams County ‘Run with the Amish’.

Today’s course would be my first 2-loop race.  Had avoided these in the past, assuming I’d struggle mentally with a 2nd lap after completing 13 miles – would mean I’d see “Hell Hill” twice today.  Noticed several Amish teenagers in the crowd.  Boys ran in long pants & suspenders, girls in long skirts – none wore running shoes, all 5K competitors.  Amish teens, Stutzman & Yoder, finished 3rd & 4th.

Musket start – 4 miles of rolling hills to Unity township, right at the cemetery, steep downhill into the Amish community.

Paced up mile 6 by the lumber yard (first hill), sprinted down – generally I hold back.  Go me 🙂  Amish call the hill past Rabers “Hell Hill” – no more than a mile, but at least 30% grade.  Positive?  Trek canopied by large, leafy deciduous trees – shady & scenic.

No more than 300 runners ran the full 26.2.

Found I enjoyed miles 13 thru 17 the most.  Folks finishing the Half cheered us taking a 2nd lap; I shouted encouragement to fellow runners mucking in the cold steady rain.  Camaraderie between strangers – favourite part of today’s run.  Awesome experience.

Turning the cemetery again, was caught by a runner at mile 18.  Moved past chugging up the first Amish hill, briefly lapped again on the straight before Hell Hill.  Dug in and pushed UP.  Kept a tenth-mile lead out of Unity, pacing strong knowing the last 4 miles would be tough to hold any lead – hills are my equalizer, I’d get caught on the flats.

Runner made his move.  Pretty impressive kick after running 25 miles, inspired to mimic one day.

Official results: won my age group & finished 16th overall.  Small race but WOW!


Place  Name           Gun Time     Pace

1          K R Haga   4:27:19.2    10:13


9 more fulls this year, taking it one at a time – next Saturday: Bristol, New Hampshire.



Planned my Ohio marathon in Amish country – yes, on purpose – like stepping back in time.  Remember Kelly McGillis & Harrison Ford in “Witness”?   I do.  Intrigued – had no previous exposure to the Amish.

Flew red-eye to Cincinnati, hour nap (across airport seats) ‘til stores opened, rental car pick-up, then another 2 hours sleep in nearby Brown County [rest area].  9am, splash of cold water – awake, ready to get my Amish on.

Early autumn in southern Ohio: leaves starting to yellow, corn already harvested.  Crossed a covered bridge, entered Adams County – sighted my first Amish road sign 🙂


Kept my distance in the car, not wanting to frighten the horse.  Clip, clop, clip, clop, clip, clop – down the paved road.

In only its 3rd year, tomorrow’s race would draw more than 1,000 runners – 300+ would run the full 26.2.  Followed the race director to bib pick-up after my GPS left me 4 miles rural at a local farm.  No frills race expo with big frills swag.

Left my car at the wood ‘Expo’ building raised by the Amish; took a short walk to Millers Bulk Foods, followed by a trip to the Bakery. Turkey sandwich on homemade pretzel bread – soft & salty, garnished with local tomatoes, onions & lettuce…food LOVE!

Filled the afternoon driving tomorrow’s race route – my first 2-loop marathon – one long grind, 2 big hills…one the Amish call “Hell Hill”. Course not as hilly as West Virginia but bigger elevation gain (higher grade hills).

fave moments:

  • horse envy – both carriage & plow horses: well-groomed, beautiful animals
  • steaming blackberry pie pulled from a wood oven at Millers Bakery
  • Amish bicycles/scooters – big front wheel, smaller back wheel, no pedals (pedals considered a technology, forbidden by the Amish); kids were crazy fast, flying down hills, racing home after school
  • buggy parking at the evening’s Amish auction

Unique culture – living much as they have since the 1800’s, an agrarian society with strong religious leanings & no electricity.

Ate with the community at a school fund raiser – smoked chicken, potato salad, homemade ice cream & pie (whole lotta pies).  Stayed for the Amish auction – not that I needed a horse halter, but digged the life experience 🙂  Pretty amazing day.

No hotels in Amish land.  Stayed 45 minutes away in Maysville, Kentucky (just over the mighty Ohio river).

Early to bed, early to rise – tomorrow I run with the Amish!


my first Amish buggy


Amish auction (gas-generator lights provided for us non-Amish)


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