This week, I have the luxury of waking up in Waikiki. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m in Hawaii, I want to be up before the sun and out running. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been to Hawaii, but the number is close to my age since I’ve gone pretty much every year of my life…so this has allowed me to develop a specific routine of how I spend my time. I want to wake up at 5am, work out, eat breakfast by the ocean, take a nap on the beach, eat some seafood, go to bed around 8:30pm….and repeat.
My runs in Hawaii aren’t all that amazing. I’m not training for Iron Man or anything. Usually I’m drenched in sweat and lagging due to the humidity, but that’s part of the package. Although I haven’t spent a ton of time in Waikiki (most of my Hawaii adventures have been on the Big Island), I assumed that running to the top of Diamond Head was a thing. I Googled it a couple weeks ago when finalizing my goals, and I found several forums, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Most of the forums said it was a 2.5 mile loop (which sounded way too short) if you started from Kapiolani Park (where we are staying). So on Sunday morning I woke up and thought I would just start running and see where it took me. I was out the door at 6:35 (still dark, but lightening) and headed through the park. At 6:30am in Waikiki, everyone is out running or walking or surfing or doing yoga. I started following a pack of what looked like seasoned runners headed up Diamond Head Highway, tracking my mileage along the way.
At the Diamond Head Vista Point, my mileage was just about 2 miles, but we were clearly not as high as the peak of Diamond Head (what looked like a vertical mile behind us). I continued along the highway thinking there would be a sign, an entry point, something that said, “Diamond Head – this way!” As the highway started to descend back to sea level, I did a u-turn, and headed back to the hotel.
As you can see, I only went up 119 feet above sea level – hardly Diamond Head’s 761 feet of elevation.
After another couple hours of Google searching, it appears there are two versions of running Diamond Head. One is a loop around Diamond Head Highway (which is basically where I was going and turned around) – what I estimate to be just under a 5 mile loop. THEN there is the actual hiking UP Diamond Head via the State Park. The good news is that even if I had found the trailhead (on the opposite side of the highway), I wouldn’t have gotten in because there is a $1 admission fee.
Since I had it in my head that I would attempt to get to the actual top of the peak, I’m going to give it another go tomorrow or the day after.