Aloha From A Hawai’i Adventure & Running Vacation

Hawaii running vacation

The Beach at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. (Photo: Hyatt Hotels)

Aloha from Hawai’i! I’m about to embark on a Hawai’i adventure and running vacation. It’s been a dream trip in the making. My husband, Phil, and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary doing a feast of our favorite things—hiking, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, horseback riding, and, of course, running a half marathon.

I’ll write all about my adventures when I get home, and Phil will be behind the camera taking photos and some video too. But during the trip, I’ll be all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with updates. But for now, here’s a sneak peek at what we’re up to.

Volacanoes National Park, Hawaii running vacation

Lava flows into the ocean on Hawai’i Island. (Photo: Eric Lelinski)

Hawai’i Island

Phil and I are starting our trip in the triathlon Mecca of the world: Kailua-Kona.

We’re staying at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, which is the host hotel for both the Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon on November 24 and the Kona Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K on June 22, 2014.

Some of the activities we’ll take on include a Kohala Canopy Adventure with Kohala Zipline. It’s a 3-hour zipline and suspension bridge course straight out of The Amazing Race in the magical forest of North Kohala. Really excited about this one since I’ve never done anything like it.

Then it’s off to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for a hiking tour with Native Guide Hawaii. Seeing the volcanoes was the main reason we chose to visit the Big Island, so this should be a highlight of the trip.

Hawaii Running Vacation

A Manta ray glides by the Sherata Kona Resort & Spa. (Photo: James L. Wing)

The next few nights we’re going to spend more time on the Kohala Coast in Waimea, staying at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

A friend who visits Hawai’i regularly says his favorite beach on the whole island is at Mauna Kea. So I definitely see some beach time in my future. And here’s a fun family fact: this is the hotel my parents stayed at on their honeymoon back in 1971. Kind of fun that Phil and I are staying there 42 years later.

And what’s a trip to Hawai’i without some serious time in the water? We’re snorkeling with Ocean Sports, who’ll take us out on a catamaran. Sailing and snorkeling? Two of my favorite things put together. It’s also what we did on our honeymoon, albeit in Tonga.

And, of course, I’m hoping to sneak in a few runs to take in the beauty of the island, prepare me for the Kaua’i Half Marathon, and keep me fresh during marathon training season. This is a running vacation after all.

Kaua’i Island

Hawaii running vaction

Honopū Beach on Kaua’i’s Napali Coast. (Photo: HoloHolo Charters)

Then we’re off to Kaua’i! I waxed poetic in a previous post about a childhood trip to the island. I haven’t been back since then, so I’m really excited to see if it’s as magical as I remember it being.

First, we’ll stop off in Princeville on the North Shore for two nights at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and St. Regis Princeville Resort.

From there, we’ll embark on a snorkel-sail tour of the Napali Coast with HoloHolo Charters. As a child, I didn’t get to tour the Napali Coast, which is lined by 3,500-foot cliffs, waterfalls, and secret beaches. So this was on the top of my Kaua’i to-do list. And it’s a bonus that I’ll get to sneak in some more snorkeling and sailing on a 50-foot catamaran.

Hawaii running vacation, Kauai Marathon, Kauai Half Marathon

The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon treats runners to local entertainment en route. (Photo: Jo Evans/

And everyone who reads my blog knows I like to ride horses as an aspiring polo player. So we’re taking a horseback tour through Silver Falls Ranch, a 300-acre estate in Kaua’i’s lush, green interior. We’ll ride through an 80-acre tropical garden to the base of Mount Makaleha, where we’ll get to swim in a waterfall. Yes, I’ll be swimming under a Hawai’ian waterfall. Amazing.

Then it’s off to Kaua’i’s South Shore where we’ll stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Poipu. They’re the host hotel for the Kaua’i Marathon.

What’s a running vacation without a race? On Labor Day is the big race itself. Phil and I will both be tackling the Kaua’i Half Marathon before it’s time to, sadly, head home after 10 nights in paradise.

Let the vacation begin!

The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau is sponsoring my trip by assisting me with airfare, rental car, and the above mentioned accommodations and activities. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is providing me with complimentary hotel and race entries. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


08 2013

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Looks awesome!! Can’t wait to read about it. You’ve got me jealous!
    Sarah Elizabeth recently posted..Goodbye Party with the DMVMy Profile

  2. 3

    That’s a fabulous holiday! Enjoy your final runs for the half and the race itself. I’ll be keeping an eye on Twitter for any jealousy inducing photos.
    Ewen recently posted..Desperate measures at the City to SurfMy Profile

  3. 5

    This trip sounds AMAZING, I can’t wait to read all about it! My husband and I keep talking about going to Hawaii for a vacation, he even has a good friend that manages a hotel there, but we just need to find a long enough time to go!
    Danielle recently posted..Dumbo Double Dare: Are We There Yet?!?My Profile

  4. 7

    Doug and I did a helicopter tour on the Big Island so we saw the volcano and some valleys in the Kohala Coast. OMG, the Kohala Coast was breathtaking! You’ll love it! And so jealous about Kaui! Have an amazing time! And good luck with the race! :)


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