The race is a bucket list run for any trail / ultra runner. It starts at 3,000 ft and goes up to 9,600 ft. 70% of this race occurs above 5,000 ft. It’s a lollipop with 2 sticks. You will travel through many eco systems. The race starts early in the morning so as you ascend Haleakala you will be in the dead of night. Stars will be out to guide the way. As you get higher and higher the day will break when you’re at altitude and you’ll be running / hiking in the shadow of the volcano! As the day opens you’ll eventually have views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the big island as you run by cinder cones where lava most recently flowed from Haleakala in the 1800s. Dirt will change into lava rock. The vegetation will slowly die around you as the air grows ever thinner. On a clear day you can see Moloka’i, Lana’i, big island, and even Oahu! You’ll feel like you’re running on Mars above 8,000 ft. As you hit the turn around you’ll plummet from 9,600 ft to 5200 ft. Most days the clouds start to build up in the morning. So you will likely find yourself above the clouds as you run back down. Then in the clouds in a massive redwood and eucalyptus forest. The smell of fresh eucalyptus and cedars will open your airways along the technical single track here. One final 1,000 ft climb remains until you pop out of the woods and drop the final 3,000 ft down to the finish.
It’s pretty much all up hill the first half all down the second half. 10 miles paved road aka first 5 and last 5, 17 miles of dirt road and the rest single track.
The views are silly beautiful. This race is meant to be small intimate and fun.