Indeed, mine fit perfectly in the bottle holster so I could finally do what Susan, Maddy, CewTwo, Petra and NYlisa have all done recently. Share their favorite running route via pictures :-)
The route is an 8-mile out-and-back along the most scenic part of the Kona Marathon course, which is basically the same run course used in the Kona Ironman. It's got a few gentle rollers but to make it more challenging and fun with all the picture taking stops, I decided to make it a fartlek run, an informal speed session. My outbound plan was to run fairly hard to beaches or ocean views along the route, snap some pictures while taking a short break, and repeat until I got to my turnaround point. On the way back, I'd do something similar but taking photos of other interesting things along the route.
This first view of the ocean below is only about 3/4 mile away from our condo so I used getting there as my warm-up (I'll start the speed work from here, I promise). It was already nearly 80 degrees when I headed out at 6:30am. On my way over, I decided I'd start each run segment at a moderate pace and build up speed rather than trying to start out fast and hang on (less injury potential, especially after having to stand still to take pictures). So far, so good ;-)
My next stop was at a small sandy beach about a mile away. I don't know the name of it but it's sandwiched in between a couple condo buildings and fairly easy to miss unless one was looking for a reason to stop and check it out, which I was. Whew! One down.
About 3/4 mile further on down is a wide open bay area that often has folks paddling with oars while standing on a surfboard. I love watching them and took a bit longer break here to get more recovery than last time and more photos. Could have used more zoom or resolution on my camera as well. (Click for a little larger view of this photo as well as any of the multi-picture photos below)
Only maybe a 1/4 mile away is Pahoehoe Beach Park. As you can see, it has a nice grassy area with benches and a short meandering walkway. It also has a drinking fountain and a shower station, as do most of the county beach parks so I don't need to carry a lot of water with me while running. Uh-oh, loose dog, break over.
Another 1/4 mile further is La'aloa Bay Beach Park, also known as White Sands Beach, Magic Sands Beach and Disappearing Sands Beach. Why? Because sometimes it has nice white sands and sometimes it has only black rocks (the sand gets carried away with the ocean). Actually, I have yet to see no sand on this beach. Guess I'll just have to keep checking back.
About a mile away was my turnaround point, Kahalu'u Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots on the island and also one of the best places to learn how to surf. One side of the bay has a natural rock jetty protecting it and making it ideal for snorklers (right photo). The other side has gentle 2-3 foot waves that are great for beginning surfers. Maybe me someday!
On my way back, I thought I'd just stop a handful of times to capture other sights that make this route a favorite but soon found myself stopping nearly every 1/4 mile (there was so much I wanted to share!). To avoid inundating you with photos, I've grouped them into three collections and will just provide a brief description (left to right, top to bottom). I apologize for not knowing the names of everything or if I got something wrong. Corrections are welcome!
Nice painting on a Kahalu'u Bay surf school, a heiau (ancient Hawaiian temple to the gods), a really cool house gate, a refreshing shower and drinking fountain along the road and a cute mailbox creature.
Plumeria blossoms (commonly used in leis), a couple hibiscus flowers (often worn in hair), interesting flowers of a cactus-like plant hanging over a wall, a brilliant flash of wild flowers on some rocks, pretty pink spectators, and a regal ginger plant flower.
Coconuts palms (watch your head!), lush green leaves in a petal formation, a brightly-colored ti plant, a huge fan palm, a royal poinciana tree, and a beautiful monkey pod tree.
There's also couple other notable things I love about this route that I couldn't capture with my camera, unfortunately. The sounds of the waves crashing, the salty smell of the ocean and the sweet fragrance of plumeria blossoms. I'll never get tired of running it!
Total time ~1:20 including all the many breaks.