What good is running in paradise if you don’t document the sights to share with others?
Last month I spent 5 days on the Big Island in Hawaii for my honeymoon. While I didn’t put in a ton of training, I did some running in a lot of incredible environments: near volcanic rock fields, along spectacular beaches, around briney ponds along the ocean, and through gorgeous resorts.
Going on vacation can be an amazing way to kick back, get away from the daily grind, and escape your 9-5 responsibilities. I also urge you to think of it as an opportunity to explore. Whenever I go away, I make it a point to run. It allows me to explore my surroundings and see things that I normally wouldn’t have been able to.
I hope these pictures inspire you to run while you’re traveling.
This is my view of the beach as I was coming back to the hotel. The color of the water is absolutely clear and when it’s deeper, it’s a shade of aquamarine I’ve never seen anywhere else.
Not a bad place for barefoot strides! I did a set of barefoot strides on this well manicured lawn one morning. Despite the weird looks, nobody asked me what I was doing or told me to leave the area and put on a shirt…
This little bridge is next to a wall made from volcanic rocks. It separates the ocean from a small pond that’s fed by a spring.
About a half mile away from the bridge are a series of briney ponds. The spring water mixes with ocean water and is home to tons of beautiful fish. Native Hawaiians used to raise fish in the ponds as a form of aqua-farming.
There are sea turtles everywhere in Hawaii! This guy was lounging by the ocean’s edge near the briney ponds. The natives call sea turtles “Honu” and they were once considered a delicacy before they became a protected species.
Palms trees having a party between two ponds. I have no idea how they’re growing in solid volcanic rock but apparently they’re thriving.
I ran this sandy beach trail every time I headed out from the hotel. The black rocks are volcanic and the white pieces aren’t actually rocks – they’re coral.
No lifeguard? I like to live dangerously.
My favorite tree near our hotel. It looks like it belongs in a Disney movie.
Running some soft surfaces – good for the legs and soul. Also, don’t tell Avis that we drove on this unpaved road.
View from the road. Notice the dark volcanic rock in the background and the brown rock in the foreground. The darker rock is newer – I think it last flowed in the late 1980’s.
Volcano fumes (Vog) coming from the active volcano on the Big Island. But I didn’t run here – just thought it was cool!
These pictures were taken during my stay on the Big Island in Hawaii. I only went running there a few times, but I was lucky to take some amazing pictures. I think the Big Island is a very underrated part of the full Hawaiian chain. It’s not as busy as Oahu or Maui, you’ll rarely ever be in traffic, and everywhere we went we were treated like guests.
The next time you’re traveling, I hope you decide to run on vacation. You’ll definitely experience the area in a very different and much more rewarding way than driving.
Speaking of running on vacation, this trip inspired me to write the guide How to Stay Fit on Vacation: A Simple Guide to Maintaining Fitness While You’re Sipping Cocktails. It’s available in the Runner’s Gear Bag – all you need to do is sign up and you’ll get instant access.