Epic Run Photos – Big Island, Hawaii

by Jason Fitzgerald

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.

Hawaiian BeachThis 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.

Barefoot StridesNot 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…

Foot BridgeThis 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.

Briney PondsAbout 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.

HonuThere 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.

Palm Tree PartyPalms trees having a party between two ponds. I have no idea how they’re growing in solid volcanic rock but apparently they’re thriving.

Sandy Beach TrailI 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.

DangerousNo lifeguard? I like to live dangerously.

Favorite TreeMy favorite tree near our hotel. It looks like it belongs in a Disney movie.

Downhill RunningRunning some soft surfaces – good for the legs and soul. Also, don’t tell Avis that we drove on this unpaved road.

Hawaii LandscapeView 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.

Hawaii VolcanoVolcano 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.

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Lydia

Thanks for sharing all the great pictures. I’m glad you had such a good time and so many great running views. I’m fairly confident that no one even looked twice at you being bare chested and bare footed. It’s Hawaii, after all. My friends dad is a 400 lb Tongan that likes to lay in sand and let the waves crash over him like a beached whale. Who would notice your puny pecks compared to his huge man boobs? =D

What, pray tell, is a MAN-O-WAR?

Fitz

Haha you are a regular comedian. A Man-o-War is a poisonous jellyfish that can leave red welts that last for days on your skin. Pleasant, huh?

Lisa

Great pics Jason! I have not been to the Big Island but hope to one day. Probably to run a marathon. ;) I shared your pics with my coworker who is Hawaiian. She is now homesick but thanks you for sharing as well!

Fitz

Of course you’d run a marathon there :)

Jen

Awesome pics – I am going to the Big Island after the Honolulu Marathon in Dec… Can’t wait to see all this in person!

Fitz

It’s a gorgeous island, you’re going to love it!

David Csonka

Very jealous! I’d love to go to Hawaii.

Fitz

You won’t be disappointed, it’s a very unique landscape.

Brad P

Did you go to Captain Cook’s Bay? That is my favorite snorkeling spot in the world.

Fitz

No I didn’t make it there. I did go snorkeling at Molokini (off Maui) though, which was unreal.

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