The Firecracker Run that Fizzled

I can’t let July close without sharing my 4th of July weekend run. Every year, regardless of where I am in the world, I manage to find a July 4th race or run somewhere. I’ve done many a year here in Pennsylvania, then In Ohio, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

During a visit to my son’s family this year, I had my eye on the Ka’ena Point Firecracker, hosted by the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team (HURT) a 10-ish mile trail race paralleling the ocean on a coast of Hawaii that most tourists never see. It was going to be great. Son & DIL thought it would be an opportunity to get the kids to the beach early while I ran. So, beach supplies and kids were loaded up and we were out the driveway at 5:45 a.m.

Just before arriving at the park entrance, we came across an overturned vehicle. Firetrucks were on the scene and not allowing any traffic through. We agreed as I was within a mile or two of the park entrance, I would just run to the start and they would see me when the road opened.

Off I went, on the hoof. I was a little curious that I wasn’t seeing other runners doing the same since the race would be starting in 45 minutes or so. I arrived at the park and still no other runners. This wasn’t a large race, but still someone should be around. I called the family and said I was starting down the trail, maybe the start point was further down. After a rugged but scenic 20 minutes or so of running, I still wasn’t finding a race start set up.

I pulled up my phone to look for a number of one of the race directors – and WHAM – the date for the race shown at the top of the page was the previous day, July 2. Oh man, here I was with my grandchildren roused out of bed at 5:30, wearing my wonder woman red, white and blue knee socks and my sparkly red white & blue barrette, dressed for a July 4th race and the race was actually yesterday. I called the family who by now had the kids out of the car and enjoying the beach. They found it quite funny (as in I know I will be hearing this story told for years to come) – and very unlike me. They encouraged me to go ahead, run the course, and they and the kids would enjoy the beach.

I agreed, but said I would do only half of the distance. I was seeing how rugged the terrain on the course is. Easily runnable but not an easy go overall. The out and back trail parallels the gorgeous ocean and follows jeep trails along the coast as well as an old sugar cane rail line. The actual point is the northernmost point on O’ahu Island. Nothing but Jeeps or the equivalent makes it back into this territory. Other than a family or two of hikers, fisherman ruled the coast.

With the road mileage I ran to get to the start, plus the out and back, I probably did about 5 miles and garnered several thumbs-up on the Wonder Woman knee socks.

In the background, you can see one of a number of families with day camping set up for fishing.

As I approached the park entrance I saw my family waving and yelling congratulations, first finisher on the wrong day. Ah well, on another trip I will make sure I make it out to one of the HURT trail races – and I will have the correct date!

In the meantime, we were off to the Farm to Barn Café in Haleiwa to re-energize for the remainder of the day.


  1. Mary Lou
    Loved the blog. Wrong date, that is something I would do. Last weekend I was doing a 5K set my alarm clock wrong and got there 1/2 hour after the race started. Go Figure!!!! You are still my hero!!!!!!

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