Running in Hawai'i

I love running in the Rainbow State and I often count my blessings about how I never really need to factor the weather into my training plans or running gear purchases. However, I can get a different running experience by choosing a different place to run.

Before I list some of my favorite places to run I want to give you a little idea of what Hawai'i is like. The climate here is pretty consistent year round with temperatures ranging between 65 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. December tends to be the rainiest and that is only about 4" a month. However, there are some places that are rainier than others.

Running on O'ahu

1. Kapiolani Park to Kahala: There are sidewalks and some trackway around Kapiolani Park. You can get some good shade under some trees and as you venture closer to Kahala, you get to incorporate some fantastic hill work into your runs.

2. Waikiki: I love, love, love running through Waikiki! There is a lovely stretch of cobblestone walkway along the ocean side and you will find lots of people running here. Just be sure to navigate around people walking with their surfboards or just out enjoying the day. It is an open sunny stretch to run along but there are some water fountains if needed. I would run from one end (Ala Moana Park) all the way to the other end (near the zoo and #1 on my list).

Running on Maui - I have more places to share here since I have done many more runs here.

1. Pukalani/Makawao: Makawao has an elevation of 1,600'. I love running here and you can run through a variety of neighborhoods or parks but just don't envision those mainland parks. It can be a hot run in the middle of the day if there are no trades but I love the up's and down's of the hills and the scenery is beautiful! The jacaranda trees are the best.

2. Kula/Keokea: Kula is more upcountry than Makawao and begins in elevations near 1,640'. The upper limits of Kula go into Keokea with elevations beginning around 3,600'. This is one of my favorite regions to run because of the uphill climbs and downhills. The scenery is beautiful with more jacaranda trees, farms, and cattle. When I run into rain this is usually the place but not once have I stumbled into a downpour. There are other runners here plus many cyclists. On a great day, I will venture all the way up Thompson Road.

3. Kihei: If I am looking for somewhere flat to run, Kihei is the place. I just aim to do early morning runs here before it gets too hot. Plus there are great sidewalks for running where I have no problem taking my daughter with me in her jogging stroller. Other times, I may run the upper road and venture towards spot 4 and meet up with my family at a beach.

4. Wailea: Here the run becomes hillier and more lush looking. The sidewalks are fantastic and you will be amazed by what you can see. As you continue south, the scenery because more natural (okay,  less shops and hotels) and the sidewalks will eventually vanish. On that note, the hills become more rolling too!

5. Kanaha: This is a nice flat course. I haven't ever trained here but have done plenty of races here and love it!

6. Lahaina: If you want to train for heat this just may be the place for you. Once again, I don't venture over here to train but the Maui Marathon brings you through Front Street and it was a great place to run! If I am ever on this side of town, I will pull out my running shoes and see where they take me!


  1. Awesome running guide! I want to come!

  2. Courtney, if you ever make it here give me a buzz and we can run! In the meantime, thanks for all the support!


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