Friday, August 03, 2007

Kalalau Challenge

I came upon this YouTube video while looking at another blog about Kauai hiking. The video depicts a competition known as the "Kalalau Challenge". The Kalalau trail is the most famous hiking trail in all of Hawaii, and runs 11 miles along the Na Pali coast until it dead ends into Kalalau beach and the Kalalau valley, at which point you hike 11 miles back (usually camping first).

This event consists of a 6.5 mile(!) ocean swim, starting at Ke'e beach, along the Na Pali coast to Kalalau beach. Then, you head to land to hike the 11 miles back to the beginning. It's a race, so this is done fast. And the Kalalau trail is pretty scary at certain parts - it's very narrow in places and runs along the edge of a cliff that drops hundreds of feet into the ocean. It's also quite strenuous, as the trail ascends and descends again and again through the mountains over its length. There's no need to mention how diesel a 6.5 mile Pacific ocean swim is. So needless to say, only complete madmen (and women) compete in this event.

In all our time on the island, living only 10 miles from the start of the Kalalau trail, this is the first we've ever heard of this event. A Google search turns up nothing, except for the link to the YouTube video and the afore mentioned blog which originally led me to the video. This isn't strange, since Kauai isn't exactly the most web-savvy island (ok, it's likely the least, just beating out the Galápagos). But it still makes us wonder...clearly this event DID take place at one point in time, since there is video footage. Does it exist any longer? No one knows.

The winner had a time of 6 hours and 4 minutes, which sounds pretty fast to us. Our favorite part is the first place prize - a painted coconut. Seriously. Only in Kauai!

Check out the video here:

1 comment:

Prashant said...

I thought about signing up for this event so I could do a practice run while I was there, but figured that would cut into hang-out with Conor-and-Jessica-time. Maybe next year!