Monday, May 31, 2010

Molokai training run- Hawaii Kai to Barbers Point- by Robert Stehlik

Training for the Molokai to Oahu race

Jeff Chang (I call him "Coach" because without him I would not be doing all this) and I did the Molokai race last Summer. We did one long training run two weeks before the race from Sandy Beach to White Plains. This year, we decided to step it up and start doing a long run every two weeks to be more prepared for the 32 mile distance of the race. This is a report of our most recent run for those of you that enjoy reading about SUP racing and training.

Today, on Memorial Day, Jared Vargas, Jeff Chang, Darin Ohara and myself went on a long training run. This was our fourth distance training day this year. Click here for some pics from a previous run that Jeff posted on his facebook page.
We started out in Hawaii Kai and paddled to Barbers Point for a total of over 31 miles.

For a map of our course, time, speed etc, please follow this link with the stats from Jared's GPS watch. Its pretty cool how much information it contains:

We launched on the marina in Hawaii Kai which is a good way to warm up and add about 1.5 miles to the total distance.

The run to Black Point was nice and fast with good bumps.

Darin passing Diamond Head, he did not have time to do the whole run and stopped at Kaimana Beach.

We stopped at Ala Moana beach park to refill our water bags- about half way. There was a nice south swell and we were catching waves along the way.

This shot is after passing Magic Island.

The current news is dominated by bad news, including oil spilling uncontrolled into the Gulf, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, financial crisis, global recession and with my business facing many challenges it's sometimes difficult to keep a positive outlook.  Out here on the water, however, it's all good.

Looking at the city in the background reminds me of the Santa Monica song by Everclear:

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

For me, paddling is a great way to connect with nature, focus on the present without distraction and balance out my otherwise busy urban lifestyle.  I always feel far removed from it all when I'm out in the ocean. For some this may sound like a torturous way to spend Memorial Day but for us it's more like therapy.

Jared getting goofy

Jeff somewhere off Sand Island

Jared powering up. All three of us were keeping close to the same pace and barely had to stop to wait for each other.

A plane taking off as we pass the reef runway

Diamond Head looks pretty far away by now

Cargo ship passing on the outside

By Ewa Beach there is a shooting range, we could hear the shots echoing out on the water. The cement wall says DANGER- STAY CLEAR 5200 YRDS.
I lose my focus and wonder: What the heck is that supposed to mean? How did they come up with that distance? 5200 yards? Did they actually measure how far a stray bullet travels? How are we supposed to know how far away we are? Are they really shooting bullets out towards the ocean? I just want to get away from here as fast as possible and start to paddle harder.
The sign reminds me of the bumper sticker that says:
"If you can read this you are too close"
Luckily we did not encounter any stray bullets.

The bumps were awesome, the run from the airport runway to Barbers Point is one of my favorites. We have done it 6 times or so now and I thought it was even better than the Hawaii Kai to Black Point section every time. With clean windswell bumps from the back and ocean swells from the side this is a fun, fast, challenging downwind run. We kept chasing each other and maintained a strong pace.

On previous runs we finished at White Plains beach, which has a nice sandy beach, mellow, rolling waves, surfboard racks by the showers, grass and is a great place to land after a long paddle. Today we wanted to go further and decided to go all the way to Barbers Point lighthouse in the Cambell Industrial Park.

As we got closer we saw some sizable surf breaking. I felt foolish for not bringing a leash and thought of what would happen of a big roller took my board and I would have to swim in. With the strong wind and currents I might not be able to catch up with my board. So losing the board was not an option.

Jared sneaking out over a wave before it breaks

Getting in was not as bad as I feared, I was able to come in on one of the smaller waves, no problem.

Landing at the lighthouse was challenging as there was no sandy beach, just jagged sharp reef with shorebreak washing over it. Here is Jeff sacrificing his feet to keep his new Dennis Pang board from touching the reef. I just had to take this picture before going to help him.

Here is Jeff with his home made cable rudder system that he engineered in his garage the day before using a plastic cutting board, bungee cords and other high tech equipment. He was quite happy with the way it worked.

The cables run through tubes sunk into the deck under the footpads.

The bungee cords keep the steering in neutral when not engaged.

The truck is loaded and we are ready for the long drive back.

Below is a short video I shot of Jeff somewhere outside Ewa Beach.

Thanks for reading!

Robert Stehlik

1 comment:

Thanks for posting a comment on Zen Waterman, your comment will show as soon as we have a chance to screen it for spam. Mahalo, we hope to see you on the water!