I may have done only one xterra this year (not very successful at that, see my report on xterra Italy) but thanks to some AA flight vouchers I’ve known since February that I’d be back in Maui come October to give this race a (possibly last) shot. My last attempt was in 2011 when I took a wrong turn on a bike and went off course never to reappear…Someone’s got some unfinished business you see. Admittedly the appeal of a return to Kauai and especially to the majestic Kalalau trail has helped equally to keep my motivation pretty (very) high.
This time the plan was to stay a week on Maui, to be followed by a week on Kauai straight after the race. I aimed to arrive on race day as relaxed as I could without getting caught up into some unnecessary pressure, and this involved not staying or hanging out with my fellow triathletes. I chose instead to be all cozy with my girlfriend iand to acclimatise nicely to the tropics, while enjoying some of the best spots of the island along the way. Easy.
4 days in Pai’a to start with, the coolest town on the island and a good base to explore the Haleakala craters (surreal!), the Ho’okipa surf spot and the legendary road to Hana. The beach at Baldwin beach park is always a treasure, very roots with mosty locals and barely a tourist in sight. Not much swimming doable due to the high surf but lots of great fun in the waves – perfect.
NB: the bike shop there is great too, had to go a few times after my chain snapped and the bike was serviced perfectly.