United States

Hawaii "The Big Island," HI

The “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest and easternmost isle of the archipelago, and like the other islands in the state, it is comprised of shield volcanoes, inviting beaches, and tropic greenery. Running on Hawaii, the Big Island offers a great variety, from wonderful coastal trails, runnable beaches, paths along waterfront roads, and the unique Volcanoes National Park.

There are several great running routes across the island, from paved race courses, to scenic dirt roads, to crescents of beaches and bay fronts. Most of them are situated around the main tourist hub of Kona, but there are some further flung routes that are worth traveling for. The forerunner of popular routes is undoubtedly Alii Drive near Kona, but dirt roads such as Mana Road are also hot spots for running. Of course, we can’t leave out the waterfront paths at the Hilo Bayfront or Walua Road. Trail runners will get their thrills in Volcanoes National Park, while those who prefer sand can soak up the sun at Natural Energy Labs or Hapuna Beach. We’ve selected a variety of routes sprinkled across the island, so you should have no trouble finding one near you. Our thanks to the Big Island Running Company for their help with routes!

At about 95 miles across, Hawaii is twice as big as the other Hawaiian islands combined. With that in mind, the tourism experts recommend a rental car for getting around the island. Otherwise, your options for runs may be confined by the somewhat limited public bus system, although you can always hire a taxi or an Uber/Lyft. Still, whether you stick to the basic running routes or venture further into the jungle, a great run is waiting for you on the Big Island.

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The island of The Big Island has four distinct climate zones, varying by geography. Hilo is more tropical and wetter. There are also drier and hotter spots on the island. Areas of elevation, such as Volcanoes National Park, can feature cool, wet and windy weather with occasional snow.  When planning running on Hawaii, be prepared for intense heat, humidity, and also wet weather depending on location and season. The graph below is for Hilo.

Go Hawaii has a great trip planning website.

The Big Island Running Company  is the major running store on Hawaii. Group Runs:  Tuesdays & Thursdays 5pm from their Alii Dr. store. Also group runs in Hilo. Calendar. They are also very helpful with route planning!

Big Island Road Runners is the largest local running group.

Running Calendar for group runs and running events on Hawaii, courtesy of Big Island Running Company.