I was lucky to be joined by two people for part of the marathon at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. For the first ten miles I was joined by my new friend Myunggi An. I don't remember the story about how he found out about my project but got inspired enough to fly all the way from Detroit to run with me. I am humbled that he would make such a journey but thankful he did. We had a blast running on the lava field on the Ka'u Desert Trail. We dealt with a 25 mile per hour headwind for most of the run but got to experience several different types of lava and Pele's hair, this golden volcanic glass that made the ground sparkle.
As I continued I got caught in the rain, saw a wild boar, ran through a lava tube and ran across the crater of a volcano. As you watch you get a peak into the kookybirds realm of my mind. Sometimes when I'm out running on my own I get a phrase or a piece of a song in my head and I repeat it over and over. In this case it was when I was on the Kilauea Iki Trail. That name just seemed to roll off my tongue again and again.
Around mile 22 I met up with my second friend Mark Bydalek. I also don't remember the story about where he heard about my project but he wanted to join me to put the cap on his own running endeavor. He had the goal to run at least five kilometers in all 50 states and Hawaii would be the last one. He reached this goal in 24 months. Just the travel alone is a challenge! I was honored that he wanted to cap off his effort with me. We ran together from the overlook of the Kilauea Volcano to the Visitor Center.
Running on lava fields was amazing. Running through a tropical forest was amazing. Running through a volcano crater was amazing. But sharing it with others is the most amazing of all. #runningtheparks