After a year (or potentially more) without races, you're likely itching to get back out on the course. And after months and months of being housebound, you're also likely itching to get away. Why not do both? Combine an epic race weekend with a once-in-a-lifetime trip?
We’ve got great news: You can. This summer, on the weekend of Aug. 21-22, we’re bringing the heat back to the Aloha State. The Hawaii Spartan Trifecta Weekend — hosted at Kāneʻohe, on Kualoa Ranch — is definitely at the top of the list of ultimate destination races in 2021. The ranch, known as Hollywood's "Hawaii Backlot" (and for good reason), has been the site of over 60 Hollywood films, television shows, concerts, and music videos since 1955, including The Karate Kid II (1986), Godzilla (2000), Soul Surfer (2011), and Jurassic World (2015). Yep, that's right: You will have the opportunity to traverse the same terrain as Colin Trevorrow’s Indominus rex.
With vaccinations becoming more readily available and the world beginning to thaw out of quarantine (and winter), there’s never been a more perfect time to finally take that race getaway you’ve been dreaming of. After over a year of reminiscing about “better days," we could all use a little sun on our skin and sand in our toes on O'ahu, one of Hawaii’s most gorgeous and highest-rated islands,
So go ahead and ready your RD Pros (and your flip-flops) and bring the whole family, because in addition to authentic Hawaiian events and unparalleled bonding opportunities with fellow racers, this weekend getaway will feature races for all Spartans.
Whether you’re in it for the long haul — ready to tackle miles of rugged rainforest terrain in a Beast, Ultra, or Super — or simply working a sightseeing, obstacle-laden training session into your already amazing vacation (you can do a Sprint, too), we’ve got you covered. There's also a Kids Race for the smaller Spartans in your crew.
If there’s one trip you should absolutely take as your first post-COVID summer excursion, it’s this one.
The Spartan Guide to Living on Island Time
We’ve been returning to the Hawaiian islands for years now. O'ahu, referred to as “The Gathering Place” and the heart of Hawaii, is the state’s most-visited island (hence the nicknames). While any race you choose this weekend is sure to pack a hearty punch of unforgettable views, sites, and sounds, these are a few of the island’s can’t-misses and must-sees that will truly turn a regular race weekend into your complete fantasy escape.
1. Experience the Authentic Luau
Being a Spartan is all about community. After so much time seeing smiles through webcams, the Friday night luau is the perfect way to reconnect with your favorite racing friends or find your tribe for the first time on your initial night on the island. Featuring authentic Hawaiian cuisine, music, and even more flames than a Spartan Fire Jump, this pre-race party is a blast, and the perfect welcome to your latest adventure spot.
2. Kick Back at the Exclusive Spartan Race Lounge
When you travel and stay at one of Spartan’s partner hotels — Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach or Queen Kapiʻolani Hotel Waikiki Beach — you’ll automatically have access to the Spartan Race Lounge, a designated space within your hotel for like-minded racers to build friendships, share successes, or just bask in the beach breeze together. Also, if you’re like most racers — always itching for opportunities to snag your registration packet early — we've got you. Packets can be picked up right at the hotel, so you can focus more on the obstacles ahead of you and less on the logistics.
3. Wade Into Waikiki Beach
One of the most famous beaches in the world is close enough for you to wash off the mud before it even has a chance to dry. The white-sand coast of Waikiki was once occupied by Hawaiian royalty, who spent their time longboard surfing in the 1800s. The tradition lives on today. In addition to hula dancing, the occasional outdoor music event, and world-class dining, half the beach is devoted to surfers of all types. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the long, rolling waves fit for kings (and Spartans, of course). Kowabunga!
4. Ride, Bike, or Zip Line
When it comes to adventure sports, there is no shortage of incredible options at Kualoa Ranch. After you're done crushing the epic trails and obstacles, you can take the Jurassic Adventure Tour, zip line above Ka’a’awa Valley, and take electric mountain bikes or ATVs out for a spin. If you want something a bit more relaxed (but still awesome), you can go horseback riding or take a tour of local Hollywood movie sites.
5. Explore Honolulu
Ranked the most livable city in the U.S. in 2018, Hawaii’s capital — located just 20 minutes from Kāneʻohe — boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, historic monuments, and panoramic views in the world.
Are you a history buff? Explore the famous lagoon at Pearl Harbor. Looking for a little extra oomph? Climb up the city’s ancient volcano head and its most popular state park, Diamond Head. And if that (AND your race) doesn't pose enough of a challenge, consider climbing the Koko Crater Trail (popularly known as Koko Head Stairs) for a StairMaster-type workout that will test your strength and endurance as you traverse World War II-era railroad ties up the entire hillside. (Sounds almost like a Spartan race, doesn't it?)
Is snorkeling more your speed? No problem: Just head over to Hanauma Bay State Park for pristine paradise. And if the kids are feeling antsy after a long day tearing up the course, the Honolulu Zoo will give them the perfect fix.