Mauna Kea Challenge 50k & 50 Miler



We are thrilled to announce the date of the Mauna Kea Challenge will be April 18th,2020 with the 50 miler beginning at 5:30 am and the 50 k beginning at 6 am!

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Above the clouds about 7 miles from the start of the course.

The course: will be a tough climbing heavy out and back, runnable 100% dirt course on 10jeep roads, that will make you wonder how the jeep made it up! The 50 mile will feature approximently 7500 feet of elevation gain, with the primary gain being the first half to the course, and the 50 k will feature around 5000 feet of elevation gain with the primary gain also being the first half of the course. Starting at 6000 feet it would be easy to underestimate these numbers, but the exposed style of jeep trail, and the intensity of relentless climbing will have you working hard all day.

50 k elevation chart
50 k Map
50 mile elevation chart
50 Mile Map

Aide Stations/ Drop Bags: The 50 Miler will have 3 aide station options Mile 12/25/38, while the 50 k will have 2 aide station options Mile 12/19. Drop bags will be placed at the mile 12/38 for 50 miles and at the 12/19 location for 50 k racers.

Much of the course is very runnable, and you will enjoy pushing yourself to new limits as you climb into the clouds and above.

Cut Off Times: Due to the environment being unpredictable at night, permitting, and elevations, we have imposed cut off times that will require you to move consistently. For this course the 50 milers and 50 k must complete by 9:30 pm giving the 50 mile 16 hours and the 50 k 15 hours and 30 minutes. This means 50 milers must move a little faster than 3 miles an hour ( hiking uphill and running downhill is possible here), and 50 k racers would be able to hike the course for completion at 2 miles per hour.

The Hawaiian silversword– known by its Hawaiian name ‘ahinahina (“very grey”)– is an exceptionally rare and endangered plant unique to Haleakala on Maui and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Required gear list will include: Jacket with a waterproof seam sealed lining, 2 headlamps or lights or 1 light with spare batteries in working condition, baseball cap or bandana, minimal 300 calories nutrition at all times, survival blanket, 1.5 liter water capacity as well as your own cup or container of choice – we are single use cup free, & your wag bag of choice. Blaze orange is the state of Hawaii’s recommended color choice, but any brightly colored outfit is allowed, please minimize black, grey, or camo colored clothing choices. This is a hunting location and we want to make sure everyone is as brightly colored as possible.

Pack it in, pack it out. This is a minimal style race and we expect you to pack in your own gear and pack out your own waste. Drop bags will be available for the racers, but you are expected to remove all of your own waste. This includes your own wag bag, as this is a environmentally sensitive location we expect you to “handle your own shit”, and leave wag bags only at marked receptacles.

We can’t wait to see you out for the Mauna Kea Challenge course!

Sign up:


Packet Pickup: will be between 4 – 6 pm April 17th (the day before the race) at on the makai ( ocean ) side of Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo. Otherwise we will be at the race start early and able to give you everything then also.  

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4 thoughts on “Mauna Kea Challenge 50k & 50 Miler

    1. Depends entirely on the state of hawaii, this event is permitted thru DLNR so it depends on them to when the rescheduling is, unfortunately that’s not something we can control.


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