The crown jewel of the XTERRA Trail Run Series is the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, and the majestic Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii has served as the host site since the creation of this prestigious event in 2008.
A 21-kilometer half-marathon course is considered the world championship course, and it takes runners through some of the most diverse – and scenic – terrain on the planet.
It is worth noting that there is no qualifying process to enter the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. It is an event open to runners of all ages, with skill levels that can range from elite to beginner. In order to accommodate the various levels, there will be various courses – the 21K championship course, a 10K, a 5K, and an “adventure walk.”
The trails at Kualoa Ranch are normally closed to the public, so it offers a rare opportunity for runners to experience the unique setting.
The 4,000-acre working cattle ranch reaches from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling sea, and the terrain varies from dense rainforest to broad open valleys, with close-up views of beautiful white sand beaches and awesome verdant cliff faces. The epic nature of Kualoa Ranch has served as a scenic backdrop for numerous television shows and Hollywood films such as Jurassic Park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun, 50 First Dates, and LOST.
The fastest runners on the 21K course will be competing for a $10,000 total prize purse (top seven overall men and top seven overall women receive money). Everyone who conquers the half-marathon championship course will earn a finisher’s medal, and the top three runners for every age group in the 21K, 10K and 5K will receive medals and other prizes.
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is the culminating event of the XTERRA Trail Run Series, which is a collection of more than 70 adventurous, off-road trail runs of various distances around the world.
Note: You must be present to receive your awards at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. Awards will not be mailed after the event. Also, as a course rule for safety purposes, headphones are not allowed to be worn by runners.
Everyone who enters by October 31 is guaranteed an official event t-shirt.
5KM TRAIL RUN/WALK, 10KM TRAIL RUN
Although not considered championship races, XTERRA will also host a pair of fun and beautiful 5km and 10km trail runs that take you from the base-to-the-back of majestic Kaaawa Valley.
THE ADVENTURE WALK
The adventure walk is perfect for those just wanting to take in the epic scenery of Kualoa Ranch, as this hosted stroll cruises past many of the movie sights in the valley. It’s about a mile-and-a-half and easily paced.
Kids under 10 can join the Adventure Walk for free.
XTERRA KIDS SPRINT (FREE)
The XTERRA Kids Sprint is a fun way for the keiki to compete just like their parents in a supportive environment where everyone is a winner. The runs are free for kids 12 and younger, and the race distances will vary from around 100 yards to 1 kilometer, depending on the sizes and ages of the children. A parent or guardian must be present to sign a waiver form each child. Parents of the younger children can run alongside their children during the sprint.
XTERRA KIDS ZONE (FREE)
The XTERRA Kids Zone will offer children a chance to participate in numerous games and activities. Several challenge stations will be set up, including an obstacle course, climbing wall, and drawing/coloring areas.
XTERRA UNIVERSITY Presented by Paul Mitchell
There will be two sessions at Waikiki Beach Walk ® on Saturday – one at 10 a.m. the other at 2pm. These elite runners will offer expert advice on trail running and preparation for the race. The clinic, presented by Paul Mitchell, is free and open to runners of all ages and skill levels. Each session will allow time for runners to ask questions of the featured speakers.
PAUL MITCHELL CUT-A-THON
Pro stylists from Paul Mitchell will be cutting hair from 9:00am until 1pm for just $15, and 100% of that will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation – helping physically challenged athletes reach their athletic goals.
We are looking for people who have a few hours to spare to help with the event. We need volunteers for the following times and events. Volunteer Check-In will be at the XTERRA Expo at Kualoa Ranch- Kaaawa Valley Entrance. All volunteers will receive an XTERRA event t-shirt, drinks, and lunch.
7 am Volunteer Check-In for Run Support
What experience or qualifications are required to be an XTERRA volunteer?
- No experience necessary
- You must be at least 15 years old, or 12, if accompanied by an adult
- You must have a willingness and desire to help others
- You must have a few hours to spare
Run volunteer positions:
- Course Marshal (direct runners)
- Aid Station (Hand-out water/ Gatorade to runners
- Finish Line/ Athlete Recovery (cut-up & stock food at the finish line
- Run volunteers will be needed for up to 4 hours
8:30AM VOLUNTEER CHECK-IN FOR XTERRA Kids Zone (9AM-2PM)
Kids Zone volunteer positions:
- Registration (sign-in kids )
- Course marshal (assist with obstacle course and kid’s races)
- Kids Zone volunteers will be needed until 2pm
Please email or call the XTERRA Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer [at] xterraplanet.com with any questions or just show up and we will find you an exciting spot. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, December 1 at Waikiki Beach Walk (227 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815)
9am-5pm - Registration and packet pick-up at Waikiki Beach Walk
10am - XTERRA University, presented by Paul Mitchell
Featuring 25-29 division XTERRA World Champ Andy Wacker and his wife Karley Rempel
2pm - XTERRA University, presented by Paul Mitchell
Featuring 2018 women’s champ Dani Moreno, plus local stars Jono Blodgett and Melanie Koehl
Sunday, December 2 at Kaaawa Valley - Kualoa Ranch (49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744)
7:00am - Shuttle buses depart Waikiki Beach Walk for Kaaawa Valley
7:00am - Parking gates into Kaaawa Valley Open (No entry into the valley prior to 7am)
7:05am - Packet pickup and registration at Kualoa Ranch
8:00am - Expo Open
8:00am - Registration closed for new entries
8:45am - Hawaiian Blessing by Kahu Kelekona Bishaw
8:50am - Race Briefing
9am-1:30p - Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation
9am-2:00p - XTERRA Kids Zone challenge stations open
9:00am - XTERRA Trail Run World Championship 21K start
9:10am - XTERRA 10K start
9:20am - XTERRA 5K start
9:25am - XTERRA Adventure Walk start
9:40am - Projected 5K winner
9:50am - Projected 10K winner
10:15am - Projected World Championship Men’s Winner (Women’s winner 10:35am)
10:45am - XTERRA Kids Sprint (Free)
11:00am - XTERRA 5K and 10K Awards ceremony
12:30pm - XTERRA World Championship 21K Awards ceremony
1:00pm - Two of three Shuttle Buses depart Kualoa Ranch for Waikiki
1:30pm - Expo Close
2:30pm - Last 21K finisher
2:30pm - Last Shuttle Bus departs Kualoa Ranch for Waikiki
6:30pm - After Party in Waikiki at the Wisp Restaurant & Lounge inside the Lotus Hotel @ 2885 Kalakaua Ave
No host food and drinks available
8:00pm - Slideshow and video highlights at After Party
The start for all three race distances is at the Kaaawa Valley base camp. Runners leave on a hard-packed dirt road and with a quarter-mile face their first task – a long, undulating one-mile climb.
At the 1.5-mile mark, the 5K runners will head down a pasture and back towards the ocean and the finish line. The world championship 21K and 10K runners will continue on the upper road until heading steeply downhill, some on road, some on grass towards the back of the valley.
A hard right and the 21K and 10K runners head to the very back of Kaaawa Valley before turning around at the second aid station which marks the beginning of the scenic single track. It’s high pasture that dips into volcanic gulches to rise again into the sun. You’ll do this several times. Ultimately, the 10K runners will take a well-marked and marshalled left turn down the slope about a quarter-mile and take their own, new single track down the mountain and to the finish. For the 21K world champ runners, the fun has just begun.
The half-marathoners will eventually exit Kaaawa Valley on dirt roads and past a cave from the movie “Pearl Harbor” as they move from one valley to another. After aid station 3, runners will head into some up-and-down single/double track. Here, runners venture deep into forest, and out on the edges with spectacular ocean overlooks and finally a dip into a dark, tropical rain forest with three stream crossings. If it looks familiar, think about the scenes from the movie “Battleship”.
Just when runners might be thinking “this isn’t so bad,” the terrain starts to climb. Easy at first, and then brutally steep, and totally exposed to the sun. Just as you think it has leveled, the lie comes true and it is up again. At last a feed station that appears to be a dead end, but it’s not. We are taking you up narrow single track – by narrow, we mean a foot at most – the spine that separates Hakipu’u and Kaaawa valleys. You’ll wish you could stop as you can see a thousand miles of blue Pacific Ocean no matter which way you turn. Then the single track plunges steep downhill into muddy, rutty, drop-offs that are slimy and slippery. We’ve put ropes to help you stay upright and you’ll want to use them.
The good news? That steep downhill section is only about a quarter-mile. At the bottom, you’ll find the terrain familiar as you return to the back of Kaaawa Valley and run that gorgeous, fast and soft single track one more time to the finish.
New: First-time ever, a new epic section of gravel trail on the Hakipu’u side showcases incredible views of the coastline, and we’ll also pass the downed chopper from Kong; Skull Island this year.
HIGHEST POINT – 706 feet
TOTAL CLIMBING – Approx 2800 feet
There will be two aid stations for the 5K race, three for the 10K, and nine for the 21K. Locations are identified on the race map. Gatorade and water served at all stations. Please do not trash the course. Dispose of cups and gel packs in designated areas at aid stations.
TRAIN WITH WHAT’S ON COURSE
Lemon-lime Gatorade Endurance Formula will be available on course at all aid stations. Endurance Formula has nearly two times the sodium and three times the potassium of traditional Gatorade. Newly reformulated, it now contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners and a new, lighter flavor.
TRAFFIC AND PARKING INFORMATION
There is a one lane highway in both directions to the Ranch, so heavy traffic is expected. Please come early, set-up and relax!
The gates open at 7 a.m. It is $5 per car, and to help speed things up you can prepay and get a parking pass at packet pick-up in Waikiki on Saturday. Place the parking pass on the dashboard of your car. If you can’t come Saturday, please bring a $5 bill on race morning.
If you are coming from Honolulu the entrances into Kaaawa Valley are PAST the Kualoa Ranch main entrance. We’ll have two entrances into the middle of Kaaawa Valley – the traditional surf gate entry for those coming from Honolulu and another northern entry for those coming from the North Shore.
When the traffic starts to back-up at “surf gate” volunteers will waive you down to the next gate. The distance to parking is the same and this maneuver has proven to dramatically improve traffic on Kamehameha Highway so please go with the flow.
2018 Revised Course Run Record Times:
Joe Gray: 1:23:07
Dani Moreno: 1:41:07
Bring a chair, rain jacket, umbrella, maybe some mosquito repellent, a towel, change of clothes, your patience (while you’re in line to park), and a cooler! You’ll have easy access to your car to retrieve whatever you need, and we’ll also have a bag check at the ranch. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase, and some cool new XTERRA apparel will be on sale. Bring your kids too, they’ll love it, but please leave your dogs at home.
RAIN OR SHINE – The race will go on. We actually think it’d be very cool if it rained. Can you imagine how much fun we’d have slipping and sliding down the muddy slopes in the Valley. It’d be like a scene straight out of an Indiana Jones adventure! We’ll have a wash area for you to clean-up regardless.
PACKET PICKUP AND REGISTRATION
SATURDAY IN WAIKIKI, SUNDAY AT KUALOA RANCH
Experience the best of both worlds. Registration and packet pick-up will take place in the heart of Waikiki at the Waikiki Beach Walk ® on Lewers Street on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9am-5pm (on the grassy area next to the Yard House on Lewers Street), while the race site for Sunday is Kualoa Ranch – a sacred place untouched by development.
Note: You can also pick-up your packet race morning at Kualoa Ranch starting at 7 a.m. (but there is no raceday registration).
Parking for Packet Pick-up: Be adventurous and find your own in Waikiki or valet park at the Embassy Suites (enter from Beachwalk street) which offers free lunch parking – Valid daily, between 10am – 3pm with same day receipt.
Shuttle from Waikiki – For $25 a 60-passenger school bus will take you from Waikiki to the Ranch and back in hassle-free air conditioned comfort. Pick-up is at 7am at the Waikiki Beach Walk ® on Lewers Street, you’d arrive a little before 8am, and the buses head back to the same spot from Kualoa Ranch starting at 1pm. Good way to save on parking, gas, rental car, and directional worries!
Parking at Kualoa Ranch – $5 per vehicle.
To speed up your entry to Kualoa Ranch, please purchase a pass at packet pickup in Waikiki and display it on your dashboard.
We are offering a discount for Students and Active Duty Military. Valid ID must be shown at packet pickup. Event shirts are limited. Only athletes signing up by October 31, 2018 are guaranteed a shirt.
Kualoa Ranch is only 45 minutes from Waikiki. To get there, take the H-1 Freeway west to the LIKELIKE Highway / Route 63. Proceed up the LIKELIKE Highway and through the Wilson Tunnel. Descend towards Kaneohe town and exit onto KAHEKILI Highway / Route 83, heading north. You will go straight through the light at the end of the KAHEKILI exit.
Continue along Kahekili Highway – note that the road becomes Kamehameha Highway as you pass the historic “Hygienic Store” in the village of Kahalu`u. In about 10 minutes you will see signs indicating you are approaching the Kualoa Ranch entrance which will be on your left as you round the curve past Mokoli`i Island (Chinaman’s Hat). Parking at Kualoa Ranch is $5 per vehicle. To speed up your entry to Kualoa Ranch, please purchase a pass at packet pickup in Waikiki and display it on your dashboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ll be at the Waikiki Beach Walk ® (the grassy area next to Yard House at 226 Lewer’s Street) in Waikiki on Saturday from 9am-5pm for packet pick-up and new race registration. If you know anyone that wants in but has not yet signed-up tell them to come down to Waikiki on Saturday by 5pm as online registration is now closed. Note: We are not able to transfer registrations or provide refunds, but you are able to switch race distances if necessary when you pick up your packet.
Be adventurous and find your own in Waikiki or valet park at the Embassy Suites (enter from Beachwalk street) which offers validated parking between 10am – 3pm with same day receipt of $20. Find parking coupon here: http://www.waikikibeachwalk.com/dine.aspx
Yes, if they signed themselves up with our online registration.
Yes, you can pick up your packet on race morning at Kualoa Ranch between 7-8:30am.
From Waikiki and downtown Honolulu take the H-1 Freeway west to the Likelike (Highway 63) exit. Take the Likelike Highway towards Kaneohe through the Wilson tunnel. Look for the Kahekili exit on the right. It curves to the left and you will head north until you reach Kualoa Ranch. Go past the main ranch entrance (do not park at main ranch entrance) for about one-mile and follow XTERRA parking signs into Kaaawa Valley.
Yes, so please come early, set-up and relax!
The gates open at 7 a.m. It is $5 per car, and to help speed things up you can prepay and get a parking pass at packet pick-up in Waikiki on Saturday. If you can’t come Saturday, please bring a $5 bill on race morning. Note that if you are coming from town the entrances are past the main ranch house. We’ll have two entrances into the middle of Kaaawa Valley – the traditional surf gate entry for those coming from town and another entry for those coming from the North Shore.
Please note that when traffic starts to back-up at “surf gate” volunteers will waive you down to the next gate. The distance to parking is the same and will relieve traffic on Kamehameha Highway so please go with the flow.
Yes, you can. For $25 a 60-passenger school bus will take you from Waikiki to the Ranch and back in hassle-free comfort. Pick-up is at 7am at the Waikiki Beach Walk ® on Lewer’s Street, you’d arrive a little before 8am, and the first two buses will head back to the same spot from Kualoa Ranch at 1:00pm. The last bus will head back around 2:30pm. Good way to save on parking, gas, rental car, and directional worries! Buy your shuttle tickets at packet pickup in Waikiki on Saturday.
Perfect! Actually, we’re really not sure at this point but for the latest weather updates watch our friend Guy Hagi at Hawaii News Now this week, and prepare for wet conditions.
Runners in the 21K will get their feet wet as the course traverses a couple of stream crossings. The 5K and 10K courses should be fairly dry (depending on rain over the next couple days) but count on some mud in the single track sections.
The 21k championship race starts at 9am.
The 10k at 9:10am.
The 5K will start at 9:20am.
The adventure walk at 9:25am.
The free Outrigger kids runs start at 10:45am.
All three runs head in the same direction but have different cut-offs to head back towards the finish.
There is no official lineup formation at the starting line, but as a common courtesy, the elite runners (you know who you are) should be allowed to line up in the front of the slower runners (you know who you are). The 10K and 5K races should follow the same guidelines with faster runners in the front.
NO. Sorry, we like to run with ours too but it’s not allowed during the race. In particular at this race, Kualoa Ranch has their regular bus, ATV, and horseback tours running through the valley and it is imperative you are aware of what’s happening around you.
Due to safety concerns, walking sticks are not allowed on the 5km, 10km or 21km courses. You are able to use them on the Adventure Walk.
Go to XTERRA University!
We’ll have featured speakers at this year’s XTERRA University clinics. They take place on Saturday (the day before the race) at the Waikiki Beach Walk ®. Registration and packet pick-up will be held in the same location, so it will be a good chance to grab your race number and listen to some expert advice. The clinics, presented by Paul Mitchell, are free and open to runners of all ages. Each session will allow time for runners to ask questions of the featured speakers.
Yes, if you need to leave anything like car keys, special food or clothing we will have a bag drop at the wood shelter near registration. No valuables please, and make sure your bag or keys are marked or tagged with your race # and name using stickers/baggies and markers supplied at the Bag Drop.
NO. JTL Timing uses a manual system, which has proven over the past 18 years to be the most accurate timing system we’ve ever worked with. Note there is a tag at the bottom of your race bib, don’t remove it as this is part of the timing system.
There will be two aid stations for the 5K race, three for the 10K, and nine for the 21K. Locations are identified on the race map. Gatorade and water served at all stations. Please do not trash the course. Dispose of cups and trash in designated areas.
Not until Sunday morning. You can sign your child up at the XTERRA Kids Zone tent being run by the crew at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts starting at 9am (until 10:30am). They’ll get a race bib just like the runners and can have fun in the kid’s area and run in the kid’s race too – where everyone wins and gets a medal! Distance is age appropriate – this is all about fun!
Yup! The Outrigger XTERRA Kids Zone will be open from 8 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m., and it will offer children a chance to participate in numerous games and activities. Several challenge stations will be set up, including an obstacle course, climbing net, and drawing/coloring areas. Outrigger Hotels & Resorts will also give away tattoos and other prizes for the children.
Thank your volunteers; we simply couldn’t do it without them. Even better, join us! Volunteer check-in is at the XTERRA Expo at Kualoa Ranch- Kaaawa Valley Entrance. All volunteers will receive an XTERRA event t-shirt, drinks, and lunch.
Pro stylists from Paul Mitchell will be cutting hair on race day at Kualoa Ranch for just $15, and 100% of that will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation – helping physically challenged athletes reach their athletic goals.
No, sorry, you must be present or have a friend pick it up for you at awarding.
Bring sunscreen, a chair, rain jacket, umbrella, maybe some mosquito repellent, a towel, change of clothes, patience (while you’re in line to park) and a cooler! You’ll have easy access to your car to retrieve whatever you need, and we’ll also have a bag check at the ranch. We’ll have lots of vendors out at the ranch, including our friends from Outrigger, the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, Muscle Milk, Suunto and XTERRA Gear keeping you protected.
And please, leave your dog at home (we love ‘em too, but remember it’s a working cattle ranch and the cowboys would rather them not be there).
Well, if it’s related to the race feel free to call the TEAM Unlimited offices until Friday at 808-521-4322 or contact Emily at trailrun [at] xterraplanet.com.