My Hawaiian Foodie Adventure Part II
Welcome to Heidi’s Hawaiian foodie adventure part II with the Epic5 Ultra Runners!
Molokai “The Friendly Island”
Of all the inter-island flights we took during the event, flying from Oahu to Molokai is a clear standout for me. Taking off in a small plane from Makani Kai Air, you immediately take in the breathtaking aerial views of Honolulu and miles of gorgeous coastline. I had extensively traveled the roads of southern Oahu for the Epic5 Challenge Ultra Tri event six months prior, so this aerial view was a treat. Forever in my mind will be emblazoned the mountains, waterfalls and fields that were visible from our seats.
True to its name, Molokai is known as the “Friendly Island” and for good reason. As we descended into the airport, bountiful fields of green welcomed us, and a rainbow brightly encompassed the airfield and land.
Grocery shopping presented a challenge, as I thought it might, with only two main grocery stores on the entire island (and only open for one more hour, upon landing). Molokai is sparsely populated, with the resident tally about 7,000. But let me tell you: it adds to the magic of Molokai.
The residents are incredibly kind and the land is gentle. There is a quote, by Waipa Purdy:
“When you come to Molokai, don’t try to change Molokai. Molokai will change you.”
Our itinerary, in order to fit in each 50k, required us to travel in late afternoon/evening. So as soon as I took in the Molokai sunset, I headed to the grocery store. My mission: find fresh supplies to make tomorrow’s meals. Two of my menu options included chia pudding and overnight oats, which both needed almond milk. Well… I found it, there were 3 cartons in the fridge! Lucky me, I got one and found a few other necessities.
Toting a Vitamix, my intention was to fresh-make smoothies on each island. This didn’t happen, as I thought may be the case, which is why I scouted out local smoothie shops (plus, this was a great way to engage with local shop owners!) Molokai was unique as there wasn’t a smoothie shop available.
The next morning, when the runners took off at 6 am for their 50k, I headed into town with Kawika, a coach for the Hawaii Running Project, also known as our “island guru”. As luck would have it, I stumbled into a weekly farmers’ market. Oh, the joy and excitement that filled my body!! Incredibly fresh supplies! I gathered smoothie basics: leafy greens, ginger, fresh turmeric root, and cucumbers.
Whipping up the smoothies was no joke! Imagine an incredibly quiet island, with few stores, and lots of remote land. In order to make them cold and refreshing, I found a way: visit the local Molokai Airport, use an outdoor charger and get blending. [One of my favorite parts of my job is to insert creativity, whenever possible!]
Greeting the finishers with these fresh island smoothies was a happy moment. I got to explain where/how I sourced the ingredients and share even more of Molokai with them.
Next thing you knew, we were Maui-bound! Check back in for the finale in part III!