The biggest, most remote ultra event you’ve never heard of.

The maiden Mauna to Mauna Ultra event is upon us, and anticipation is bubbling at the surface.

The race, which takes place 14-20th May, comes from the masterminds behind the Grand to Grand Ultra. After realising their vision to create a world-class stage event in the ‘remotest place in America’, event organisers have gone one step further.

“We decided that we had to create a race on the remotest archipelago in the world. It has everything for an amazing stage race – tough and varied terrain, beauty, the world’s tallest and largest mountains, the world’s most active volcano, and 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.” — Mauna to Mauna

We’ve covered some seriously tenacious endurance challenges in the past, and Mauna to Mauna is right up there with the best of them.

Home to diverse, endemic landscapes, Hawaii is the backdrop to this extraordinary test of human willpower and physical resilience to the fantastic forces of nature.

Going wild

6 stages will unfold over 7 days, that’ll see competitors battle against unpredictable weather conditions, 250km of stark terrain and a total ascent of 16,742ft — all with just a tent for shelter!

This is a self-supported event which takes runners from the foothills of Mauna Loa, right the way to Mauna Kea (the world’s tallest mountain from base to peak).

All the while, those daring enough to take the plunge will have to prove themselves capable of surviving untamed Hawaiian landscapes that are defined by the island’s’ striking biodiversity.

“Hawaii Island is a unique ecological paradise, which has 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones. It is the only land on earth, which is growing because it has the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, which is continually erupting into the sea.” — Mauna to Mauna

Runners will come up against everything from the world’s most active volcano — Kilauea — extreme altitudes, twisted rain forest trails, sparse grasslands and vast beaches in their quest to complete Mauna to Mauna.

Hawaii may be widely regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, but behind its blue skies and white sands lies a wilder side that has the ability to expose even the most experienced ultra competitor.

Pushing extremes

If Mauna’s sister event, Grand to Grand (which stretches from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Staircase) is anything to go by, this is set to become one of the biggest ultra events in the global calendar.

Event organisers are determined to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience — a race that isn’t just ultra by name, but one which lives and breathes the absolute extremes.

Mauna to Mauna will feature runners from all over the world — but with spaces limited to just 100, participating Michelin athlete Cecile Bertin knows just how much of a test it’s going to be…

“It’ll be a new experience for me. My speciality is desert terrain, not half way up the side of a volcano! New places are always challenging. I’ve never trained on the island before and don’t really know much about the trail, so it’s going to be tough.”

Cecile, who has battled all manner of terrains — from the Gobi Desert to the sub-zero conditions of Antarctica — is no stranger to ultra events like this, but still admits it’s the finish line she looks forward to most!

“It’s always exciting to be a part of a maiden event, for me, for all the runners — it’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure.”

Big things are coming

Is Mauna to Mauna the world’s wildest ultra race?

Well, that’s up for some debate.

But it’s certainly the most remote, and is sure to throw up some hidden surprises along the way.

Volatile conditions will showcase the other side of Hawaii and the race is bound to grab the attention of the global ultra community.

This is definitely one to watch.

We’ll be following Cecile’s progress at Mauna to Mauna and throughout the year — so keep your eyes peeled for more from her in the coming weeks and months.

And while you’re at it go take a look at her blog: runfitfun.fr

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