Conference Championships Trip to Hawaii

This year’s cross country season is flying by. This afternoon I’m flying to Billings, Montana with the team for the NCAA DII West Regionals Meet. If they qualify we’ll be off to Florida in two and a half weeks for Nationals, if not our season will be over – but it’s more than likely that we will qualify! 😀

Before I’m off on another trip I thought it would be fun to share about our trip to Hawaii two weeks ago for the PacWest Conference Championships, so here goes!


On Thursday morning I was up bright and EARLY to drop Lavinia off with my mother-in-law and then head to school to meet the bus. After a looooong day of travel we landed in Hilo, HI and were greeted by a welcome committee from the host school playing ukeleles and presenting us with leis. 


We loaded up in a bunch of mini vans and were off to the hotel to get checked in and changed for a run. When I first stepped into my room I couldn’t believe my eyes! Just check out that view!!!


About 30 mins after we landed the athletes, other coaches and I met up for a shake out run. It was really nice to run after being stuck on airplanes all day and we enjoyed some beautiful sunset views along the way.

view from our run
post-run strides

It was late when we finished up so we showered really quick and headed out to a local pancakes house for dinner, weird I know but the food was actually surprisingly good. I can’t say no to pancakes when they are available so I ended up with banana macadamia nut pancakes. Yum!


Friday started off nice and slow, we didn’t have to meet up until 10am so I spent a relaxed morning sleeping, FaceTiming with Henri and Lavinia, eating breakfast at the hotel and taking a trip to Walmart with the other assistant coach to grab supplies for the weekend. (<— with 20 hungry athletes in tow lots of snacks are required!)

We loaded up the vans at 10am and headed to the course for a short run and course preview. I didn’t bring my phone on the run for pictures because it was BEYOND muddy. I’m talking shin deep puddles of mud! We ran most of the women’s course and after hosing the mud off we grabbed lunch on the way back to the hotel for showers and homework before the conference banquet.



After getting a headache on Friday from what I suspected to be a lack of caffeine I looked up a local coffee shop and made a quick coffee run before we met up to drive to the course. If you ever find yourself in Hilo, HI I definitely recommend Just Cruisin Coffee! I had a little bit of time to kill before we headed out so I spent a few minutes enjoying my iced latte on the hotel’s porch watching the sunrise. 


The girls started warming up right after we got to the course so I meandered to the starting line to cheer on our men’s team. As I was on my way over I spotted the first rainbow of the weekend (the first of many!).


Then at 7:30 the men were off!


Considering the conditions our men ran really, really well and came out as Conference Champions for the 5th year in a row!


Next up were the women! We had seen a few of the men lose shoes in their race so we had our girls tape their laces to keep them from losing shoes in the mud but the first 200m was so wet that the tape unraveled and came off right at the start! :O


Seeing them come through at the halfway point was surreal! They were clearly winning and one of our freshman was even in first place!


When it was all said and done we had scored 23 points and placed 9 of our 10 girls in the top 21… aka the All-Conference Team!

img_6339Conference Champs for the 3rd year running! Go Lancers!


We spent the rest of Saturday eating lots of yummy food, exploring Rainbow Falls…




exploring at the Volcanoes National Park (if you look super close you can see some red lava causing the giant cloud of smoke!)


and splurging on some ice cream!


We had to squeeze as much as we could into our day because Sunday morning we were up and on the road to the airport early in the morning for a day-long trip home. 

All in all, it was a great trip! I missed Lavinia so much but Henri’s mom did a great job watching her until Henri got home and could take over. This working mom thing is harder than I ever could have imagined but also so rewarding! It’s been such an honor this year to be a part of such a talented team, and even though I’ve only known my athletes for a few months I am crazy proud of them and their success as a team!

If you’re interested in our Regionals trip this weekend I’ll definitely be sharing when I get home but in the meantime feel free to follow on InstaStory – I’ll be posting there all weekend long!