A slew of elite endurance cyclists from around the world gathered Saturday, Aug. 13 for the annual Sea to Stars cycling expedition – the hardest hill climb in the world.
This epic challenge departed from The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows at 9 a.m. with 42 cyclists riding a distance of around 49 miles and climbing to 9,300 feet elevation to reach the top of Mauna Kea.
With a steepness grade of more than 17 percent, Sea to Stars is the toughest and most exciting endurance race in the world.
Eric Lau, 22, from Honolulu crushed the finishing record in the race’s seven year history. He completed the grueling race in a time of 3:23.20.
The fastest time previously recorded was 3:45, achieved by fellow Honolulu cyclist, Mike Zagorski in 2010.
Ray Brust, 50, also from Honolulu, recorded a time of 3:29.24 coming in second.
Big Island triathlete, Rani Tanimoto, 35, made an impressive Sea to Stars debut taking out the women’s title with a time of 4:39.09.
Cyclists started the ride in humid and sunny 90 degree conditions and then endured heavy mist and a severe temperature drop to around 50 degrees as they approached Mauna Kea.
After the race, cyclists enjoyed a well-earned beer garden after-party and awards ceremony at the Mauna Lani Bay.