“Once in a blue moon,” so the saying goes. And under such a moon, the alarm on my phone chimes. It’s three am, early on Saturday morning. My eyes rapidly open, coffee brews and a hot shower wakes my aching muscles in a modern beachfront bungalow. My first full day on the French Polynesian island of Moorea begins with this ritual, the same before any long run. Bib pinned to my shorts, shoes laced tight and I’m out the door. Moments later, I stretch before the starting line of the Tahiti / Moorea Marathon. Little did I know what adventure these islands, just a quick overnight flight from Southern California, had in store.
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