Day 2 of search ends with no sign of missing trail runner from.. - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Day 2 of search ends with no sign of missing trail runner from Norway

Are Hjorungnes Are Hjorungnes
Lionel Camara Lionel Camara
Mike Minch Mike Minch

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

MOKULEIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Looking for a needle in a haystack. That's how Honolulu fire crews described the search for a missing trail runner on the mountain above Dillingham Airfield Sunday.

For the second straight night, the search and rescue operation has wrapped up with no sign of the visitor from Norway. Authorities are trying to determine if he's still on the hillside, or if he managed to leave the trail on his own.

Fire officials say there's a couple of things working against the University of Oslo professor. He's believed to be unfamiliar with the trails on Oahu, and he's not carrying a cell phone.

Air One's pilot scanned the Mokuleia hillside from above, after dropping firefighters off on the Kealia Trail to search for the missing visitor on foot.

"Exact location, currently unknown," Battalion Chief Lionel Camara, Honolulu Fire Department, said. "So we're searching the areas from, basically from Kaena Point side all the way back towards Peacock Flats and towards Makua. It's a very large area."

They're looking for Are Hjorungnes of Norway, a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. We're told he and about half a dozen members of the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team were about eight miles into their trail run Saturday, when the 40-year-old vanished.

"They stopped to get some water at a stash that we have," Mike Minch, Hawaiian Ultra Running Team, said. "This individual, who's new to running in Hawaii, evidently got some water and then left the group ahead of them."

Team members, who run on mountain trails as part of their training for marathons and longer races, returned Sunday to help in the search. They say the professor was new to the group.

"We've been doing this for years and this is the first time we've had a situation like this," Minch said.

The area is described as a network of trails used by four-wheelers, hunters and hikers alike.

"You can get easily disoriented up there, especially if you're not familiar with the trails," Camara said.

And because it was a run, Hjorungnes was traveling lightly.

"He has no cell phone with him," Camara said. "He didn't have any food or water with him."

"Go with a group and go with a cell phone and let people know where you're going," Minch said. "This is a good example of how things can turn bad very quickly."

Fire officials say it is possible Hjorungnes is off the trail and safe at home. But because he was new to the running group, no one has his home address or a phone number to call.

If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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