Sunshine showered over happy participants at the Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, September 4, 2016. Hosting over 400 more runners than 2015, a record 2044 participated in the 8th annual event.
Runners from 44 States and 13 countries enjoyed the magic of the Garden Isle. The Aloha State was well represented with 1051 local registrants of whom 737 were from Kauai. Additionally, there were 65 participants who ran the full or half marathon for the 8th year in a row.
The performance of the day went to Shou Sakuma from Japan who completed the Full Marathon in an impressive 2:30:51, one of the fastest times in the history of the course. Sakuma shared the excitement of his victory: “There is no question that the nature of the course overwhelmed me. However, the community of Kauai and their warm support is what drove me to win the race. Everyone’s energy was amazing.”
The second place finisher in the men’s field for the Full Marathon was Rich Hanna of California with a time of 2:53:20 and third place went to local Honolulu resident Kengo Yoshimoto with a time of 3:05:42. Yuko Nakai of Honolulu dominated the women’s race in a time of 3:16:03 followed by Becki Lynn Lassley of Colorado in 3:39:28 and Mari Kauri from Washington in 3:40:43.
Colorado’s Tyler McCandless won the Half Marathon for the third year in a row with a course record time of 1:06:47. He was followed by Alaskan runner Kent Smith with a time of 1:25:03. Third place went to Michael Woo of Texas at 1:31:39.
Carrie Zografos of Oregon won the women’s Half Marathon with a time of 1:29:21. The battle for second was the tightest race of the day between Nicole Chyr of Colorado and Keri Olson of California. Chyr clocked in at 1:30:43 while Olson crossed the finish at 1:31:01.
Kauai’s top finishers were Derrick Ledesma and Brook Sugahara for the Full Marathon and Brandon Jacinto and Jackie Reding in the Half Marathon.
The 2016 event featured far more than the successful running of the Marathon and Half Marathon. The world class Wilcox Health Sports and Fitness Expo provided a backdrop for runners to meet several running celebrities, as well as informative health and wellness seminars in the days leading up to the race. The Fun Run on Saturday morning brought runners together for a casual “shake out” morning adventure. And finally, the Fourth Annual Keiki Run sponsored by Wilcox Health energized over 145 children from the ages of 2 to 12 with exciting races at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.
Runner’s World’s Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso was on hand for the week’s festivities handing out tips and inspiration to all the runners. Yasso believes Kauai hosts one of the best running events he has been a part of because of the accessibility to the running community through the Expo, pre-race fun run and the finish line party. He loves the personal connections he makes and always looks forward to the aloha shared by the people of Kauai.
Several sponsors made the event possible including: County of Kauai, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Kauai Coffee, Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, Nukumoi Surf Co., Wilcox Health, Kauai Heritage Properties, HMSA, Cardno, Living Foods Gourmet Market and Café, Williams Construction and Poipu Beach Resort Association. Many other local businesses assisted by providing volunteer lunches, accommodations and supplies for the medical tent.
Over $7,000 was generously donated to numerous local non-profit groups volunteering for race day activities. Kalaheo Elementary School, Swim Kauai Aquatics, and the Waimea High School Project Grad are just a few.
Another great run. Such a wonderful community event! Thanks for organizing the weather too! See you in 2017