The sunrise was perfect for the start of The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, September 1, 2019. Over 2,200 participants registered for the 11th annual event.
Runners from 50 States and 15 countries enjoyed the magic of the Garden Isle. The Aloha State was well represented with 1,137 local registrants of whom 881 were from Kauai. Additionally, there were 51 participants who ran the full or half marathon for the 11th year in a row.
The performance of the day went to overall winner and top female finisher Jill Thompson of Aiea, Hawaii. She completed the full marathon in an impressive 3:07:05. Thompson shared the excitement of her victory: “From the beauty of the course to the hospitality of everyone I came across, The Kauai Marathon was an amazing experience. A true reflection of these islands and aloha.”
The first place finisher in the men’s field for the full marathon was Jason Gortari of Reno, Nevada with a time of 3:28:07 followed by Aaron Kent of Honolulu clocking in at 3:33:38. Third place was San Francisco resident Scott Golden finishing at 3:37:34. Kauai women dominated the field with Brooke Sugahara of Kapaa placing second with a time of 3:48:33 and Alex Dutcher of Koloa crossing the finish line in 3:50:10.
Colorado’s Tyler McCandless won the Half Marathon for the sixth year in a row with a time of 1:07:41. San Francisco’s Chris Ashley placed second with a time of 1:23:58 followed by Corey Phillis of Sacramento, California with a time of 1:24:33.
Lauren Tippits of Pescadero, California won the women’s Half Marathon crossing the finish at 1:25:15. The battle for second was between Jessica Smith or Roanoke, Texas with a time of 1:32:59 and Jackie Reding of Kapaa, Hawaii crossing the finish at 1:36:43.
Kauai’s top finishers were Karl Israelsen and Brooke Sugahara for the Full Marathon and Renatao Desouza and Jackie Reding in the Half Marathon.
The 2019 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 Seventh Annual Keiki Run sponsored by Wilcox Health energized a record number 177 children from the ages of 2 to 12 with exciting races at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.
The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon host 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, Koloa Landing Resort, Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, Nukumoi Surf Co., Wilcox Health, HMSA, and Living Foods Gourmet Market and Café. 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. Kauai High Cross Country, Kauai Futsal, and The Koloa Early School are just a few.
For 2019 results and more information, visit thekauaimarathon.com.