The sunrise was perfect for the start of The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, September 2, 2018. A record number 2,276 participated in the 10th annual event.
Runners from 48 States and 17 countries enjoyed the magic of the Garden Isle. The Aloha State was well represented with 1,235 local registrants of whom 909 were from Kauai, which were both event records. Additionally, there were 61 participants who ran the full or half marathon for the 10th year in a row.
The performance of the day went to Shinya Ohashi of Ishinomaki, Japan, who completed the Full Marathon in an impressive 2:33:35. Ohashi shared the excitement of his victory: “The beauty of Kauai is so distracting. I found myself in awe of the scenery at every turn!”
The second place finisher in the men’s field for the Full Marathon was Marty McCormick of Arlington, Virginia with a time of 2:52:05 and third place went to Santa Ana, California resident Robert Ramirez with a time of 3:06:56. Jennifer Goldstein of Pacifica, California dominated the women’s race in a time of 3:22:45 followed by Laura Ankrum of Holualoa, Hawaii in 3:27:24 and Yuuki Takayama from Iwaki, Japan in 3:34:01.
Colorado’s Tyler McCandless won the Half Marathon for the fifth year in a row with a course record time of 1:06:41. He was followed by Crownpoint, New Mexico resident Matthew Liaw with a time of 1:15:46. Third place went to Christopher Rayder of Collierville, Tennessee at 1:17:18.
Varinka Barbini Esminger of Lexington, Kentucky won the women’s Half Marathon crossing the finish at 1:28:51. The battle for second was the tightest race of the day between Jackie Reding of Kapaa, Hawaii and Jen Engeberg from Honolulu, Hawaii. Reding clocked in at 1:33:20 while Engeberg crossed the finish at 1:35:15.
Kauai’s top finishers were Karl Israelsen and Connie Lutkevich for the Full Marathon and Harrison McMillen and Jackie Reding in the Half Marathon.
The 2018 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 Sixth Annual Keiki Run sponsored by Wilcox Health energized a record number 176 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, Living Foods Gourmet Market and Café, 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.
For 2018 results and more information, visit thekauaimarathon.com.