Race founder Jeff Sacchini, 2015

Race founder Jeff Sacchini, 2015

1) Can you believe this year will celebrate the 10th Annual Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon? 

Time flies when you’re having fun! It seems like we should be celebrating our 5-year anniversary as we have enjoyed the work that goes in to the event and the cherished memories we have created. And we’ve certainly learned a thing or two about what it takes to organize and plan a premier destination running event!

2) Before you started it did you realize how much blood, sweat and aloha goes into these types of events? 

I severely underestimated the scope of work, the time commitment and how many resources are needed to pull it all together each year. It really takes a community of dedicated individuals to make it special. Fortunately, we have had the same folks year after year who really know what they are doing in all aspects of the weekend festivities. And I feel it shows in the quality of how our event is produced and organized.

3) Where did the original idea come from to start Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon? 

Running has always spurred thoughts and dreams throughout my life. The longer the run, the crazier the ideas… so, this idea happened while running on Kauai on a particularly glorious morning on the dirt road to Mahaulepu as the sun was was rising. My thought was simply this: “I wish everyone could witness this beautiful island and stunning scenery from my vantage point as a runner in an organized, world class event.” My only problem was, I had never organized a bake sale, yet alone a top notch running event. But with the help of many, the idea morphed into a reality a few years later.

4) Does it require a very patient wife and family to put up with your crazy ideas? 

My wife and kids have observed/supported/participated in many of my endeavors both personally and professionally. Some have been great ideas, others not so much. There have been start-up business ventures, crazy trips, wild ideas, and worldwide adventures. Again, some memorable and others I want to forget. But the ideas always came and I was always willing to try…and my wife is always a willing partner to support and perfect many of them.

5) You also have the support of a great group of friends from both the mainland and the island. Exactly how many mai tai’s do you have to buy during race week to keep them coming back? 

We have had the same group of folks from Kauai and the mainland work all aspects of the event since the inaugural in 2009. The continuity is astonishing when you consider how many different cities and states are represented within our volunteer group. It’s the one time of year when the entire Marathon ‘ohana convenes on Kauai for the week to give of their time, treasure and talent. And yes, the one common thread with all of the volunteers is that we like to have FUN and assemble together as a group each night. It’s the classic work hard and plays harder mantra.

Let’s just say that our livers need a respite after the week…

6) That’s a big bar tab. What has been one of your most memorable moments from over the years? 

Watching JT Service win the inaugural marathon….and then later (a lot later) witnessing the last runner cross the finish line in 13 hours on crutches the entire 26.2 miles with blood dripping from her arm pits.

7) What are you most proud in relation to the marathon? 

Three things: the charitable giving on island, the economic impact for Kauai, and the fact that Kauai runners can compete in a world-class event without getting on a plane.

8) That is pretty cool. Is there anything new we can expect for the 2018 version? Something fancy for the Legacy runners? 

We have several surprises on the course and at the finish line. And yes we will be doing something special for our legacy participants.

9) Pretty special for those that have run all 10. Now, will we ever see the great Jeff Sacchini running the half or full? Perhaps this year making your debut? 

It’s a lot easier on my Vespa!! But you never know.

10) Is the 11th annual in the works or do we have to wait and see?

The 11th annual is well underway and will be held on September 1, 2019!