Youth Running Program

The Kauai Marathon Youth Running Program, (TKMYRP) presented by Kauai Coffee was initiated by Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon multi year champion and course record holder, Tyler McCandless, in 2013 as an avenue to give back to the community who has made such an impact on his personal and professional life. The focus of the program was to make a positive difference with the youth of Kauai by educating students on the benefits of healthy choices both in nutrition and exercise while promoting health and happiness.

In the first year, Tyler worked with The Kauai Marathon staff in developing a program involving elementary and high school youth through classroom and school assembly presentations on the effects of exercise and nutrition on mental and physical health.

Building on the successes of the 2013 program, Tyler returned in early August of 2014 and started a mentorship program involving high school students and fifth graders from Kalaheo, Koloa and Island Schools. The mentorship program brings the youth together with their mentors for monthly runs throughout the year with a presentation each week focused on making healthy lifestyle choices.

Additionally, Tyler enlisted Dr. Chris Marchioni, the executive director of the non-profit Healthy Learning Paths, to build upon the impact of the school presentations. Tyler and Chris taught together in the classrooms, giving the students both a medical doctor and a role-model athlete as their instructors for a classroom period on the benefits of exercise, nutrition, and sleep.

Over the past eleven years,
With strong community support TKMYRP has raised over $20,000 to be used to further the program in future years as well as rewarding scholarships for academic and athletic achievement for Kauai seniors headed to college the following year.

In late 2014, Kauai Coffee, now a fifteen-year sponsor of the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon, built upon their involvement by becoming the presenting sponsor of the youth program. Their strong support of community-wide events and programs continues to grow!

“I have worked really hard and been supremely dedicated to achieving my goals in the marathon. Winning the marathon for three years in Kauai is my greatest athletic achievement, yet I’ m most proud of TKMYRP and making a positive impact in the Kauai community. Together with the support of Kauai Coffee, friends, family, and the rest of the community, it’ s time to utilize the success of TKM to benefit the youth of the island.” -Tyler McCandless


The 11th Annual Kauai Marathon Youth Running Program Scholarship application will be available in the spring of 2024.


If you want to support The Kauai Marathon Youth Running Program, through The Kauai Marathon, a Hawaii 501(c) 3,

Please contribute any amount via mail by check or money order to The Kauai Marathon Youth Running Program, PO Box 573 Koloa, Hi. 96756.

Or click the PayPal link below to donate!

Mahalo for your support of our island youth!

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