It was touch-and-go leading up to race day, but Lester veered north and we had beautiful weather for the 8th Annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon. The uncertainty and challenges of the past week only served to reinforce my respect and amazement for the people who come to run and support this event. With a record number of entrants ranging from age 8 to 86 years old, and hailing from 14 countries, this year’s event was made truly special by everyone’s against-the-odds perseverance. The continued involvement of charities including City of Hope, Project Purple, and Cheetah Running Group highlights the commitment and compassion of all involved.
I want to extend a big congratulations to the top runners who braved this year’s heat. We were excited to have such strong representation from our sister city, Iwaki City. This year’s Full Marathon champion not only won the Iwaki City Sunshine Marathon in Japan, but hails from Iwaki City as well. Shou Sakuma finished in 2:30:51, one of the fastest times ever on the course. The top female, Yuko Nakai, lives in Honolulu but is originally from Japan as well. She came in at an equally remarkable 3:16:03 and will travel to Iwaki City in February to compete in the marathon and represent The Kauai Marathon. For the Half Marathon, Tyler McCandless (Boulder, CO) cruised to a third straight victory on the men’s side, breaking his own course record, while Carrie Zografos (Portland, OR) won the female category.
Other festivities throughout the race week included the Keiki Run, sponsored by Wilcox Health. Watching 148 children chase a giant chicken around the Hyatt’s oceanfront lawn is always an enjoyable spectacle eliciting both laughter and some of the weekend’s fiercest competition. Wilcox Health also sponsored the Sports and Fitness Expo, another highlight of the week offering participants the latest in gear and nutrition as well as access to the running community and personalities.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank our extraordinary sponsors, volunteers, paid staff, friends and family, timing crew, on-course entertainment, Kauai Police Department, medical team, expo vendors, local spectators, and YOU, the participants who inspire us all. Everyone involved exemplifies the aloha spirit of community and generosity to make this a truly special event.
We hope that you and your friends and family will join us next year for the 9th annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon on September 3th, 2017!
If you want to see a sneak peak of the race course, please check out our epic drone footage!
Jeff Sacchini, The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon Race Founder