For the final 2017 Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon training tip, we’ve decided to connect with a past champion, a running legend and a Kauai rookie to find out how they are preparing for this year’s event.

First off, we connected with a guy that knows his way around the Kauai course. Tyler McCandless is a six-time champion combining a combination of both full marathon and half marathon wins.

Tyler shared the following advice:

“The Kauai Marathon has more aloha spirit than any race I’ve ever done and the key to success is to embrace the aloha spirit.  If you’re relaxed, you’ll run faster, enjoy the experience, and not fret about the hills, heat or humidity.  And, be sure to watch the Keiki races to be inspired for your race the next day!”

Our champ makes a great point in referencing the power of relaxation. We all have limited energy and when it’s wasted via stress then it cannot be used on the course. Plus, there is no better place to relax than the south shore of Kauai.

The next titan that we connected with is Kauai Marathon ambassador and the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso. Mr. Mayor hooked us up with the following bullets on how to fully enjoy yourself while on island.

  • Coolest handmade awards ever
  • Themed water stops with hula dancers
  • Native Hawaiian dudes with no shirts at the start and finish
  • Tiki torches lighting the way at the pre-dawn start
  • The best race logo…it’s the shape of the island and the hibiscus flower
  • Saturday morning shakeout run at the Grand Hyatt Kauai followed by the kid’s race
  • The historic tunnel of trees at mile 6
  • I always see a rainbow or two…you can never have enough rainbows
  • The aloha spirit in the race makes us better runners
  • Hawaii has an infectious spirit that makes us all better runners/people
  • The number one reason why I keep coming back to Kauai because it’s paradise
  • The number one reason to run The Kauai Marathon or Half Marathon is when you cross the finish you are in Kauai and that is priceless

Listen to Bart and soak it up.

The final runner we caught up with is Sara Hunt from San Francisco, California. Sara has completed multiple Ironman Triathlons, but this will be her first time running Kauai. Sara is running the Kauai half marathon with her dad to celebrate his 70th birthday. Both are seasoned runners but rookies to the unique Kauai course. Here is their plan:

Dad: “My plan is to keep it slow and steady on the first four so that when I hit miles 4-7.5 I (hopefully) won’t be overheated and I’ll be feeling strong and ready to tackle the climb with a steady pace. I can live with being uncomfortable for 3.5 miles, so I’m just looking at miles 4-7.5 like a tough, uphill 5k(ish). I figure I’ll pick up some time naturally on the last 5+ miles and I won’t be working quite as hard as the uphill, so I just want to make sure that I conserve my legs so my quads can handle the ride back down to the finish line.”

Sara: “I’m planning to hang on the heels of the old man the entire time. I will probably let him win for his birthday, but want to make sure he’s sees I’m not breathing too hard when we finish…”

The Kauai Marathon is all about family and it’s great to see people celebrating with one of the most beautiful events in the world. So be like Tyler and make sure to relax on course, take in all of the events with Bart and make a plan like Sara and her father. We’ll see you on the Garden Island on September 3, 2017.