The Kauai Half Marathon happened on Sunday 8/31/14. Jon and I got up at 4am to get ready for the run. Thank goodness for that three hour time difference because my brain still thought it was 7am! heh We each had an UGo Anutter bar and I had some coffee (a must). Then we both put on our running duds.
The marathon starting line was at Poipu Shopping Village which is a short 5 minute walk from our hotel. Super convenient! It was pitch black at 5:15am so we slowly made our way to starting festivities. The breakfast spread was amazing! Too bad I can’t eat that close to the start of a run.
About 20 minutes before the start, a large group of runners was being lead through an aerobic warm-up which was about the same time a torrential downpour swept through the area. There was a mass stampede to get under shelter. We were all laughing and getting very close to our neighbors. 😀 The rain stopped just as it was time to walk to the start. The starting ceremony was beautiful. The gentleman (I wish I knew his name) who said a prayer in Hawaiian and then in English was so full of genuine gratitude. His voice wavered with emotion which, in turn, made my eyes well up. This was one of the most memorable moments of the day for me. So amazing.
The starting air horn went off at 6am and we were off! There were men in traditional Hawaiian gear blowing conch shells as we ran by. Loved it! The start was a bit slow with a lot of walkers who lined up in front. Jon and I started together and it took us about a half mile to dodge around the walkers. Once we were able to run smoothly, I eased into my slow running pace and Jon sped off into his comfortable pace. At around the 3 mile mark, the sun started to peek over the mountains. I felt like such a tourist, whipping out my phone to take a quick pic. But then I realized everyone else was stopping too and it made me laugh inside.
I was feeling pretty good but had to make a potty stop at mile 4. There was a short line at the portapotties but 7 minutes later, I was running again. At 5.5 miles, I started walking mixed with a little running. The winding hill didn’t help matters. haha Shortly after, I reached the tunnel of trees. What an incredible experience! At the end of the tunnel, the bright sun was a cheery sight.
Miles 7 and 8 were filled with rolling hills and some flat areas. Boy, was I relieved when I got to the downhill portions! Just a bit before the 11 mile marker, the half marathon goes left and the full marathoners go right (right up a big hill!).
At this point, my left big toe was throbbing and my right calf was threatening to cramp every time I tried to run. So i shuffled the final couple miles. I was so glad to see this:
The last water station at 12.5 was handing out ice cold wet towels. This was the MOST refreshing thing ever! Truly genius! In my delirium, I wanted to hug the lady who handed me the towel but I practiced restraint. 😀 hahaha I knew I was getting very close to the finish!
Jon was waiting at the finish line, taking photos like a paparazzo. He had to wait over an hour for me. That’s love and dedication right there. He ran a 2:09. My chip time was 3:16 and change. I didn’t achieve my goal of sub 3 hours but the course was much harder than I expected. Next year, I will conquer the beast. heh
The Kauai Marathon medals are pretty sweet! Built-in bottle opener in each medal! Pretty and practical!
I was in a daze at the finish line festivities but I remember the chocolate milk was so good! hahaha I’ll remember this for my next long run! We had so much fun this trip and we’re planning on running the half again next year. Loved every minute of it! I’ll be posting a wrap up of the Kauai trip shortly. I’ll probably continue to blog about my prep for the Disney Star Wars Rebel Challenge in January.
Thanks for reading!