Disclosure: as an official blogger for the Kaua’i Marathon, the marathon entry fee was waived and my three-night stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai was complimentary. All opinions herein are my own.
Although I’ve been known to do crazy things like fly to Honolulu And back in one day, spending only 20 minutes at the airport, this was not such an endeavor. Nor was it an in-and-out trip to just run a marathon and then leave. No, this was a true destination trip culminating in a marathon. The planning started many months earlier when I asked Won’t Run if he was interested in a trip to Kauai the week of Labor Day, and I sent out an exploratory note to the Kauai Marathon explaining my interest in reporting on the marathon and marathon events. I was happy when I quickly heard back from Robin Jumper, the Media Director for the Kauai Marathon – inviting me to join the team! And so, I planned not just a marathon but a week in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii! I should note that, for me, being an official blogger, meant that I took extra time to meet and greet people at the expo, to use social media to advertise the events, to attend all of the events – including the Fun Run and the Children’s Run.
FRIDAY: THE EXPO
The host hotel for the marathon was the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. There was simply nothing not to love about this hotel! (see links above for reviews of my suite). Packet pick-up and the expo was held in a ballroom at the hotel. I love Expos, and this was no exception.
I attended Bart Yasso’s speech. I’ve heard him before, but it’s always inspiring to hear him speak. I also got to meet Julie, the Marathon Goddess.
Friday afternoon, Won’t Run and I drove the course of the marathon. It was very lush and pretty, but quite hilly in parts. Sometimes driving a course works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. This experience was a bit daunting – it reminded me just how far 26 miles can be!
FRIDAY EVENING: THE VIP DINNER
This was a lovely outdoor dinner, thrown by the organizers of the Marathon, largely for the sponsors and supporters of the event. There were inspiring speeches by people such as race founder Jeff Sacchini and race director Bob Craver, great Hawaiian music, good wine and delicious food served buffet style, and lots of pleasant conversation. I was so honored to be invited to this event.
It is always an honor and a pleasure to see Bart Yasso and UltraMarathonMan Dean Karnazes!
SATURDAY MORNING: 3 MILE FUN RUN
I am always leery of fun runs. To me, runs are usually called fun runs when the conditions are too hot, too stormy, too icy, etc.. But this was different. It was a casual trail run Saturday morning. I found the dirt terrain a little too uneven, and was so careful about my footing, that I didn’t seem to be having as much fun as everyone else. Still, I was a trooper, and got to participate in this overall fun event. I was very proud of Won’t Run who actually ran the fun run.
Immediately after the FUN run, we went over to watch the Keiki (i.e., children’s) races. I love watching children’s races – and these were the best I’ve ever seen.
Won’t Run and I took a ride around the area, and visited the beautiful Waimea Canyon (see here). It was then time to eat dinner. Well, we were in Hawaii, so what should we have? How about a bowl of rice and garlic shrimp (with an extra portion of rice) from Savage Shrimp? That was delicious!
I put out my clothing for the morning as I had to get up very early:
SUNDAY – THE MARATHON
The marathon began about a mile or two from the Grand Hyatt – near the Sheraton hotel. Shuttles were provided. There was plenty of food before the start, and I even met Erin, a fellow Marathon Maniac, wearing very cool InkNBurn robot capris! A few speeches and selfies later and we were off.
It was 5:30 a.m. not quite light out yet, and the race began. I marveled at the beauty. It was well-organized, the support was fabulous and the runners were really nice. The musical entertainment was also good. I’m not a fast runner, but hey, if you’re going to spend 6 hours running a marathon, it might as well be somewhere beautiful like this!
Won’t Run met me around mile 25 and jogged the last mile with me.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? YOU BETCHA! IN A HEARTBEAT!