The Kauai Marathon was a honeymoon run of sorts for Cristina and I. We enjoyed running in the rain, seeing rainbows, being entertained by hula dancers and taiko drummers, and running with Bart Yasso! Although I planned to race the half marathon, running with my new bride ended up being the better and more gratifying decision.
The Kiahuna Plantation hotel was only steps away from the start line. With the race being chipped time and a 6am start, Cristina and I weren’t in any rush to be out with the masses. We walked to the start at 5:55 and ran from the back. We quickly moved pass the walkers and slower runners and found ourselves in the middle of everything. I ran with my phone in hand because I want to chronicle everything about it! I think I may have over-vined, but how many times will we get to experience Kaua’i while running together…EXACTLY!
The start consisted of us shuffling through the heavy traffic of walkers and joggers and at the same time trying to pin my bib on my shirt. I forgot the bib tag in the condo and had to have my sister pick it up for me. This resulted with both of my sisters being late for the start. At the mile marker we were surprised to see Cristina’s parents cheering us on. Her father is a big running fan and it had been a long time since he’s seen Cristina run in a race, so it was nice that they both could experience the race together. Of course we had stop and take photos before we started the long climb to the highway.
The temps were cool and the humidity bearable. There were two points during the race when we got rained on hard. The first time it was a fairly quick downpour around mile 4. For a couple miles after there was a steady drizzle of rain. The sky continued to be overcast for the entire race, which was very different from my experience in 2009 when it was unbearably hot and humid. Around mile 11 we encountered the heaviest rain fall and strongest wind. The rain was coming from all angles! This was also the time we ran up on Bart Yasso! What an awesome guy! He remembered who we were just from our Twitter conversations!
Cristina felt great at this point and she decided to hammer the slightly downhill portion towards the straightaway finish. She left Bart and I in our tracks. I managed to catch up to her a half mile from the finish line, where we finished together. We were greeted by her parents and my sister, who finished the half earlier.
My other sister ran the full marathon and it was nice to be able to run with her for a couple of miles before the course parted. For those who don’t know, Kaua’i is a super difficult course with steep hills and long gradual climbs. Since it starts and finishes at sea level, so, what you run up you have to run down! Your legs get the beating of their lives! She survived and is a better runner for it!
I have to mention that before race day my two sisters along with Cristina and I were interviewed for a special show to be aired locally around the state. Cristina and I had the opportunity to be filmed together to share our story of how we met and how running was a part of our union. It’s neat that our race experience was documented for us to treasure for years to come.
It was a joy to experience this race together and with our families. We’ll run many more races together, but I don’t thing any one will be as special as this race.