I always like to think about the race for a couple of days before I actually sit down to write my race report....This was my first "island" marathon. And boy, did it exceed my expectations. It was full of the aloha spirit!
It was a relatively small race, only about 1800 entrants, including Dean Karnazes. The starting line was great, there was a lot of energy, music, and of course, tiki torches. The race started at 6:00 am sharp! The start was lined with tiki torches and conch shell blowers dressed in the traditional Hawaiian attire. The gun went off and then they blew the conch shells, it was so cool! "The blowing of the conch shell" is an ancient Hawaiian ritual. It is supposed to give thanks, bring people together in harmony and receive blessings. When they are blown strongly, the sound can be heard for miles. It is common for the conch shell blower to blow the shell once in four directions to symbolize the four elements of the universe; blowing the shell to the East greets the sunrise; to the West honors the setting sun; to the North pays respect to the stars; and to the South pays respect to the forefathers. I love Hawaiian traditions!
It was a perfect day for a run, there was great cloud coverage and it rained for a lot of the race, which I was so grateful for! The first of MANY hills came fairly early in the race. They weren't kidding when they said it was a hilly course!
At about mile 14-15 I saw Dean, my new best friend, hehehe, he was on his 20-21st mile, it was just him and me running toward each other....and we "shaka'd" (hang loose sign) each other. Ya, it was the highlight, I was a little star struck, but I can say, I ran with Dean Karnazes! And come to find out, my friend's husband went to high school with him...who knew?
The start line
Along the course
There were hula dancers at several different spots on the course
The day was great, I did not get a PR, but I finished the race and I had a great time doing it. I met a lot of nice people and I was really impressed with the organization/preparation for the race. Jeff Sacchini and his staff did an excellent job! The course was absolutely beautiful! How could it not be, it's Kauai!