Kauai Marathon Again Offering $15,000 Speed Challenge

Photo: Running USA

Last year’s winner, Mike Wardian, will return to defend his title.

From: Running USA

For the second year, the $15,000 Speed Challenge will be offered at the Kauai Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, September 4, 2011 in Poipu, Kauai. Male and female runners who complete the marathon in under 2 hours, 30 minutes for men and 2:45:00 for women will split the prize money. Last year’s winner Michael Wardian missed the Speed Challenge bonus by 52 seconds and will return this year to defend his title, as well as run for the $15,000. Other notable runners for the 2011 event expected include the inaugural Kauai Marathon winner JT Service, 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Tyler McCandless and two Kenyan athletes, David Tuwei and James Boitt.

Named the race of the month by Runner’s World magazine in 2010, the Kauai Marathon is known for its challenging course, spectacular scenery and amazing Kauai hospitality plus renowned hosts: ultrarunning superstar Dean Karnazes and running ambassador Bart Yasso. Both will be available at the event’s expo at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, as well as at the Fun Run and Expert Panel Discussion on Saturday, September 3.

Yasso states, “The most rewarding part of The Kauai Marathon is that when you finish, you are still on the beautiful Garden Isle.”

Although there is talk about the challenges of the hills, humidity and heat, 2010 race champion Wardian says, “Some sections of the course that I am looking forward to are the torch light start, running through the tunnel of trees and up the climbs in the later half of the race so that I can enjoy the return to the start with breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains along the way.”

The full, half and USATF / AIMS certified courses begin in Poipu and run the first 11 miles together. The courses travel up through the 100-year-old Tree Tunnel, which offers spectacular views of Kauai’s breathtaking mountains. After runners make their way down Highway 50 and Omao Road, the half-marathon course enters Kukui’ula Resort where spectacular ocean views highlight the last few miles. The full marathon heads out to the neighborhoods of Lawai and Kalaheo before heading down a gradual decent back into Poipu.

Upon completion of the event, all finishers are lei greeted with a commemorative medallion. From 8:00am to 1:30pm, the Kauai Marathon and Sheraton Kauai Resort host the party and awards ceremony. Live local entertainment, ice-cold beer and plenty of food are provided for the runners. This year’s after party is at Kalapaki Joe’s in Poipu, which will include live music and amazing drink specials.

Race organizers anticipate the third edition to exceed expectations due to the to-date number of entrants, as well as the incredible support from national and local corporate sponsorships. Ultima will be providing the electrolyte replenishment drinks at all aid stations, while Kauai companies Holo Holo Boat Charters, Kauai Coffee and the County of Kauai have generously partnered with the event.

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