The sunrise was perfect for The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, September 3, 2023. A record number 1,832 runners completed the 14th annual event.
Runners from 49 States and 11 countries enjoyed the magic of the Garden Isle. The Aloha State was well represented with 932 local registrants of whom 604 were from Kauai. Additionally, there were 36 participants who ran the full or half marathon for the 14th year in a row.
The performance of the day went to overall winner and top male finisher Shinya Ohashi. He completed the full marathon in an impressive 2:29:34. This is his second win as he was also the marathon champion in 2018. Second place was Michael Wardian of Arlington, VA clocking in at 2:46:31 followed by Dan Crevier of Kihei, Maui in a time of 3:04:03.
The first-place finisher in the women’s field for the full marathon was also from Japan. Mirai Homma completed the course with a time of 2:59:37 followed by Teigan Moore of Kelowna, Canada coming in at 3:41:53. Third place was Indianapolis, Indiana resident Carolyn Talhelm finishing at 3:43:29.
Fort Collins Colorado’s Tyler McCandless crushed the Half Marathon record and won for the eighth year in a row in a record time of 1:05:15. Chicago, Illinois’ Sean O’Reilly placed second with a time of 1:13:55 followed by Tommy Ross from New York, New York with a time of 1:19:09.
Paige Mills of Cumberland City, Maine won the women’s Half Marathon crossing the finish at 1:22:11. Natasha Bliss of La Mesa, CA clocked in at 1:25:37 and McKenna Jackson of Vancouver British Columbia finished in third with a time of 1:28:21.
Kauai’s top finishers were Justin DeForge of Kapaa and Cheyenne Tilford of Lawai for the Full Marathon and Renato Desouza of Lihue and Becky Dougherty of Princeville in the Half Marathon.
The 2023 event featured far more than the successful running of the Marathon and Half Marathon. The world class Wilcox Health Sports and Fitness Expo provided a backdrop for runners to meet new friends, as well as partake in informative health and wellness seminars in the days leading up to the race. The Fun Run on Saturday morning brought runners together for a casual “shake out” morning adventure. And finally, the Tenth Annual Keiki Run sponsored by Wilcox Health energized a record number 210 children from the ages of 2 to 12 with exciting races at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.
Several sponsors made the event possible including: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Kauai Coffee, Koloa Landing Resort, Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, Nukumoi Surf Co., Wilcox Health, Puka Dog and Alaska Airlines. Many other local businesses assisted by providing in-kind services, accommodations, and supplies for the medical tent.
The event was honored and privileged to have Kauai’s Hālau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leinā‘ala, the 2022 overall winners of the prestigious Merrie Monarch Festival, as part of this year’s race festivities. They shared their dedication to the perpetuation of their beloved Hawaiian culture through the sacred traditions of hula throughout the race-course for this year’s event. They also were there to welcome participants at the start, and lei greet finishers with a medal at the finish line.
Over $7,000 was generously donated to numerous local non-profit groups volunteering for race day activities. Kauai High Cross Country, Waimea HS Project Grad, and The Koloa Early School are just a few.
For 2023 results and more information, visit www.thekauaimarathon.com.
Weather on Sunday, September 3, 2023
Start: 73 degrees, 73% humidity, wind 6 mph
Finish: 85 degrees, 69% humidity, wind 12 mph