Voyaging Canoes And Race Season

Seven voyaging canoes arrived in Hanalei July 6 and remained in the bay for five days. Ken Posney, Kawaiola Photography photo

What a way for the island, its residents and the tradition of waka moana to be honored with seven voyaging canoes from Aotearoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tahiti as well as two Pan Pacific canoes arriving July 6. After a five-day stay, they continued on as part of Te Mana o Te Moana voyage. I remember a few months back interviewing canoe -builder John Kruse for a MidWeek Kaua’i cover story, as he described with passion and excitement the anticipation of this event, describing it as historical and about reconnection with all that’s important. Quoting a Maori expression, Kruse said of the voyage and of wayfinding in general, “A te moana kupu takoha tangata hou manawa ora.” (And the sea will grant men new hope.) Indeed, kupuna, keiki and people from all over the island were thrilled to see the canoes appear in Hanalei Bay, and to witness the festivities to follow. A hui hou and mahalo …

Since having a baby, it’s finally gotten easier to get in those workouts, and there’s nothing like the motivation of preparing for a race. That said, July means we’re smack dab in the middle of race-prepping season, rife with options to take in the breathtaking atmosphere of Kaua’i while doing something athletic. For many, this time of year means prepping for long distance canoe paddling races (like this year’s 38mile Annual Na Pali Challenge Aug. 13, something I’m proud to say my father-in-law Dr. Patrick Aiu helped create 14 years ago to raise funds for the maintenance and mooring costs of Na Mahoe) …

But to be sure, a contender for boasting both amazing scenery and physical challenge is the upcoming Kaua’i Marathon, scheduled for Sept. 4 with fulland half-marathon courses that include Kukui’ula Resort and the lovely Tunnel of Trees. Attracting the island’s best and aspiring athletes (and also luring those aiming to return to previous state of athletic prowess), the upcoming race also is bringing in fitness gurus and serial racers from around the world. The Garden Isle’s upcoming marathon got a nod from Runner’s World as the “Race of the month,” and the island itself was voted the No. 1 island in Travel + Leisure‘s World Best Awards 2010 survey. This year adds a new category for runners who’d rather share the burden of a 26.2-mile experience with friends, as it will feature a four-person relay team option. With that in mind, through July 30 Work It Out in Kapa’a is offering anyone who registers for the Kaua’i Marathon at the store $10 off registration fees and an “In-Training” T-shirt. Registration cost is $105 and $135 for half and full marathons respectively for kama’aina and active military. To register through Aug. 30 or to learn more, go to thekauaimarathon.com

Mayor Carvalho with Yoshie Doi and Ambrose Smith. Photo courtesy County of Kaua‘i

The 100-year-old Tunnel of Trees is more ready than ever to be a highlight of the Kaua’i Marathon course, as a handful of community volunteers donated some serious elbow grease at a cleanup July 9 organized by Aunty Stella Burgess and the Poipu Beach Resort Association. Those helping out included Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., anti-drug coordinator Theresa Koki, photographers

Haunani Kaiminaauao and Ken Posney, Bob Craver and Abigail Santos, state Rep. Dee Morikawa, housing director Eugene Jiminez and economic development director George Costa. Mahalo for the generous effort …

Anyone looking for a low-key running jaunt might want to sign up for this year’s Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 24. And for those who, like me, train with a baby in tow, strollers are welcome at no extra cost. There’s a race for everyone in the family: 5K, 10K, 1and 10-mile run, all along ocean-view courses in Po’ipu. Race fee is $30. Register online at active.com or KoloaPlantationDays.com to learn more. For questions, call Fran McDonald at 635-0165.

The race is just a part of the upcoming South side tradition of Koloa Plantation Days, which kicks off with a rodeo and paniolo cookout starting at noon Friday, July 22. The festivities continue at 8 a.m. Saturday (July 23) with a 9 a.m. charity tennis tournament for United Way and a historic Hapa Trail walk and lunch, continuing the next day, Sunday (July 24), with the aforementioned fun run and a 10 a.m. miniature golf tournament in Lawai. A Makawehi Sand Dune walk will take place at 9 a.m. Monday (July 25), followed by a 6 p.m. Historic Film Night and Exhibit at The Shops at Kukui’ula Village. At 9 a.m. Tuesday (July 26), the Koloa Plantation Days Craft Fair kicks off the day at The Point at Po’ipu, followed by a mixed plate of live music at 3 p.m. in Old Koloa Town Courtyard, and the Polynesian Revue with fire dancing at the Courtyard at Po’ipu. Wednesday (July 27) it’s the quintessential coastal hike at 9:30 a.m. at Maha’ulepu followed by plantation treats at Kaua’i Culinary Market at 4 p.m.

Thursday (July 28) includes a look back through the sugar era beginning at 9 a.m. at the Old Koloa Mill, a Plantation Days Putting Contest at 2 p.m. at Po’ipu Bay Resort Golf Club, and a Luau Buffet Dinner and Show at 6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Resort & Spa. At 9 a.m. Friday (July 29), aspiring artists won’t want to miss the watercolor class at Maha’ulepu Beach. Following that is talking story at 4:30 p.m. at Koloa Union Church and a historical walk at 5:30 through old town Koloa, topped off by Movies in the Park at 8.

Finally, the annual Historic Koloa Plantation Days Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday (July 30) from Koloa School to Anne Knudsen Ballpark, and 10 a.m. Sunday (July 31) marks Paddle Fest at Po’ipu Beach Park. For more information, contact event coordinator Melissa McFerrin at 6523217 …

Congratulations to the Living Treasures of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau for 2011, who were honored July 9: Violet Hashimoto Goto for Artistic Excellence and Education in Traditional Hawaiian Culture; Yoshiko “Dimples” Kano for Exemplary Community Service; John “Big John” Kauo for Artistic Excellence and Community Service in Martial Arts; Patricia “Patsy” Sheehan for Historic and Cultural Preservation, and Ambrose Smith for Artistic Excellence in Traditional Hawaiian Music. Since 1988, Kaua’i Museum has acknowledged civic-minded citizens as “Living Treasures” for their contributions to culture, education and the welfare of the people of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau …

It’s time to put the idea of an adolescent residential treatment facility in Lihu’e on the table again, and a meeting the Isenberg Neighborhood Community is slated for July 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lihu’e Neighborhood Center …

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