Time For The Island’s Biggest Runs

Handing out prizes and awards at Koloa Ball Park after last year’s big run

I admit that running is not my favorite thing to do. In fact, during my basketball-playing days, it was the worst part of the sport. But since it involved running for a reason, in my case getting two or, in most cases, three points by draining a shot, I didn’t mind it as much.

But there are others who love pounding the pavement, and most of those people will take part in the eighth annual Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run, which is set for this Saturday, going from Anne Knudsen Park through Maluhia and Emi roads.

Known as Kaua’i’s premier 5K, 10K and 10-mile runs and non-competitive 5K walk, this year there’s a new course, which organizers say will provide smoother pavement for the runners and more aid stations.

“I guess the main reason that the race has continued is the fact that there are very few races held on Kaua’i, there being only two or three,” race co-organizer Dick Olsen says. “Last year we had the largest turnout with 394 registered runners.”

Olsen says he believes it also offers good value for the money spent on the race.

“Twenty-five dollars gets you a professional timer, a T-shirt or tank top and breakfast,” he says.

The run also seems to be fun because of the number of older participants who walk and socialize after the race, when the awards are presented.

Awards will go to overall men’s and women’s top finishers, as well as medals to age-group winners.

Runners, friends, family and Rotarians relax after last year’s Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run

In addition, there will be a random drawing for additional prizes donated by sponsors of the run. Typical prizes include gift certificates to Mariachi’s Restaurant, Kaua’i Automated Fuels Network, Jamba Juice, Sunglass Hut, Sunday Brunch for two at the St. Regis, one month free membership at Kaua’i Athletic Club and a two-night stay at Hanalei Colony Resort.

“This is the Rotary Club of Kaua’i’s main fundraiser,” Olsen says. “Last year we netted $6,000 that provided six $1,000 scholarships to Kaua’i Community College nursing and technical arts students.”

Pre-registration is $25; go to active.com and search “sugar mill run.” Late registration (Nov. 5-11) is $30 at Kukui Grove Shopping Center, and race-day registration is $35 at the pavilion until 6:30 a.m.

Early registration is advised to ensure T-shirt size availability, and registration fees are non-refundable. Race packet pickup is Friday between noon and 6 p.m. at Kukui Grove exhibit area by Deja Vu and Zales.

The 10-mile race will start at 7 a.m.; the 5K and 10K races and 5K walk start at 7:30.

This event is made possible by the Bone & Joint Center at Kaua’i Medical Clinic, Chevron Hawaii, Grove Farm Company Inc., the County of Kaua’i, Kaua’i Spring Water and other generous sponsors.

I remember covering Andy Irons and meeting his family. He was always grounded, and gave Kaua’i all the credit when it came to winning surf contests. The Irons Brothers Contest out at Pine Trees was probably Andy and his brother Bruce’s greatest accomplishment. It was the ultimate “give back” event. All the kids and upand-coming surfers were so amazed at the Irons brothers taking time out of their schedules to host and sponsor such an event!

I’m so shocked at the news of his untimely passing, yet happy to have met Andy, who brought so much into this world and to Kaua’i.

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