I love the Captain Cook Caper Run in Waimea.
I ran in it Saturday, for the fifth straight year. And while my time for the 5k was my slowest yet (blame a sciatic nerve problem) it was still fun for many reasons:
It’s a great course, nice and flat; they bus you to the start; it’s a fundraiser for the JROTC program at Waimea High; the T-shirt design is always something special — this is one shirt I always keep — and they give out medals to top placers in age groups.
But more than anything, being kind of the unofficial kick off to the road racing season, the Captain Cook Caper Run is just a great chance to catch up with fellow runners and walkers I don’t often see around the island and talk about what’s coming.
Some of those folks included:
w J.J. Bostick finished the 10k in an hour and 8 minutes. He was joined by his daughter Samantha, who finished in 53 minutes to win the 13 to 18 age group, and was there to cheer her dad on, running the final stretch with him. J.J. can’t quite keep up with Samantha, but any father would be delighted to be joined in a fun run by their daughter.
w Mike Loseto finished the 10k in 50:02, and we talked later about his friend, Timothy “War” Teves, who won the Destiny MAA championship. Mike is another guy who’s pleasant — and fast.
w It was good to see Joe Kali back running, as he covered the 10K in a strong 45:59. Joe, one of Kauai’s top triathletes, looked fast and fit and is likely to be a top finisher in the upcoming runs.
w Dorrie Michioka won the women’s 10k in 52:11. She always seems to be smiling and it seems she is getting faster with every race.
w Former TGI reporter and now county public relations man Alden Alayvilla competed in his first 10k and finished in 52:04. We got to chat about work and running afterward. Alden ran well and looks like he’s been working out. I can’t let him beat me, so I better ramp up my training.
And there are some great races just ahead to get ready for:
w The fourth annual Bum Run is March 10 at at Poipu Bay Golf Course. It’s about three miles and is not timed. This race hosted by the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is a rare afternoon one with a 4 p.m. start. For those looking to race, it’s a tough course with ups and downs and twists and turns.
w The fourth annual Roots ‘n Shoot is April 14 at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. It’s one of the most scenic, beautiful runs you’ll ever do. You’ll run next to the Lawai Stream, over a footbridge, past rainforest trees, and you’ll pass the famous Moreton Bay fig trees featured in Jurassic Park. Another 5K, and also untimed. Great food afterward and time to meander around and check out the gardens. This is put on by The Kauai Marathon and NTBG and funds scholarships.
w The 38th annual Haena to Hanalei is June 2. The eight-miler is a unique course and one you want to try. They bus you to Ke‘e Beach, and you race back on Kuhio Highway, with spectacular ocean views. The finish is near the historic Hanalei Pier. There’s also a 5K and new this year a half marathon has been added. Runners will start near the pier, head to Haena Beach Park, then turn around and head back to Hanalei. If they’ll let me, I plan to run both. Finish the Haena to Hanalei in under an hour, then the half in under 2 hours. This great race features a great shirt, wonderful breakfast and a festive awards ceremony. They do this race right. It’s a fundraiser for the Hanalei Canoe Club.
Races down the line includes the Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run (5k, 10k, 10 mile and one-mile keiki run). Another great race. The 10-mile road race is rare. They also have great food, drink and awards afterward on a spectacular setting at Poipu Beach Park.
The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon will be marking its 10th year on Sept. 2. The marathon is known for the difficulty of its course, but when you finish it, you’ll feel like you just survived the world’s toughest 26.2 miles. Early on, you’ll pass through the Tree Tunnel and with the morning light peaking over the mountains, it’s truly majestic. I’ve won my age group here three times and will be going for number four!
The Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run is slated for Sept. 15 and rumor has it there may be a new course in store. No matter what, it will be both a blast and brutal for those who want to push a fast pace.
The year’s final race is the Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run on Nov. 10. It offers a 5k, 10k and half marathon and starts in Koloa. I love this event put on by the Rotary Club of Kauai and Wilcox Health. It’s a great tuneup/test for those gearing up for the Honolulu Marathon in December.
New this year in January was the Resolution Run Kauai and organizers plan to bring it back in 2019. Hosted by Pu’uwai Canoe Club, the run wound its way through the newly opened public trails at Hokuala resort in Lihue. Another gorgeous setting in a rare gem of a place that few people can find.
Good luck out there. We’ll talk more at the races.
Bill Buley is editor of The Garden Island.