Kaua‘i Masters conquer Hana Relay

The six-man Kaua‘i Masters team placed first in its division (over age 40) for the fifth consecutive competition in the 52-mile Hana Relay on Maui.

The team also placed fifth overall out of a field of 96 competing teams and finished with a time of 5:25:37.

Bobby Menks, Ray Charron, Doug Rasmussen, Scott Olson, Leo McCarthy and George Kruse were the team members of the Kaua‘i squad.

All team members in the last five years have been Kaua‘i residents, while other teams combine runners from several islands, the mainland and Japan.

The Hana Relay starts in Kahului. Each member of the team ran three legs each along the winding road to Hana, each leg varying between 1.9 to 3.5 miles.

Rasmussen, of Koloa, pointed out that the course from Kahului to Hana requires some extraordinary courage and stamina in order to contend with race-related traffic as well as the normally heavy flow of cars and buses along the road.

Runners have to cross numerous one-lane bridges, maneuver around blind curves with no road shoulders, and avoid collisions with impatient tourists and residents.

Rasmussen noted that it rained for about an hour in this year’s race, but conditions weren’t as windy as it had been in some years.

The Kaua‘i team that competed this year is the same team that took their division in 2002, and hopes to stay together to defend their title in the 2004 event.

Janet Rasmussen served as the team’s rotation and time keeper.

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