Colorado runner stomps Kaua‘i Marathon record

PO‘IPU — The organizers of the Kaua‘i Marathon might want to consider lowering the time needed to win their Speed Challenge.

Tyler McCandless, 24, of Boulder, Colo., smashed the Kaua‘i Marathon course record by over 7 minutes en route to a 2:23:19 finish, well under the 2:30 time needed to cash in on a $15,000 prize.

“I feel really good after this,” McCandless said. “In the last few miles I heard I had about a minute lead. After that, I knew they couldn’t catch me unless I broke down.”

The 2010 Kaua‘i Marathon winner, Michael Wardian, came in second, checking in at 2:26:19. With McCandless and Wardian beating the 2:30 mark, both runners went home with money. McCandless won $8,750 while Wardian was awarded $6,250 for his efforts.

In his winning run last year, Wardian missed his chance at beating the Speed Challenge by a mere 52 seconds.

“This is so much better than last year,” Wardian said with a gasp after the race. “It was a nice cool day. I ran smart and within myself.”

The top Kaua‘i finisher was Mark Bogner of Kaleheo. Bogner finished the 26 miles by clocking in at 3:06:21.

On the women’s side, the finishers didn’t raid the marathon’s pocket books quite like the guys did.

Rumi Otani of Japan paced the women’s race.

Otani finished with a winning time of 3:10:5 followed by 2010 winner Becki Lassley with a time of 3:25:17. Neither came in under the women’s $15,000 Challenge standard of 2:45.

The top female finisher from Kaua‘i was Hanalei’s Mary Castelanelli who finished with a time of 3:36:15, good for fourth place overall.

In the half marathon, South Carolina’s Clark Davis won for the men with a time of 1:19:53.

Lihu‘e’s Jordan Kahawai crossed the line in 9th place with a time of 1:25:24.

“I felt pretty good out there today,” Kahawai said. “I took a pretty easy first two mile then I kicked it up to keep pace with the Army guys.”

The Army guys Kahawai referred to were members of the Army National Guard team that brought over 70 runners to the race.

On the women’s side for the half marathon, Emily Shertzel gave the guys a run for their money, coming in third place overall — first for women — just seconds behind the winning Davis. Shertzel finished with a time of 1:20:09.

The top female finisher in the half marathon from Kaua‘i was Brooke Sugahara who finished with a time of 1:38:37. Sugahara’s time was good enough to place first in the women’s 35-39 age division.

Overall a record-setting 1,723 runners participated in the Kaua‘i Marathon races. Race founder Jeff Sacchini was pleased with how the 3rd annual race completed.

“The community support throughout the course was abundant as a record crowd turned out to support the runners,” Sacchini said. “The participants passed hula dancers, taiko drum troupes, striking mountain views, and each concluded their journey along one of the most beautiful oceanfront finish lines in road racing.”

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