Running with the bulls

Several Kauai residents recently competed in the 52-mile Hana Relay on Maui.

Basil Scott, Mary Castelanelli, Jeff Kozak, Roberta Ross and Leah Stittsworth were part of a six-person team, “Running with the Bulls,” that took 35th out of 100 teams. But runners don’t just run in this annual event that begins at the Kahalui Airport. They have fun by wearing costumes and decorating their cars, too, and celebrating with a party in Hana when it’s all over. 

The party, in fact, was motivating factor.

“Most people are doing it for the experience and not for a super fast time,” Scott wrote. “But I must say that my biggest fear was that we’d be too slow and would miss the party.”

The runners ranged in talent. Scott ran 12 miles in three different legs, averaging about 7 minutes, 15 seconds a mile. Castelanelli did about the same. Kozak maintained a steady walk. Ross and Stittsworth ran and walked, too.

“I think we may have had the most diverse team,” Scott said.

As a group, the team of three men and three women averaged 8:35 a mile on a very hilly course and on a hot day. Their overall team time was 7 hours, 28 minutes. 

The winners were an all-star women’s team that finished in five hours, 21 minutes. Slowest times were almost 10 hours.  

“This was for fun, but I ran fairly hard,” Scott wrote.

The race started in four waves of 25 teams each. Scott’s team started at 6:30 a.m. Each team used one van or truck. Teams must bring their own water, food and supplies.

“It’s hectic. After one runner hands off to another at one of the relay exchange points, you get back to the van ASAP, get some water or Gatorade to the just finished runner, and get in the vehicle to drive to the next relay exchange,” Scott wrote. 

Prizes are given for the spirit award, best car decoration, costumes and overall impressions.

Scott competed in the relay from 2004 to 2009 before taking a few years off. This year, he was ready to return.

“It was also a big thrill for me to run the last leg. I had done this race five times before and never had run the last leg,” Scott wrote. “People were in their front yard with hoses to squirt the runners and saying ‘welcome to Hana.’ It was awesome.”

Scott is hoping to put together a masters team for next year’s relay.

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