Near the end of Thursday’s turkey trot, Ryan Kimball took son Sawyer from his shoulders, set him down and tied his shoes.
Then, the two stood, eyed the finish line some 50 yards away, and raced, stride for stride. Young Sawyer won in a photo finish.
“That’s was great, that was an awesome experience,” Ryan Kimball said.
His son walked and ran part of the 5K before tiring, so dad carried him on his shoulders before the final sprint together. It was a wonderful start on a Thanksgiving morning.
“It’s a beautiful day,” Ryan Kimball. “It’s a great community event for everybody to get together and exercise before we eat our turkey and hang out with our families.”
About 320 runners and walkers took part in the turkey trot that started and ended at Kapaa Beach Park. Participants had a choice to walk, run or ride a bike over a 5K, 10K or really, as far as they wanted, on Ke Ala Hele Makalae. The free event was sponsored by Work It Out, with help from Sole Mates Island Style Footwear and Kauai Native Hawaiian Chamber. It was also a fundraiser for Kauai Path and a chance to donate food — 500 pounds was contributed Thursday morning — for Hale Ho’omalu.
Jeni Kaohelaulii, owner of Work It Out in Kapaa, a women’s fitness shop, enjoyed the day and said she was glad to put on the fun run.
“This morning was beautiful,” she said.
Randy Blake of Kauai Path said when he came to Kauai, there wasn’t a turkey trot. He talked to Kaohelaulii and asked her if she would like to partner with Kauai Path and put on a Thanksgiving Day run for the community. She did, and this year was the island’s fifth turkey trot.
“We figured it’d be a nice thing for the kids and family on Thanksgiving morning,” Blake said.
Whether running or walking, it was a good time on a cool, breezy morning with the sun peeking through the clouds.
“It’s really nice to come out to this race,” said Kyle Riddle, an Island School student and runner. “I feel I can comfortably go home and eat.”
Riddle cruised along for the first few miles of the 5K before picking up the pace and finishing strong. He enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the trot.
“It’s just having fun and it’s really not what I’m used to,” he said. “It’s a nice feeling.”
Liz Hagen and her dog Matilda were the first finishers in the runner/canine category.
“On the way out, we were really fast because she was tracking my fiancé, who was in the 10K, didn’t want to turn around at the 5K, so I kind of had to drag her back,” she said. “But we had a great time.”
Hagan wasn’t feeling well before the run, but afterward, felt energized.
“I’m just excited to spend the day with all the people I’ve met here,” she said. “I just moved here a few months ago and met so many wonderful people.”
Jess Bergeron of Wailua was pushing a stroller while son Ames ran by her side and she carried baby Sander in a front pack. It was a bit challenging with two little ones, but mom didn’t mind.
“We’re thankful to be out here,” she said.
Leilani Laranio and a group of friends were smiling and laughing while wearing paper pilgrim hats. Not even a cyclist who yelled for them to watch out could keep them from enjoying the holiday morning.
“We get to eat now that we worked out,” Laranio said as they as they made their way toward the finish.