Rich in spirit

Today, Diann Hartman leaves Kauai and will fly to San Diego, where she will undergo surgery for colon cancer this week.

On Saturday, nearly 400 people turned out to wish her well by running in the inaugural 3-mile “Bum Run” at Poipu Bay Golf Course.

“It’s an amazing turnout,” said a smiling Hartman, director of public relations for the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. “It’s wonderful to see.”

The goal of the untimed fun run and walk was to offer support to Hartman, raise awareness of colon cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society. And under sunny skies, the field of young and old did just that. They started with shouts and charged off, following the paved path that winds around the beautiful, scenic, golf course. While some gave it their all, most enjoyed the event, jogging easily, conversing, taking pictures and trading high fives under the rainbow of balloons that marked the start and finish.

Participants received — and many wore — white boxer shorts with the words “Bum Run” on the rear. Volunteers greeted them with enthusiasm, applause and signs that read, “You are awesome,” and “Have a beautiful day.”

Glenn Santos and Molly Middlebrook finished with big grins and hand slaps. Good times, he said.

“It was cool and refreshing,” Santos said.

He said when he heard about the run, he wanted to be there.

“We always support American Cancer Society, any which way we go,” he said.

And as for the Bum Run held for the first time on the oceanview course?

“It was great. Perfect,” he said.

Another runner, Rick Johnston, of Forest Grove, Oregon, was happy to do his part to help raise money to fight cancer after hearing of the event. Upon finishing, he took a break on the grass to catch his breath.

“The course blew my mind,” he said.

George Makalii Thronas, director of Hawaiian culture at the Grand Hyatt, offered a prayer before the race.

“Lord, when the Bum Run starts, guide everyone safely to their final destination,” he said.

Thronas said seeing so many people turnout was awesome. It was a benefit for Hartman in spirit, the ACS with donations and in raising awareness that everyone, no matter their diet or physical fitness or genetic disposition, should be aware of colon cancer.

“It’s good to get early detection,” he said.

Kaela Wold, marketing manager for the Grand Hyatt, ran strong throughout the course, evening pushing a toddler in a stroller for a time, and was among the early finishers.

She said it was exciting to know the run went off wonderfully and see such a spirited, supportive crowd.

“We’ve been working on this five weeks for Diann,” she said. “And it’s a big success.”

Wold didn’t even mind the rolling hills that took their toll on many in the field and slowed them to a walk in the latter stages — at least until the final, downhill sprint to the finish, where they were greeted with leis.

“I love it. It takes me back to high school cross country days,” she said.

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