POIPU — Owen and Wally Stenson have been training for the Kauai half marathon for eight months. They’ve participated in a variety of runs in preparation, and have collected a few souvenirs along the way.
The two will be among the youngest runners on Sunday.
Wally, 11, said his favorite training run was the February Mardi Gras Run in San Diego. The brothers did the 5K run that time around and they were able to pick up Mardi Gras necklaces at aid stations throughout the run.
“I liked getting all of the beads,” Wally said.
Owen, 9, picked a food-related race as his favorite; the San Diego Hot Chocolate Run, held in March.
“At all of the aid stations, they handed out candy,” Owen said, “like Tootsie Rolls and marshmallows.”
Owen got the idea to participate in the Kauai half marathon from his mother, Pamela Wong. When he heard about it, Owen said he had to try it for himself.
“Owen’s the one that started it all,” Wally said. “He’s the one that wanted to do it.”
On Friday, the pair picked up a few more souvenirs — T-shirts and entry packets. Late registration was held at the Kauai Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. The expo will be open again today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and late registration will be open then, as well.
Along with clothing, the expo features vendors like Kauai Coffee Company and Wai Koko Coconut Water, distributing samples and swapping information with fitness enthusiasts.
There are also opportunities for massages and to sign up with various fitness clubs and gyms from the island. Other booths are selling sunglasses, supplements, and a variety of running accessories.
Guest speakers are scheduled throughout the day.
“I’ve been checking out the shirts and everything,” said Tim Loomis, from Carlsbad, California, who is on the island to support family members running in the event. “There’s a lot of good stuff here.”
While Owen and Wally were happy with the merchandise they found at the expo, both said there’s one more thing they are coveting.
“This is my first half marathon,” Owen said. “I’m really excited about the medal you get at the end.”
Wally said he’s fixated on the medal as well.
“We just want to finish,” he said. “The medal is so cool. It’s going to be fun.”