Three times the fun

The Garden Isle hasn’t hosted a triathlon for a while. That will change soon.

“I do triathlons myself. We haven’t had one on the island for a long time,” said race coordinator Lisa Ledesma. “I’ve been doing one with our group on the side for fun. I thought it would be neat to put together something for fundraising.”

The inaugural K-PAL Hammerhead Sprint Triathlon & 5K Fun Run/Walk will take place Sunday, July 17.

“Since my husband works at the police department, I approached K-PAL and asked them if they would be willing to put a triathlon and a 5K run together,” Ledesma said. “We have so many athletes that want to do something here on island.”

The triathlon is a fundraiser for K-PAL (Kauai Police Activities League), a nonprofit organization coordinated by the Kauai Police Department.

“Our main point is to make relations with kids. We’re trying to work with kids, making it OK for them if they go out and speak with officers,” said K-PAL Officer Mitchell Collier. “We also try to teach them about illegal drugs and making the right decisions not to utilize those drugs.”

Collier said the money raised will go toward K-PAL’s numerous programs such as boxing, wrestling, basketball, flag football and jiu-jitsu. He added he hopes to start a video game league within K-PAL.

The Hammerhead triathlon will begin at 7 a.m., and the fun run/walk will start at 7:30 a.m.

The events that comprise the triathlon are:

w a 500-meter swim in Kalapaki Bay

w a 14-mile bike ride beginning at Kalapaki Beach, going up Kalapaki Circle/Ho’Olaulea Way and turning at Kapule Highway, and then three laps to-and-back from the North Vidinha Soccer Fields to the junction of Kapule and Kuhio Highways

w a 3.1-mile run starting at Vidinha Stadium, going along Kalapaki Circle/Ho’Olaulea Way to the Kauai Marriott Resort and back to the finish line on the track at Vidinha Stadium.

The 5K goes along the course of the 3.1-mile run of the triathlon.

“I just want to make sure it goes well. I’m very excited about how it’s going to be,” Collier said. “I’m just glad everyone signing up is going to be great role models for the kids who are going to be there at the finish line.”

The deadline to enter is Thursday, July 14. Register at www.kauai.gov/KPAL/upcomingevents.

Check-ins the day of the the triathlon will start 5 a.m. at Vidinha Stadium.

Registration fee is $50 for the individual triathlon and $100 for the group relay. Both are for participants 18 and older.

Registration fee for the run/walk is $35 for adults. For those 17 years old and younger, the fee is either $15 or $10 and a canned good to be donated to the Kauai Independent Food Bank.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Ledesma at 652-5326.

The section of Kapule Highway from Halau and Haoa Streets to the Hanamaulu junction where Kapule and Kuhio Highways meet will be closed during the triathlon, police said. Motorists will be able to enter and exit Lihue Airport via Ahukini Road.

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