Triple the pain, er, fun

One of Kauai’s most challenging — and fun — races is set for Saturday.

The Rotary Club of Kauai’s 14th annual Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run offers three choices for runners, a half marathon at 7 a.m., a 5k at 7:15 and a 10k at 7:30. There is also a noncompetitive 5k walk.

The event, which attracts hundreds, is an easy sell for organizers, starting with the setting that they describe this way: “This old historic town along the southern shore of Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, shows off the scenic countryside, beachfront resorts and tree-lined roads that have kept tourists coming here since the first sugar mill opened back in the 1830s.”

The Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run presented by Wilcox Health brings out some of Kauai’s fastest runners, locals and visitors.

Runners will start the race at Anne Knudsen Park, which lies near the junction of Maluhia Road and Emi Road. From there, they’ll head east and south along Ala Kinoiki for the first three miles, down to Poipu Road.

Here, half marathoners right and head west with the resorts on their left.

There is a steady, gradual climb uphill in the second half of the race, after the equally gradual downhill in the first half. Runners can expect gently rolling hills throughout, and a slightly uphill finish at the end.

The run will include a breakfast and microfiber T-shirt. Breakfast will be served as the first finishers arrive at about 8 a.m. The winners will be announced at about 9:30. Awards will go to overall male and female finishers and medals to age group winners. Metals will be provided to all half marathon finishers.

Proceeds benefit students at the University of Hawaii/Kauai Community College, as well as local Rotary Club youth leadership award scholarships.

Registration for the half marathon is $40. Registration for the 10K and 5K runs is $35 at www.Active.com. Late registration for all runs (Friday) is $40 at Kukui Grove Shopping center. No race day registration.

Race packet pickup is on Friday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Kukui Grove Shopping Mall, exhibit area behind Starbucks.

Info: www.oldkoloasugarmillrun.org.

This event is made possible by the Wilcox Memorial Hospital, DuDont Pioneer, Kauai Spring Water, Safeway, the County of Kauai, and other sponsors.

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