POIPU — Ella Beck was the first female across the finish line of Saturday’s third annual Roots ‘n Shoots fun run.
The 13-year-old’s motivation to run so fast? It was everywhere on the 5k course at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
“It’s really beautiful. It’s not boring,” she said. “So I could look around. I was motivated to go.”
And go she did.
Her cousin, James Pratt, was another top finisher in the untimed race that took runners and walkers on a spectacular journey through McBryde and Allerton Gardens. It included passing rainforest trees, swaying golden bamboo, tropical fruit trees and alongside the Lawai Stream, not to mention over a footbridge and past the majestic Moreton Bay figs of “Jurassic Park” fame.
“It’s so beautiful,” he said. “So much fun.”
About 350 completed the race, a fundraiser that supports The Kauai Marathon Youth Running Program, as well as other local nonprofit groups.
Afterward, many enjoyed a feast courtesy of the Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe and drink, including coffee served up by Kauai Coffee, while admiring the stunning scenery that surrounded the starting and finish line in McBryde Garden.
All reveled in the beauty of the setting on the sunny morning.
“It’s the best 5K course I’ve ever done,” said Schuyler Cox of Koloa.
Ed Todeschini of Poipu called it a fantastic race, not to be missed.
“Everybody should do it,” he said.
Kauai Coffee and the Kauai Marathon presented three $500 scholarships to students.
Fred Cowell, general manager of Kauai Coffee, led their team through the course. He said they love to support community events.
“We try to do as much as we can,” he said.
Jeff Sacchini, founder of the Kauai Marathon, said they always enjoy partnering with NTBG for the race that unites keiki to kupuna for a wonderful cause in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
“It’s a great way to celebrate a Saturday morning,” he said.