HANALEI — When Mark Goodman received his prizes for winning the Haena to Hanalei 8-mile walk Saturday morning, he was beaming.
He raised both arms, fist clenched, and grinned. It felt so good.
“I had to use all my determination to prove to myself I could do it,” the Kilauea man said.
Do it, he did.
He finished in 1 hour, 34 minutes and 17 seconds, to hold off Orin Ogilvie of Princeville, who was second in 1:35:53.
Goodman had won this race’s walking division eight straight years before coming in second in 2015 and 2016. He wanted first place again, bad, and he put in the sweat to get there. He logged uphill biking sessions and pushed himself with swimming workouts. And, of course, he walked many, many miles.
It paid off as Goodman charged away from the start at Ke‘e Beach and continued a strong, steady clip to the finish near the Hanalei Pier.
He felt relief, joy and satisfaction.
“We all have the capability of doing anything we put our minds to,” he said.
His performance was one of several that highlighted the 37th Haena to Hanalei 8-Mile Run/Walk put on as a fundraiser by the Hanalei Canoe Club.
Under nearly ideal conditions of cloudy, cool skies with some light showers, 309 runners finished the 8-mile run, 114 the walk, 92 completed the 5K that started and ended near the pier, and 36 did the 1-mile kids run.
Afterward, they gathered for a festive awards ceremony and breakfast.
Mary Mair, race director, was pleased that almost every runner and walker arrived early, and for once, the race went off at the 7 a.m. starting time.
There were plenty of volunteers who manned aid stations, cooked and served pancakes, handled a clothing sale, handed out medals to top finishers, then helped with cleanup duties.
“Everyone just jumps in,” Mair said.
The overall winner of the 8-mile run was Brayden Youngberg of Ogden, Utah. The 18-year-old, who just graduated from high school where he ran cross country and track, is vacationing on Kauai with his family.
“I knew there would be some fast guys out here,” he said. “I figured I’d just stick with them as long as I could.”
He did a little better than that.
Youngberg and Nic Clark of Kalaheo were together with about two miles to go when Clark made a move and opened a gap.
“He got about 50 meters on me. I thought he had it,” Youngberg said. “I didn’t think I could close.”
But with a mile remaining, he pushed harder
“I was like, ‘I can do this.’ I kind of went for it. The dude on the bike was cheering for me. I felt good so I decided to go. I’m glad I did.”
Youngberg finished in 47:54, followed by Clark in 48:05.
Winning, he said, “felt fantastic. There’s no feeling like it.”
Alex Dutcher of Koloa led the women, winning in 53:24.
The 25-year-old was a little surprised to find herself in first place. She hadn’t been training that hard and wasn’t sure what to expect.
“I came in just to finish and feel pretty good about it,” she said.
Dutcher ran strong on the hills and enjoyed the final stretch as she cruised in.
“Racing into Hanalei is amazing,” she said.
Ryan Perez of Koloa won the 5K in 18:26, while Ella Beck of Hanalei was the first female finisher in 24:02.
Piper Sheehan of Hanalei took first in the kids mile in 7:09.
Roberta Halliburton of Princeville won the women’s 8-mile walk in 1:36:13.
Others came for fitness, fun and memories, too.
Kevin Horgan of Hanalei skipped rope for eight miles, but for a short stretch up Lumahai hill, and finished in 1:06:02.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “It’s just throwing the rope and running through it.”
Jumping rope while running, Horgan said, is a better way to get in shape.
“You exercise your upper body and lower body,” he said. “Maximize your time.”
Robin Fisher of Wailua and Kristal Muhich of Anahola walked eight miles while wearing tutus, Robin a yellow one, Kristal, blue.
As they went, they cheered and whooped for passing runners.
“Everyone did such a good job,” Muhich said. “Everyone is so inspiring and had so much fun.”
A smiling Fisher said they loved it, start to finish. The ocean view and lush green mountains were spectacular.
“The best part was getting together with so many other Kauai people to enjoy the scenery and doing something active,” she said.
“We aren’t here taking it seriously but for those who are, it’s so much fun to encourage those people who are working so hard and train for it,” Fisher said. “They are just really inspiring in terms of health and fitness and self-discipline.”
Yvette LaVigne of Los Angeles finished the 8-mile walk for the seventh straight year. This year, though, was special, as she wore a lavender shirt that read, “In Memory of Donna, Lavender Lady of Kilauea.”
That was in reference to her good friend and North Shore icon, Donna Schulze, who passed away April 27 at the age of 92. Schulze completed Haena to Hanalei several times and loved sharing her passion for fitness and running.
LaVigne placed eighth in the walk in 1:44:01, a fine performance. She got a little help from above.
“Donna with me the whole time. I was thinking about her. I really was,” LaVigne said. “I wasn’t able to make it to her memorial last Saturday. This is my memorial to her.”