LIHUE — With about 50 yards to the finish line, Andrea Cotter and son Samuel of Wailua were side by side.
Then, Samuel charged.
In a final sprint, he edged his mom at the inaugural Resolution Run Kauai on Saturday.
“He wanted to win. He’s got a bit of a competitive spirit in him,” Andrea said.
She didn’t give up easily, giving it her all in the final stretch, but coming up a few feet short.
“His little legs are faster than mine,” Andrea said. “He’s got youth on his side.”
About 150 adults and keiki participated in the run on a cool, cloudy morning. The fundraiser for the Pu‘uwai Canoe Club was held on trails newly opened by Hokuala – a Timbers Resort development through an old course golf not far from the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club in Lihue.
The course meandered its way along the golf cart path, for the most part, as runners passed palm trees, green fields, lagoons and a few nene, too.
Rocco April, race organizer and canoe club leader, gave the crowd a quick rundown of what awaited them.
“It’s a bit of an all-wheel-drive course. You’re going to see transitions from grass to blacktop to gravel to dirt to cement,” April said.
He even demonstrated how to navigate the short downhill from the starting line, running off, then returning.
“You gotta be careful because it’s a ditch,” he said.
No one held back.
Runners dashed ahead and enjoyed the windy, zig-zagging course of some sharp turns, ups and downs while occasionally passing each other going in opposite directions.
Eric Wortmann, a doctor from Kalaheo, said he used to play the old Mokihana Golf Course before it was closed.
“It’s fun to be on the course again,” he said. “I’ve got great memories of this golf course.”
He would like to see it opened up for other running events, such as a high school cross country meet.
“It felt great to be out there,” Wortmann said.
The first woman to finish was Jade Morris, who was visiting from California but has family on Kauai.
After learning of the race in The Garden Island, the high school senior who runs track and cross country back home decided to come out Saturday.
It’s off-season right now, so she was looking for a good workout.
“I really liked it,” said Morris, who is applying to the University of Hawaii.
Her father, Kimo Morris, said he tried to keep up as long as he could.
“I had her for the first 300 meters,” he said, laughing.
Kimo Morris visited family on Kauai when he was in high school in the 1980s, and he also ran distance.
His mom is a Kauai High graduate, as were several uncles and aunties.
“My parents used to drop me off on the road and I would run back to my grandma’s house in Hanamaulu,” he said.
“Or I would run from my grandmother’s house to the Wailua River. Any time I had to get six to 12 miles in, I would just run all over the island.”
For a first-time race, the Pu‘uwai Canoe Club was delighted with the results. For $30, entrants received T-shirts, refreshments, awards and, most important, everyone had fun, April said.
Next year, it hopes to hold the Resolution Run Kauai on Jan. 1.
“They enjoyed the course. It seemed like it went fairly smooth,” he said. “As far as turnout, we’re stoked, for sure.”
Andrea Cotter said she and Samuel don’t usually do much training together, but hope to in 2018.
The 5K fun run was a good way to start.
“It was awesome,” said Samuel, who is a youth member of the Pu‘uwai Canoe Club. “It felt great to run.”
“Great Resolution Run, new year, new goals,” Andrea said.