The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon loves people like Terri Halliday.
First, she’s dedicated to fitness, passionate about exercise and committed to health.
Second, she’s completed all nine of the Kauai half marathons and on Sunday will go after number 10.
Third, she has high praise for race organizers and this event that starts and finishes within walking distance of her front door.
“They do a fabulous job,” she said. “They’ve done a fabulous job since day one.”
That’s a ringing endorsement for what has become one of the island’s favorite races and it comes from a person who knows how to stay in shape.
The 74-year-old is a fitness coach who leads a weekly senior fitness class at Kauai Athletic Club and walks in the range of eight miles a day. Well, she might take one day off each week, but even then, she likes to get in a workout on the treadmill, the elliptical or with weights.
“I pretty much train all the time,” the Poipu woman said. “I don’t miss too many days.”
As the years roll by, it becomes easier to sit around and rest, and harder to exercise. And when you’re older and you lose a level of fitness, it’s difficult to get it back.
“Keep moving, that’s whole goal,” the Poipu woman said.
So Halliday is hell-bent to stay strong, but admits she’s not where she’d like to be at this point and has slowed down a little. Her best time over 13.1 miles on Kauai has been 2 hours and 28 minutes. Last year she completed the half in 2 hours, 42 minutes.
“I’m not on top of my game as I have been in the past,” she said.
But no matter.
This being the 10th anniversary of the marathon, she’s going to do her usual walk/run method, start to finish, and have fun.
“You know what? Let’s just go out and do it and have a good time,” she said.
Halliday, for the most part, loves the course that takes runners up the famous Tree Tunnel and down through Omao. It’s there, she said, “you know you’re getting close to the end” and steady for a late charge.
Her friend, Naomi, plays with the taiko drummers at the bottom of the hill, so that’s another source of inspiration.
It’s that final stretch, when the sun and the temperatures are rising hours after the 6 a.m. start, that’s the toughest.
“It’s always so hot,” Halliday said.
Those volunteers with the energy, the good vibes and the ice cold washcloths and ice cubes that see her through.
“Get to the finish line. That’s the goal,” she said.
Her preparation for Sunday’s half marathon includes 12 weeks of building up mileage with some high-intensity interval training.
“If you can maintain a base, training is not that huge a deal,” she said.
And come race day, while she likes to enjoy it, she’s serious out there. She pushes the pace, often passing people later who zipped by her earlier.
Her stamina can be traced back to her figure skating days. Plus, she got involved in aerobics in the late 70s and early 80s and has long been a fitness professional.
Halliday, who has run both the Honolulu and Maui marathons, has only good memories of the Kauai Marathon but for the second year, she said, when it poured rain. Even that bit of discomfort was more humorous than anything.
“I remember my feet kind of sloshing around in my shoes,” she said, laughing.
The basics of good health, Halliday said, are staying active, “not being a couch potato,” and good nutrition.
“Taking care of yourself, your health, is really critical,” she said.
Has she conceded anything to age?
“Not really,” Halliday said. “Maybe I’ve backed off a tiny little bit.”