Spirit of the Marathon

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon presents $5,000 to the YWCA staff and family on Friday. From left are Justin Young, Dollie Galiza, Mikaela Young (front keiki), Julia Adolfo, Hilda Javinar, Stefani Iwami,Kauai Marathon founder and owner Jeff Sacchini, YWCA Executive Director Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, Kauai Marathon spokeswoman Robin Jumper, Liz Sacchini, Steve Dick, Emiko Meyers, keiki Adeline Brooks andElla Brooks, and Michelle Brooks.

LIHUE — Preparations for the Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon begin a year in advance.

Come race week, it’s crazy busy.

Come race day, well, organizers are running on zero sleep. It’s nonstop, from well before the starting gun at 6 a.m. to well after the last runner crossing the finish line.

And while it was wonderful to see a record field of nearly 2,000 runners complete the 10th annual race on Sept. 2 , for founder and owner Jeff Sacchini, the real reward of that effort came Friday.

That’s when Jeff and wife Liz Sacchini donated $5,000 from marathon proceeds to the YWCA.

“I feel really good about it,” Jeff Sacchini said. “All the hard work we put in year-round, not just race week, this is what it’s all about. It’s very meaningful to my wife and I to be able to be able to come and share the fruits of our success and to be able to make a difference in our community.”

“This is one of the biggest highlights for us,” he added.

Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, YWCA executive director, said support like that of the Sacchinis is what keeps the nonprofit strong and moving forward.

“This does so much for the people that we serve,” she said.

The YWCA and the Kauai Marathon share a common goal of encouraging and helping people to do and be their best, she said.

“This ties in very well,” Hamilton-Cambeilh said. “That’s what we’re all about, too. We want all of our clients in our community be healthy in mind and body and spirit.”

The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon has donated more than $125,000 to nonprofits since it started in 2009.

This year’s giving isn’t over.

Another $4,000 is earmarked for Habitat for Humanity, and $1,500 each is going toward Project Grad for seniors at Kapaa, Kauai and Waimea high schools. The graduation night parties are designed to keep graduates at a chaperoned event with music, food and prizes — and no alcohol or drugs.

“Because of the youth connection with the marathon, it’s really important we reach out to youth,” Sacchini said. “With Project Grad, we want to support that. It’ important to keep them safe on graduation night.”

And Habitat for Humanity is dear to the Sacchinis’ hearts, too.

“Housing is a big issue here,” Liz Sacchini said.

“Habitat is doing amazing work for people who need help with housing,” Jeff added.

Jeff Sacchini made it clear while he loves running and putting on a world-class marathon, he and Liz also love contributing to the community and helping others, particularly youth.

“That’s really the vision for Liz and I, why we set up a 501(c)3,” he said “We wanted to make it meaningful to the community of Kauai.”

He said planning is already underway for next year’s marathon and half marathon. And yes, he knows very well how insanely hectic final race week and race day are going to be.

No sweat.

“It’s a bit of a crazy week to say the least,” he said. “After the dust has settled and the work is done, we’re happy to distribute the profits.”


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.