Fast start in new year

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Runners line up for the start of the Resolution Run Saturday morning at Hokuala Resort in Lihue.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Runners sprint to the finish line of the Resolution Run at the Hokuala Resort Saturday. From left are Jennifer Jones-Patulli, Cinzia Bruno and Jim Tumpap.

LIHUE — When Nancy Vaughn finished the Resolution Run on Saturday, she may have summed things up well for the 250 people who came out.

“This was an awesome start to the year, a 5K to kick it off,” she said.

The Princeville woman moved to Kauai in February, “just in time for the flooding” in April.

“A lot of things went sideways early on, but now things are starting to fall into place,” she said as she visited with friend Nancy Williams after the fun run.

Vaughn used the race as training for the upcoming paddling season. It went well on a picture-perfect, sunny morning with a slight breeze.

“I loved it,” she said.

Only in its second year, the Resolution Run doubled the number of participants who enjoyed a scenic course on trails newly opened by Hokuala — A Timbers Resort development through an old golf course not far from the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club.

The course followed the former golf cart path as runners passed palm trees, lagoons and fields of green.

Afterward, a crowd stayed around to talk story, recount the race, feast on refreshments while waiting for the awards ceremony.

Kaio Tsuchiya, a Waimea Canyon Middle School student and track runner, competed in his first fun run as part of his training.

“Very tiring,” he said.

His cousins motivated him to come out for the race, a fundraiser for Puuwai Canoe Club.

He said while the course was “all over the place,” he thought it went well and he finished strong.

“I’m good at pacing myself,” he said.

Melodie Vandette of Montreal hadn’t exactly planned on running a race during her visit to Kauai, but her friend, Jimmy McDougall, insisted.

“He brought me here,” she said, laughing.

She found the course “amazing,” but the conditions challenging.

“A little bit hard, because I’m not used to the weather here. It’s really hot and humid, but I’m doing great,” Vandette said.

And she found another benefit to the fun run: “People are sweet,” she said.

Another first-timer was Fran Roach, general manager of The Ocean Course at Hokuala. He and friend Palmer Hafdahl were laughing as they crossed the finish line together.

“It was a lot of run,” Roach said. “It was a beautiful race.”

He got through it with a run, walk, run, walk method.

“It wasn’t so bad,” he added.

The Ocean Course, he said, is in great shape, and staying busy.

“As general manage of the golf course, I thought I’d come out and support this great event,” Roach said.

Margie Bennett of Princeville completed the race with Annie, her 6-year-old lab. Those two have covered many miles together over the years, including at Hanalai Bay and on Ke Ala Hale Makale, the coastal path in Kapaa.

“I was trying to keep up with her, as always,” a happy Bennett said.

She was delighted with the Resolution Run.

“It’s community today,” she said. “You can run by yourself anytime you want, but to run with people, at such a nice venue here, a lot of support, it’s really nice.”

The race, while mostly for fun, included some fierce competition.

Zach Gabrielli, visiting from North Carolina, finished just ahead of his cousin, Kelson Suga of Waimea, with a strong kick to win bragging rights.

Asked if he liked running, Zach paused and said, “kind of.”

His sister, Kaina, who also ran and won an age-group award, said she was impressed by her brother’s winning sprint and said she had this thought when he charged to victory:

“Wow, Zach, you’re going your hardest today.”


Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or


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