New mayor, new dance.
That’s just one of the highlights in store for Saturday’s 11th annual Mayor-a-thon at Kapaa Beach Park.
While former Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s smooth moves to “Electric Slide” were always a big hit of this popular fitness event, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami will unveil some steps of his own to a song we’ve promised to keep secret.
Our mayor will also be running a few miles and then biking a few more miles as he continues to set a fine example for the rest of us to stay active and stay sharp. We’re told the mayor will be joined on the run and bike (not sure about the dance) by Alden Alayvilla, former TGI reporter, now a county public information officer.
Another new aspect: The Kid Fit Crew, a group of keiki 7 to 12 years old from Kapaa Elementary and organized by Kay Mones will lead the warmup routine aimed at getting the crowd — nearly 1,200 have registered already — ready to roll on to the ocean path where they can run, bike or walk.
Some of the more serious runners will trek to just beyond Donkey Beach before turning back, a roundtrip of about 7.5 miles. Kupuna and keiki might go a mile or few blocks, whatever works for them.
This is one of the Kauai’s best events. It’s all free and it’s all directed at encouraging people to get their bodies moving, blood pumping and muscles working. Give the county credit for continuing to offer the Mayor-a-thon. This is one those events you should come out for, even if you don’t want the free breakfast, coffee, and a chance to win prizes. While those things are good, even better are the people you will meet. We’re talking about people who are upbeat, positive and energized — people who make those around them feel better.
All that said, here are some of the basics of the Mayor-a-thon. Most important to note is that you can still register online until Friday. That’s visitors and locals. Any and all are welcome. We repeat: Everything is free!
w Online pre-registration at www.getfitkauai.com and runs through Friday at noon. The first 500 who pre-registered will receive a free T-shirt and water bottle, so if you haven’t registered, it’s too late for the shirt and bottle. However, all participants will receive a free cinch bag from Kaiser Permanente. And remember, there’s food involved.
w You must pre-register and be present to win prizes. And we’re talking some nice prizes. The grand prize is a $100 resort credit and a two-night stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.
w Participants can walk, run, or bike one to eight miles on Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use path. Dogs on leashes are welcome.
w Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m., warm-up is at 7 a.m., and the event starts at 7:15 a.m.
w A healthy food drive is also part of the event with proceeds going to the Kauai Independent Food Bank and The Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch. Bring a healthy food item and receive a pair of sunglasses (while supplies last). Suggested items to donate include: canned fruits and vegetables; brown or hapa rice; whole grains; dried beans and lentils; canned low sodium meat; or shelf stable milk with calcium. For more ideas, you can download the healthy food drive flyer at www.getfitkauai.com.
w The Mayor-a-thon is sponsored by Get Fit Kauai, Kaiser Permanente, HMSA, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Hawaii State Department of Health, and the County of Kaua‘i.
w As the Mayor-a-thon is a zero waste event, participants should bring their own water bottles.
w As always, TGI’s Dennis Fujimoto will be there, camera in hand, so be sure to smile and wave when you see him.
w If anyone needs a lift to get there, you got it. The county is providing free bus service coming and going:
Pick-up locations and times:
Kekaha Neighborhood Center – 5:30 a.m.; Waimea Athletic Field – 5:35 a.m.; Hanapepe Multi-Purpose Building – 5:45 a.m.; Kalaheo Post Office – 5:55 a.m.; Kukui Grove Center – 6:10 a.m.; Return trip from the Kapaa Public Library – 10:15 a.m.
Hanalei Courthouse Bus Stop – 5:30 a.m.; Princeville Shopping Center – 5:35 a.m.; Anaina Hou – 5:45 a.m.; Anahola Post Office – 5:55 a.m. The return trip from the Kapaa Library Bus stop will be at 10:15 a.m.
OK. So there are no excuses to not be at the Mayor-a-thon. Even if exercise, breakfast, prizes and music and fit kids don’t interest you, there is one thing that absolutely should: the chance to see the mayor showing off his dance steps.
And you can join him, too!
Bill Buley is the editor of The Garden Island newspaper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.