An old classic for a good cause

There are a lot of numbers involved in the Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run.

The 17th annual version is coming up on Saturday.

It includes a 5k, 10k and 13.1-mile half marathon.

About 400 to 500 runners and walkers come out.

But this might be the most important one: $100,000.

That’s about how much this event has raised for the Rotary Club of Kauai in its 13 years of organizing the fun run at Anne Knudsen Park in Koloa.

And that money goes to terrific causes, like college scholarships to Kauai Community College and to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

So if you like to run, or walk, or just being around upbeat folks, come out for this one, the last big foot race of the year on Kauai.

You’ll be rewarded with a shirt (always colorful with the original water color of the Old Koloa Sugar Mill by artist Helen Mehl), breakfast (provided by Mariachi’s) afterward and just a good time mingling with others into fitness and health and supporting community groups like the Rotary Club.

All half marathoners receive a finisher’s medal, while medals go to the top age-group finishers in the shorter distances.

This will be my seventh half marathon. While I love that distance, and I love most of this course, I hate the last three miles. They go back up the Koloa bypass road and every year, it somehow seems we’re running into a fierce headwind. Last year’s really was brutal, but it helped me chase down my buddy Jimmy McDougall in the final 100 yards and I beat him for the first time in a few years!

Here are a few more basics of what you need to know because you still have plenty of time to sign up:

• The half marathon will start at 7 a.m. The 5K run and walk will begin 7:15 a.m., and the 10K run will begin 7:30 a.m.

• The 5k is on the Koloa bypass road and the 10k pretty much is. The half marathon, with some ocean views, includes Poipu Road and Hoonani Road before returning on the bypass road.

• The half costs $40. The 10k and 5k are $35 online until Thursday and $40 on Friday.

• Friday’s registration is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kukui Grove Center’s food court. Visitors have been known to read about the race on their flight to Lihue, get off the plane and head straight to the registration booth.

The Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run, not too surprisingly, takes you past the Old Koloa Sugar Mill, which is where they shot some scenes from the recent movie, “Hobbs & Shaw.” The course used to include a stretch through the sugar plantation, with much mud and dirt. Now, it bypasses the mill, still visible from the road. It is a beautiful sight.

See you at the starting line. Or the finish line.


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