Due to the success of last year’s Youth Program and Keiki Run, The Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon is proud to partner with Newton Running and Wilcox Health on expanded programs for the 2014 event.  The goal of each is to foster a movement to empower Kauai keiki to make healthy lifestyle choices through the sport of running.

Course record holder and 2011/2012/2013 Kauai Marathon Champion Tyler McCandless will host the Youth Program.  There are three facets to this experience.  First, McCandless will pair high school student cross country/track runners with 25 elementary students in a mentorship program.  The running “buddies” will meet regularly to go for runs and share in the movement towards greater health and wellness.  The goal is to give high school athletes the opportunity to be positive mentors in the community while giving the elementary school students a chance to be inspired by positive role models.  Newton Running has generously offered to donate a pair of shoes for every child in the running program.

The second component to the Youth Program partners The Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon with the non-profit Healthy Learning Paths (HLP).  The HLP organization has a mission to empower children by teaching wellness strategies for success in health, learning, and life through HLP’s Be Well, Learn Well® school program. In the days prior to the 2014 Kauai Marathon, this science-based curriculum geared for Kauai keiki will be taught in the classrooms at selected elementary schools.  Dr. Chris Marchioni, a family physician and founder of Healthy Learning Paths explains, “Our goals are to help students discover the power of healthy bodies, physical health and healthy minds, mental and spiritual health.  With healthy bodies and minds, students can reach their full potential.  The Youth Program is a perfect model for students to explore and experience their own power to choose healthy practices through running.”

McCandless and his love for the island of Kauai drives the third element to the Youth Program.  He has given himself the challenge to run The Kauai Marathon Half Marathon in a sub 1:05:00, which is the Olympic qualifying time.  McCandless’ goal is to raise $13,100 or $1,000 for every mile in the Half Marathon with all proceeds benefitting the multi-faceted Youth Program. He has set up a website, https://charitybets.com/users/593-tyler-mccandless for donations.

The Second Annual Kauai Marathon Keiki Run sponsored by Wilcox Health will be held on Saturday, August 30th on the far west side of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.   Registration fees are $15 prior to August 25th and $20 afterwards.  Each participant is guaranteed a medal and t-shirt if they pre register before August 25th.  Late registration begins at 8 am on race day and the races start at 9 am.  There is a toddler trot 100-yard run for 2-4 year olds, a quarter-mile run for 5-7 year olds and a half-mile run for 8-12 year olds. Participants are encouraged to list their school on the entry form as the elementary school that brings in the most runners for the Keiki Run receives a $500 donation.  To register for The Kauai Marathon Keiki Run, please visit www.thekauaimarathon.com.

The Sixth Annual Kauai Marathon is Sunday August 31st beginning at 6:00 am. The marathon and half-marathon events begin on Poipu Road in front of the Poipu Shopping Village. The first 11 miles are run together before the half marathoners veer off into Kukui’ula Resort to their oceanfront finish while the marathoners head up Koloa Road to the neighborhoods of Lawai and Kalaheo before heading back down to Poipu. The marathon finisher’s party and awards ceremony is located on the ocean front lawn at The Sheraton Kauai Resort beginning at 8:00am. Race participants as well as supporters can enjoy food, refreshments and live entertainment until the early afternoon. For more information, or to register for this spectacular event, please visit www.thekauaimarathon.com. If you need an ASL interpreter, materials in an alternate format, or other auxiliary aid support, please contact Robin Jumper at 808-635-3053 or tyzaconsulting@gmail.com at least seven days before the event.