Roots Shoots 2The Kaua‘i Marathon and the National Tropical Botanical Garden have partnered to put together the first Roots ‘n Shoots Fun Run and Walk April 4 on the South Shore.

The 5K run, which organizers are saying will be an annual event, is a fundraising event and the first ever run on the grounds of Allerton and McBryde gardens.

Participants check in at the NTBG South Shore Visitor Center parking lot, starting at 6 a.m., and will be shuttled to the start of the run, at the beginning of the recently opened Biodiversity Trail. The trail is a winding 800-foot path telling the story of plant evolution in the last 450 million years.

The 3.1-mile course winds through rainforest trees, a grove of golden bamboo, tropical fruit trees and alongside Lawa‘i Stream.

“Runners and walkers will experience one of the most beautiful 5K courses in the world,” said Andy Jasper, director of the South Shore gardens. “The NTBG team has always wanted to host more activities for local residents and people who don’t regularly visit botanical gardens. We are so excited to partner with The Kaua‘i Marathon to offer this event.”

Allerton Gardens in Lawa‘i

Allerton Gardens in Lawa‘i

Coffee from Kaua‘i Coffee and a complimentary continental breakfast by Living Foods Gourmet Market and Café will be provided to participants after the run.

“Not only will participants be treated to a gorgeous course, but a fabulous after-race celebration with family and friends,” said The Kaua‘i Marathon founder Jeff Sacchini, adding he too is excited to join forces with NTBG on this “extraordinary community event.”

There will be a silent auction and a lucky drawing where funds received will support The Kaua‘i Marathon Youth Running Program and other local nonprofit groups that benefit annually from the marathon.

Participants are encouraged to explore the gardens after the 5K is finished. Shuttle busses back to the parking lot will continue throughout the morning.

Organizers said there will be limited entries, and they expect the event to sell out quickly. The cost is $35 for adults and $25 for students who are 16 years old and under.

NTBG, a network of several gardens and preserves in Hawai‘i and in Florida, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching life through discovery, scientific research, education and conservation of tropical plants. Visit for more information.

The 7th Annual Kaua‘i Marathon, offering full and half marathon, is scheduled for Sept. 6 in Po‘ipu. Visit for more information.