half marathons, running, senior runners

A Happy Man!

Look at that happy man — me!  Margie took the photo as we had
a celebratory dinner at a popular 5-star local restaurant,
Merriman’s Fish House, in Poipu Kauai.

That morning, with a 6 a.m. start, I began my fourth long-distance race on Kauai — the first, in 2012, a full (26.2-mile) marathon.  I was a relative puppy then of 78.  The last three have been half-marathons.  How did I do?  Read on.

Kauai is a lovely island — my favorite “Neighbor Island” — in the state of Hawaii.  And the the Kauai Marathon and half-marathon have come to attract a lot of runners — from the state of Hawaii as well as the Mainland and even Japan.

For me, there was no need to drive to the start. We were staying in one of  the Kiahuna Plantation beachfront condos, a short walk from the start on Poipu Drive.

It’s a lovely course and a tough one!  The first several miles proceed relentlessly uphill.  Finally, runners get to the the famous “Tunnel of Trees,” where the course proceeds through a long canopy of Eucalyptus trees on either side. Magnificent!  It’s only a bit further till runners turn left and begin a long, mostly downhill course to the finish.

The course even proceeds through a rural residential section where many of the local folks set up chairs to watch the runners pass by.  Some of the kids were even offering cups of drinks. That was appreciated even though there were frequent “aid stations” along the course.

Alas, during the last few miles, I found myself doing some walking.  But when I saw my beloved Margie waving at me, with less than a half-mile to go, I ran with some vigor to the finish line.  A good thing!  Despite the walking, it was still
my fastest time among the three half-marathons I have done this year. 

After the race, over-all winners and age-group winners are announced and called up to receive their awards.  Guess who has the longest wait?  The octogenarians. I waited patiently for 80-and-over to be called — but they were waiting for other 80 year olds to finish.  Margie spoke up. She called to the presenter, “he’s the only one over 80!”

So now I have a set of four of the attractive, hand-made plates presented as awards each year.