A post on the Kona Marathon will be up soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to make sure I recapped a great run put on by Carl Koomoa and Team Mango. Apparently, back in the day, there used to be an evening run on Alii Drive that occurred on the day of the Summer Solstice. However, due to the growth of Kona (i.e. more traffic) and the growth of the race, the organizers put the race on hold for several years until they could find a safer place to host it. Well, the time has come and this year Team Mango revived the Summer Solstice Run out at OTEC. These runs were at a perfect location, with a start and finish right along the beach!
They offered three different distances - a seven-mile run on the King's Trail, a four-mile run on the beach road to Pine Trees, and a 1-mile beach run. I opted to join the four-mile version, since the King's Trail run seemed a little too technical for me. But 9 hearty souls conquered the longer and harder race. Here they are at the start (and special thanks to Jano Soto for taking the photos)!
Kris Kiser won in 42:57, followed by Kawika Singson (43:29) and J Ashford (49:47). Only two ladies completed that distance with Paola Soto finishing first in 57:39 and Sarah Higgins coming in next in 1:03:33.
The beach road is fairly hard-packed sand in most places, but there were some deeper sandy portions and some pretty rocky areas. With the Kona half marathon only days away, there were some tense moments as I tried to make sure I didn't twist an ankle and made it to the finish line in one piece. In the four-mile run, Mike DeCarli came in first in 30:49, Danny Jesser was second in 32:47 and Harry Yoshida was third in 33:38. Kym Kiser was next and the first woman in 33:56, while I followed in 34:51. Vanessa Swanson was third in 38:13.
Finally, the keiki completed a 1-mile run on the beach, with Sienna Levine finishing first in 8:34, followed by Tanner Levine in 9:23 and Cody Evile in 10:05.
Full results from all of the races are available here.
Following the race Carl (aka Gecko) passed out the awards, which were great koa bowls and tikis. Since the races were fairly small nearly everyone received an award.
And once that was done, there were even more raffle giveaways. I came away with a bioastin bag filled with all kinds of goodies! Mike DeCarli (above) won some great Rudy Project sunglasses and someone else won a Rudy Project helmet.
All in all, this was a great event that hopefully continues and grows in the years to come. Mahalo to Gecko for putting this all together. And the night ended in the best way possible - with a Hawaiian sunset: