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Run Club Kaua‘i hosts inaugural event in Oma‘o

OMA‘O — Footprints replaced motorcycle tire tracks in the must at the Oma‘o Motocross Track, May 15 when Run Club Kaua‘i hosted it inaugural recreational 5k run.

The run was open to all ages broken down into a youth and adult categories, the youngest runners being elementary school students ranging to kupuna who showed up to have a shot at the course.

“The course is going to be soggy, but these kids are ready for it,” said Keith Burgess, who along with daughter Emma, spearheaded the organization of Run Club Kaua‘i. “The weather is clearing up so we can’t complain. Huge thanks to the Knudsen Trust, the Garden Island Motorcycle Club, and the Keala Foundation for allowing us to have this run.”

Damon Johnson crossed the finish line in 20 minutes, 15 seconds to win both the overall finisher and the male division in the Youth category.

“It’s super fun,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to be fast to join the Run Club. You just have to like running, and want to get better.”

Sadie Murray crossed at 24:55 to claim the top Youth Female honor.

“It was really slippery,” Murray said. “I slipped in the very beginning, but I’m going to try to beat my time in the next race.”

The Kaua‘i Divas and Dudes, a local sports group founded by Lisa Ledesma, took up nearly half of the 26 adults participating the Adult category.

“We like to help out whenever there’re children involved,” Ledesma said. “When Keith called and said they were planning this, I said, ‘We are all on board.’ I didn’t even kow how much it was going to cost. I just said, ‘We’re coming.’”

The Divas and Dudes showed strong on the course as member Alex Dutcher took the Adult Female division in second place overall, and the first female when she stopped the clocks at 20:49.

“I started running with these guys a few years back, and they’re just like family,” Dutcher said, crediting the group in her succes. “I just wanted to hang on with James Lloyd. We run together and so I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll hang on him.”

Juan Gonzalez, an employee with the Keala Foundation, and a coach at multiple youth Crossfits on Kaua‘i, topped the Adult race on a run of 20:41.

“I’m coach to a lot of these kids and students here today, so I get to cheer them on,” Gonzalez said. “It was cool to hear some cheers and thins I said to them. They were saying those things back to me.”

Run Club Coach Derek Johnson was pleased with the outcome of the race, crediting the diversity of the practices to the overall success of the race.

“I think the biggest motivation is to make practice fun,” Derek said. “If you just go out and punish them with intervals every day, you’re probably going to have a group that never comes back. Our biggest turnout we had was a huge game of ultimate Frisbee on the beach. They didn’t realize how hard they were training because they were just having fun.”

Emma Burgess, the founder of Run Club Kauai with her parents Keith and Charlene, said she was glad to see the fun and fellowship the club promotes.

“I wanted to start the Run Club because there was a need in the community for more opportunities for youth runners,” Emma said. “Just seeing that there is community building, and that this club is part of it is just so rewarding.”

Run Club Kaua‘i will host its next run for both students and adults on June 26 at the Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course.

Registration can be found on raceentry.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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