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The long wait for the return of the Maui Marathon, celebrating its 50th year, is almost over.
Race director Jon Emerson said Tuesday that the Valley Isle Road Runners board, volunteers and runners are ready to hit the pavement from Kahului to Kaanapali on Sunday as the race is conducted in person for the first time in two and a half years due to the pandemic.
“We have all been under the umbrella of COVID for over two years, but this weekend, people finally have the opportunity to break out from under that umbrella and enjoy being with others as an organized group,” Emerson said. “We can’t wait to host the Maui Marathon again for family and friends and the whole running community.”
The Maui Marathon includes the marathon, half marathon, 10- and 5-kilometer run/walk, and a four-person marathon relay, and is the longest consecutively held running event in the state, according to the race website.
The Maui Marathon would have celebrated its 50th year in October 2020, but the event was canceled due to COVID health and safety protocols. It switched to a virtual event in April 2021.
To keep consistency in the future, the Maui Marathon will permanently become a spring race held in April.
There are about 2,000 people who registered for the event this year, Emerson said. The races usually attract another few thousand spectators.
The 26.2-mile race begins at 5 a.m. at the Old Sugar Mill on Maui Veterans Highway in Kahului. Runners will then embark over the pali heading to West Maui, winding through Lahaina and finishing in the Ka’anapali Beach Resort.
The other races will start at 5:30 a.m. and end at the resort for a out-and-back route.
“I’m very excited to see so many people running with other runners and enjoying the outdoors in the fresh air as the sun comes up,” Emerson said. “This is going to be a great, family-friendly day that many of us have been waiting for.”
There will be a packet pickup at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in the Ohana Room on Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Though online registration is closed, late race entries will be accepted at packet pickup.
Race course director Jim Lynch said that drivers should expect traffic delays, road closures and re-routing throughout the morning of the event and until approximately 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Several off-duty Maui police officers will be posted throughout the course directing traffic and drivers are asked to be aware of runners on the road.
Virtual runners can participate by choosing between the distances and run any route anytime from now until April 30.
A pre-race 3-mile shakeout run with Jackie and Martin of Level Up Maui is set for 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in front of the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.
For more information, visit mauimarathon.com.(04/21/2022) Views: 860 ⚡AMP
The Maui Marathon features one of the most scenic courses in the world – a point-to-point route that starts in Kahulu, passes sugar cane fields, and then hugs the spectacular Pacific coast line for more than 17 breath taking miles before the race finish in Ka’anapoli. Scenic beauty, however, is only one of the things this event has going for...more...