Caren Ware's Blog

June 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 7:19 am

IMG_2285 IMG_2287 IMG_2291 IMG_2293 IMG_2294 IMG_2296 IMG_2299 IMG_2300 IMG_2304 IMG_2306 IMG_2319 IMG_2320 IMG_2323 IMG_2327 IMG_2330 IMG_2331 IMG_2336 IMG_2337 IMG_2344 IMG_2354IMG_2342Kakakuloa is a remote Polynesian community on a remote, rarely traveled end of Maui . Rudy Huber, the Race Director for the JTB Maui Marathon held in September of each year has a sincere heart for the island and its islanders.  He designed a Half Marathon to directly fund the renovation of a wooden church originally built in 1887.  This quiet, strong personal trainer and professional track coach takes the time to learn and love people.  We spent half a day prior to the event just visiting on the porch of the caretaker of the church. Richard, a  grey haired native Polynesian,  talks in unhurried wisdom and plays his ukulele with an Emmy award winning falsetto. The church, a simple building and its steeple ,are central to the valley’s 42 residences.  It is what you see as you scan the village from the grass blowing bluffs above.  It is the finish line for the grueling 13.1 miles from Fleming Park above Kaanapali. Offered is a team relay for two if you want to split the intense course in half.  Rudy has formulated a perfect destination race that combines cultural experience with rare and stunning views.  Waves crash against the cliffs.  Red rock, prominent on this end of the island, backdrops the lush grasses and tropical flowers.  Trade winds are better than any industrial air conditioner.  I was belly aching about the ravines and hills of Antarctica and participants took these in Maui in stride , exclaiming this was, by far, the best looking course they had ever been on… allowing them to forgive the arduous element of it all.  As I was handing out bibs a gal smiled and reached for a hug.  “Misses Ware…you were my 5th grade school teacher!”. I was a new graduate at 21 years old and now here she is, a road racer and mother of two, graduated herself and now teaching.  Another couple proposed at the finish line.  This was one of those kind of races.  I know I saw smiles on every face as they  happily clamored back into the shuttles or our rental cars to be driven back over the single lane road that hung off the cliffs.  This race is a gold nugget find with a great custom medal and the forever reward of seeing a place they never knew was so beautiful.  Not one left, including me, wishing they had never come.  (website)

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