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McCandless, Otani win Kauai

Tyler McCandless wins Kauai Marathon

Tyler McCandless wins Kauai Marathon

KAUAI, Hawaii – The Kauai Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay were a resounding success with multiple course records broken, the largest field in race history and an abundance of aloha spread throughout Sunday. The performance of the morning came in the marathon from Tyler McCandless, 24, of Boulder, Colo., who clocked a winning time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 22 seconds on an extremely challenging course in temperate conditions. The 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier crushed the course record and won a share of the Kauai Marathon $15,000 Speed Challenge for a sub-2:30.

Defending champion and previous course record holder Michael Wardian, 38, of Arlington, Va. was runner-up in 2:26:20 to also get under the sub-2:30 mark to split the $15,000 time bonus. McCandless took home $8750 for the victory, while Wardian earned $6250 for his efforts. Third place went to Kenyan David Tuwai who ran 2:32:24.

McCandless stated that although it wasn’t his personal best time, it was the “best racing experience” that he has ever had. He said that people he met only once throughout the week came out on the course to cheer him on with homemade signs and their gracious aloha spirit. Wardian concurred stating that between the aid stations and volunteers along the course to the finish line festivities, the community of Kauai was “amazing”.

The top female marathon finisher was Rumi Otani of Iwaki City, Japan in 3:10:07 followed by 2010 winner Becki Lynn Lassley in 3:25:19. Neither came in under the women’s $15,000 Challenge standard of 2:45.

Clark Davis of Duncan, S.C. won the half-marathon in 1:20:01 and the first woman and third overall was Emily Shertzer from Jonestown, Pa. with a time of 1:20:13, which was also a new course record. Kauai’s top finishers were Mark Bogner and Mary Castelanelli for the full marathon and Jordan Kahawai and Brook Sugahara for the half marathon.

The event drew a record 1,723 participants – more than half were women – represented by 47 states, Guam and DC, as well as 13 countries. For the 2011 half-marathon, there were 1,204 runners, while the marathon had 424 runners. Twenty-six relay teams were comprised of 95 runners.

Jeff Sacchini, race founder, long had a vision of bringing a world class marathon to Kauai. He knew that with great leadership and Kauai’s generous support, the island’s aloha spirit would be shared with visitors from around the world while enhancing the local economy.

The proud founder race said, “We successfully completed the 3rd Kauai Marathon with the Speed Challenge broken by two runners. The community support throughout the course was abundant as a record crowd turned out to the support the runners. The participants passed hula dancers, Taiko drum troupes, striking mountain views, and each concluded their journey along one of the most beautiful oceanfront finish lines in road racing.”

Endurance sports celebrities Dean Karnazes and Runner’s World’s Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso were both on hand for the week’s festivities handing out tips and inspiration to all the runners. Yasso believes the event is one of the best because of the accessibility to his fellow running community through the Expo, expert panel discussion, pre-race fun run and the carbo load luau. He loves the personal connections he makes and always looks forward to meeting the people of Kauai.

Amazingly two individuals completed their 400th lifetime marathons in Kauai this year. Robbie “Red Hat” Wilson and Yen Nguyen both successfully conquered their milestones on one of the most challenging, yet beautiful road courses in the world.

More than $7000 was generously donated to numerous local non-profit groups volunteering for race day activities including the Kukui’ula Canoe Club, Kalaheo Elementary School, Koloa Elementary School, Kapaa High School Project Grad and the American Red Cross. Other non-profit groups attended the event including A-T and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and collectively they raised $220,000-plus for their charities.

3rd Kauai Marathon
Kauai, HI, Sunday, September 4, 2011

1) Tyler McCandless (CO), 2:23:22*, $8750#
2) Michael Wardian (VA), 2:26:20, $6250#
3) David Tuwei (KEN), 2:32:24
*course record (previous record, 2:30:53, Michael Wardian (VA), 2010)
#includes split of Kauai Marathon $15,000 Speed Challenge

1) Rumi Otani (JPN), 3:10:07
2) Becki Lynn Lassley (CO), 3:25:19
3) Penny MacPhail, 43, CA, 3:29:45

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