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Modified Maui Marathon this Sunday honors Lahaina Town

Nina Wu
COURTESY MAUI MARATHON
                                A participant is seen running at the Maui Marathon.
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COURTESY MAUI MARATHON

A participant is seen running at the Maui Marathon.

Maui Marathon organizers are moving forward with a race this Sunday but modified it as a half marathon in the wake of the Aug. 8 wildfires.

This marks the 54th year with a half marathon, 10K, and 5K run on Sunday with Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu as the home base.

“When the wildfires happened in August, we immediately knew a good portion of our course in Lahaina was gone,” said race director Jim Lynch, referring to Front Street. “We didn’t know what we were going to do, originally.”

Organizers scrambled to develop a completely new course that would avoid West Maui so as not to create more traffic congestion as well as to be sensitive to affected Lahaina residents.

The start of the half marathon is at the Puunene Sugar Mill in Kahului, while the 10K and 5K runs start and end at Maui Tropical Plantation. The half marathon also finishes at Maui Tropical Plantation.

The theme of this year’s event is “Lahaina Town Memorial Run” to honor the many lives lost, as well as thousands displaced by the wildfires.

Runners are encouraged to wear red to help create a sea of red on race day as a tribute to Lahaina. The race T-shirts and medals also feature a logo honoring Lahaina Town. A special memorial is set up near the finish line.

More than 1,800 runners are registered for the runs, he said, including some participating virtually.

To date, the Maui Marathon has also received more than $30,000 in donations from runners all over the world. All proceeds were passed on to the Maui Food Bank, Hawai‘i Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund, or Maui Humane Society.

“We’re happy with the support that we’re getting,” said Lynch. “We’re getting people that are running it for Lahaina.”

The half marathon starts at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by the 10K at 5:45 a.m. and 5K at 5:55 a.m.

Late registration will be available until 5 p.m. on Saturday at packet pickup.

The Maui Marathon is presented by the Valley Isle Road Runners, with sponsors including Southwest, HydraPak, Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Maui County Council, Kaanapali Beach Resort, and more.

Visit mauimarathon.com for more information.

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