Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run
This old historic town along the southern shore of Kauai, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, shows off the scenic countryside, beachfront resorts and tree-lined roads that have kept tourists coming here since the first sugar mill opened back in the 1830s at the all-new Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run, which makes its 15th annual running here in mid-November 2017.
Surrounded by the mountains of Kauai as well as the wide-open fields of the plantations that once operated here — and perhaps best known for its Tree Tunnel along Maluhia Road, a grove of eucalyptus trees planted over a century ago — Koloa today offers a piece of Kauai history with historic stores in the village (where you can try out the flavors at Lappert’s Ice Cream Store) and the Koloa Heritage Trail, a 10-mile self-guided tour through more than a dozen of Koloa’s most historic cultural and geological sites.
Runners will start the race at Anne Knudsen Park, which lies near the junction of Maluhia Road and Emi Road. From there, they’ll head east and south along Ala Kinoiki for the first three miles, down to Poipu Road, where they turn right and head west with the resorts on their left. This stretch will take them past beach resorts, tennis and swim clubs, and Mano Okalanipo Park before hitting the first turnaround point, on Ala Kalanikaumaka Road just past the Kukui’ula Village Shopping Center.
Once they make the turn, runners head back east along Ala Kalanikaumaka Road and Poipu Road past the areas they’ve just run through. This time, they pass right by the turn for Ala Kinoiki and keep heading east toward the second turnaround just pass the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the golf course along the beach on the right. After they make the turn there, they head back along Poipu Road to Ala Kinoiki, where they turn right to make the trek back north toward the park for the race finish.
There is a steady, gradual climb uphill in the second half of the race, after the equally gradual downhill in the first half. Runners can expect gently rolling hills throughout, and a slightly uphill finish at the end.
Proceeds from the race benefit students at the University of Hawaii/Kauai Community College, as well as local Rotary Club youth leadership award scholarships.