Micheal Wardian Participated | Micheal Racer Award | Micheal Caught Girlfriend

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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. Sacchini brought in Kalaheo resident Bob Craver as race director to help bring his dream to reality.                                                           

While Wardian has run plenty of sub 2:30 marathons, he said Sunday's course was one of the most difficult road marathons he's ever participated in due to the heat, the humidity and the climbs. Wardian says he'll definitely return in 2011 in another effort to win the Challenge.

This year runners had an added incentive to blast out a PR, the $15,000 Kauai Marathon Challenge, a speed bonus to be split by any man running a sub 2:30 marathon and any woman running a sub 2:45 marathon. Unfortunately, the prize went unclaimed this year. Michael Wardian of Arlington, VA came to Kauai specifically to win the Challenge, and missed it by less than a minute. He won the full marathon.

While Wardian has run plenty of sub 2:30 marathons, he said Sunday's course was one of the most difficult road marathons he's ever participated in due to the heat, the humidity and the climbs.Wardian says he'll definitely return in 2011 in another effort to win the Challenge.

Hailing from the Duma Runner's Club in Minnesota are two Challenge contenders Richard Kandie and Moninda Marube of Kenya, both elite runners that have been competing in marathons around the country for the past 3 years. Most notably, Kandie placed second at the Bayshore Half Marathon last May in 1 hour, 6 minutes, 1 second, while Marube won the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

The race distance that seemed to draw out the region's top runners and give many runners an instant PR. Participants rode buses up to Freeland, MD and stood around in the chilly 50F air with chattering teeth and purple lips, yet no one complained. We knew though chilly now, it would soon be perfect to run nearly the entire length of the NCR trail. Runners walked the 0.43 miles up to the start line. This year the event was chip timed.

In the men’s race the competition was a three-person race for two-thirds of the run with Makaza, Sandile Ngunuzza (South Africa) and Joseph Mphuthi (South Africa) sharing the workload in the front, until Makaza made the decisive move at 34km and placed himself solely at the head of the pack.

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