Sunday, September 3, 2023 • Poipu, HI • Course Map
The Hawaiian island of Kauai — with its pristine sand beaches, lush jungle-like rain forests and massive green cloud-covered mountains, whose waterfalls bring the heavy rains that collect on the peaks cascading down to the beaches below — offers one of the most beautiful places anywhere on earth for a running event.
Both the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon begin in Poipu Beach, a resort area nestled along the island’s southern coast that features both the Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course and the Kiahuna Golf Club, popular attractions for visitors from around the world who are drawn to the island’s relaxed, unhurried pace and still-unspoiled natural beauty.
From the starting line on Poipu Road, runners follow a counter-clockwise out-and-back loop course that runs into the island’s interior and then back out again toward the beach, and includes a long, gradual uphill toward the half-way point (and a long, gradual downhill from the half-way point toward the finish).
Run through the ‘Tunnel of Trees.’ In the early stretch of the race along Maluhia Road, runners get the chance to run through Kauai’s famous Tunnel of Trees, which were planted more than 150 years old by Scottish immigrant cattle ranchers and remain today as a lush, green eucalyptus-tree corridor linking Kalaheo with Poipu.
After this stretch, runners continue on along the first half’s long, gradual uphill stretch along Highway 520 toward the half-way point near Omao, and then turn left (south) toward the town, beginning the long downhill stretch of the race’s second half.
On their way through Omao, runners pass through this small town’s homes and shops on their way past the Omao Stream, running along the tree-lined road all the way toward the Kukui’ula Resort.
Once they near the resort, runners head inside the resort and are treated to stunning views of the South Pacific Ocean for the rest of the race route all the way into the finish line back at Poipu Beach, near the Sheraton Kauai Resort — where there will also be a post-race party for all finishers, right on the oceanfront of the resort.
Walker-friendly races. Both the full and the half marathon courses are considered walker-friendly, and walkers are welcome to compete in either race, provided they can finish within the event’s 7 1/2-hour time limit.
While you’re in Kauai — because you’ll no doubt be making a vacation of this running event — there are quite a few can’t-miss spots and activities you’ll have to take in.
On this list are a visit to Waimea Canyon (where some of the most familiar photos of Hawaii are often taken), the Napali Coast and the northern coast of the island, which receives usually much more rainfall and is much more green and lush than many areas along the southern and western parts of the island.
Race Weather & Climate
The westernmost and oldest of Hawaii’s five major islands, Kauai’s southern coast is home to the town of Koloa just north of Poipu and experiences mild to moderately warm weather virtually year-round and ample rainfall throughout most of the year (though generally drier weather than the island’s northern coastline).
- Sept. 3 average low temp: 75ºF
- Sept. 3 average high temp: 83ºF
- 2022 Results
- 2020 Kauai Half Marathon virtual results
- 2019 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2010 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- 2009 Kauai Half Marathon Results
- $145 and up – half marathon
- $245 and up – full marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of the Kauai Marathon or Half Marathon, register online at RaceEntry.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Kauai Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.