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Aloha Keiki Run hosts hundreds for fun-filled morning

Updated: 
June 18, 2017 - 12:05am

KAILUA-KONA — Even a little bit of rain couldn’t slow the fun at Kona Commons Shopping Center on Saturday.

Although the morning hours on the west side of the island were filled with some uncharacteristic wet weather, hundreds of young athletes showed up to the Aloha Keiki Run — an event presented by the Kona Marathon.

“It poured here earlier, but everybody showed up,” Kona Marathon race director Sharron Faff said. “We were blown away.”

The keiki race is going on a decade of serving as the annual signal that the Kona Marathon is near. Saturday’s running was the ninth edition of the event, which is not only a nice way for families to get into the swing of things, but also for the Kona Marathon crew to get their event-legs under them.

“This gets us geared up for the big event,” Faff said. “It’s obviously a lot different, but we have fun with it.”

Through the morning hours, kids dashed through various courses, which varied from a 100-yard dash to a 1-mile run, depending on age.

The short course catered to keiki ages 1-4, with little experience running — or even walking for that matter. Some needed a helping hand from their parents to finish, but don’t worry. A little parental guidance for the young athletes was well within the rules and they all received a medal.

“It was very exciting. I loved watching the kids out there,” said Kona resident Sebrina Coddington, who brought her family out to the event.

“It’s nice to see all the parents out here supporting their kids, outdoor activities and just getting active,” her husband, Christopher Coddington added. “It’s becoming a lost art.”

Six-year old Reagan Coddington took on the 200-yard course, and had an outstanding review of the event.

“It was a lot of fun,” Reagan said. “My favorite part was looking at the big shrimp,” referring to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. mascot, Shrimp Louie, who was on hand along with Ronald McDonald for the festivities.

For Faff, that’s what the event has been all about — watching families have a good time, and forming a little Aloha Keiki Run ohana of their own.

“We have kids now who have done this every year,” she said. “We see them coming back year after year, getting bigger and bigger, getting faster and faster. It’s amazing.”

The scene now shifts to Waikoloa for Kona Marathon’s next event, the Health and Fitness Fair, which will be held on June 24 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Race day for the Kona Marathon, which also includes a half marathon, quarter marathon and 5K race, is set for June 25.

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