Run Forest Run Front Street Mile
Front Street, Lahaina, becomes an athletic stadium for a day.
Posted Saturday, 15 September, 2007
You know it’s going to be a fun event when you are greeted on course by a giant, slightly steamed shrimp from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, proud sponsors of the Run Forest Run Front Street Mile.
For just a few hours on a Saturday afternoon in September, Front Street, Lahaina, becomes an ‘athletic stadium’ where runners of all ages strive to achieve their best over a mile distance. The passion for running is obvious even in the first and youngest race of the day but the emphasis is always on having fun. They laughed and joked at the start line, enjoying the encouragement and cheers from the spectators that line the street all the way. The times on the clock at the finish line, however, proved that these kids could really run.
After a light drizzle of rain, the slippery road surface caused a few spills and pile-ups in the younger races, but these kids are tough and after a kind word and a quick cuddle from Mom or Dad, they were off and running again.
The talent never ceased to amaze, all the way up to the High School level where a 4.28 mile was posted by Reid Hunter - and this was after competing in a X-country race in the morning!!
The fun continued into the Masters, where the competition was fierce! If you browse through the photos, you might notice the smile on the face of Witt Raymond (Maui Marathon announcer) as he crossed the finish line. I have a suspicion that it might have had something to do with beating Bart Yasso (chief running officer, Runners’ World Magazine) in the Masters Mile!!
The race that everyone has been waiting for however, is the ‘Elite Mile’. This is a chance to see up close and in action some of the best sub 4-minute milers, both national and international. But first there was a serious photo shoot with the Bubba Gump Shrimp, then came a rather amusing false start by Olympian, Michael Stemper. Back on the start line, the ‘game faces’ went back on and the Front Street crowds were treated to a superb race, exciting all the way to the finish line. Blake Bolden from Canada won in 4:05. It was a treat to see these elite athletes mixing with the crowd, signing autographs and giving advice to the champions of the future.
Thanks to the hard work of Rudy Huber and his crew of volunteers, the Run Forest Run Front Street Mile, 2007 was a smooth running success and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Maui.