This year, the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Run on October 28th on Maui will have some very special guests. Brandon LaRue, from the Pa’ai Youth and Cultural Center will be bringing a team of kids that have been training for the race for months.
The Pa’ai Youth and Cultural Center is like no other in the world. It offers cooking classes, a kids’ radio station, art, and life skills classes. Brandon LaRue helps lead the Malama Pono Project Venture, which teaches life skills and Hawaiian cultural values.
“Part of what we do is get the kids out in nature and get them engaged in community events,” said LaRue. “The XTERRA 5K Trail Run is something we’ve brought groups of kids to for the last five years. It’s a great opportunity for us to get kids involved in community events.”
LaRue has been structured and consistent about getting his crew of kids ready for the Kapalua Trail Run.
“What I’ve been doing this season is for the past month I’ve been taking the kids for a run at the Youth Center which is located right on the beach in Pa’ia Bay,” said LaRue. “The area I take the kids running on is very similar to the run at Kapalua. We do a loop up the bike trail, into the forest on the north shore of Maui, and then we finish on the stretch of beach.
“This week we are working up to two laps, and I’ve had a really good turnout. The kids are really excited about the race. I say ‘Hey, we’re going for a run,’ and they all love it. We stretch together and then we do our run and keep track of our times, and I have a great crew of about ten young people committed to running it.”
The Pa’ai Youth and Cultural Center has a diverse population and is open to any and all youth. Their mission is to build community and provide a safe place for youth to learn and grow, guided by Hawaiian values.
“They all experience something different in training for the race,” said LaRue. “The fact that I’m putting so much structure in this one-day race, I feel like it’s going to be more meaningful to them because they have worked so hard for this one day. It’s not just, XTERRA is next week are you ready? No, it’s been like OK, we’ve been running for two months. And the XTERRA is tomorrow and they are ready for it. And it’s such a good experience that next year, they’re like, yeah I’m doing that again.”
For the seventh straight year, T S Restaurants’ Hula Grill, Duke’s Beach House, Kimo’s and Leilani’s will serve as title sponsors of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs in Maui.
The Kimo’s XTERRA Keiki Run is for boys and girls ages 10 and younger. It is free, although parents must be present to sign a waiver form at the site of the race. Race distances vary from 100 yards to 1-kilometer, depending on the age of the child. Parents are welcome to stay on the course as well.
The Leilani’s XTERRA 3.3K Sprint & Scramble is a test of agility, speed, and strength as it goes from the Ritz to the Ravine to the soft sand of D.T. Fleming Beach. Kids 8-12 run for free, but it’s open to everyone.
The Hula Grill XTERRA 5K is an honest three-miles of climbing and descending and for those up to the challenge, the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K dishes out big hills and dusty trails as it twists through oleander forests to an unexpected mountain lake at the 700-foot level then sends runners crashing down to the shoreline.
For more information about the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, visit www.xterraplanet.com.
Learn more about the Pa’ia Youth and Cultural Center at www.pyccmaui.org.
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