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Runnin’ with Rani: Summer sun, fun, and run

June 13, 2014 - 12:05am

More hours of daylight, lazy days at the beach, spectacular late evening sunsets, and sweltering temperatures can mean only one thing — summer on the Big Island is here.

With the kids on summer break, there’s no need to fret as June’s calendar is jam-packed with fun events the entire family can enjoy.

Starting off this weekend is a trio of events beginning with the second race of the Triple Crown Swim Series — the Hapuna Rough Water 1-Mile Swim on Saturday. The 37th edition of this popular and competitive race is the second oldest open water swim event in the state and the longest running 1-mile swim race on the island.

Mass start for an expected 300 participants will be at 8:15 a.m. and offer an opportunity to stay cool from the summer heat with a dip and splash in the beautiful waters of Hapuna Beach. Top three overall and subsequent age groups will be awarded for their efforts. This is a fun event you don’t want to miss.

For more information, contact Ed Doherty at eddoherty1@me.com. Register online at flpregister.com or on-site race day, with applied late fees.

Also Saturday is the Kona Marathon’s Aloha Keiki Runs at the Kona Commons shopping center. A great way for kids to experience some competitive play, the fun event with multiple distances — geared for ages 1 through 15 — will commence at 8 a.m.

To see the bright smiles on their faces as they cross the finish line, with bib numbers pinned to the front of their shirts, a finisher’s medal and a goodie bag in hand, will be worth every penny of their $10 entry fee. For more information and registration details visit konamarathon.com.

Sunday racers can look forward to celebrating Father’s Day with the Papa Pea’s Birthday Biathlon and Celebration of Summer. The free event featuring a ½-mile swim in Kailua Bay and 2-mile run on Alii Drive that begins at 8:08 a.m. A fun and short Pea Wee course of 200-yard swim and 1-mile run is also available.

With lots of prize drawings, postrace refreshments, and the passing of the Perpetual Pea, it’s sure to be a hit for the whole family.

The excitement continues June 20, with the Kona Marathon’s Aloha Friday Run. The fun social affair begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Kona Commons shopping center for a 3-mile loop to the Old Kona Airport Park’s Makaeo Walking/Jogging Path and back. A special finisher’s goodie bag, music and savory food samples from nearby restaurants puts a cap on a great afternoon with more than 100 of your closest friends.

Then on June 21, Team Mango hosts its King’s Trail Summer Solstice Runs at OTEC. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore an off-road adventure that meanders through sand and coral trails along Pine Trees Beach. The race starts at 5 p.m. and features a 7-mile extreme trail run, 4-mile beach stroll and 1-mile sprint. For more information visit teammangoraces.org.

June’s grand finale is Kona’s only 26.2-mile distance event — the 21st annual Kona Marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K running events June 22. Presented by Ueshima Coffee Company, it’s a great way for the entire family to experience running and racing along Kona’s beautiful coastline.

Nearly 2,000 competitors will participate, including many elite athletes. The half marathon also serves as the second event in the Triple Crown running series that is combined with March’s Hilo half marathon and August’s Run For the Rainforest.

With lots of first-class racing opportunities right in your backyard, there is simply no excuse for missing out on some great family time and a summer filled with fun activities.

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