11th Annual Maui 5K surpasses expectations
Organizers of the 11th Annual Maui 5K surpassed their $25K goal, and raised $39, 251 for participating Maui Nui schools. The event was held on Sunday, March 6, 2022, in the Māʻalaea Triangle area outside of the Maui Ocean Center.
The race generated county-wide support with a total of 749 registrants, which included 18% out-of-state registrants.
“The turnout far exceeded our expectations, and we’re so very grateful for the outpouring of community support of our schools,” Maui Ocean Center’s general manager, Tapani Vuori, said. “Bringing our community together in support of our keiki education is paramount to us. We are so very honored to host this event for the past three years and are excited for 2023.”
Race registration accounted for the most significant portion of the money raised, and additional funds were gathered from corporate sponsorships and individual donations. Among these included $10,000 from presenting sponsor Maui Ocean Center, $5,000 from principal sponsor Planet Fitness, along with various monetary contributions from individuals and businesses nationwide.
The event kicked off with a County of Maui proclamation by Mayor Michael Victorino, followed by a special community recognition to Maui 5K founders, Jon and Arlene Emerson.
A total of 109 awards were presented to race participants for the first, second, and third place winners in each age division.
Female overall winners for the 5K race included Erin Menefee in first place, Kristi Gayagoy in second, and Bridget Nolan in third. All three female overall winners were representing San Diego, California.
Male overall winners included Cayden Dalton from Stuart, Virginia in first place, Jacob Romero of Pāʻia in second, and Chris Moreland from San Diego, California in third. All participants recorded times are available at mauioceancenter.com/maui5k.
Between awards, more than 40 donated door prizes from supportive businesses throughout Maui were randomly drawn with a combined retail value of more than $11,000. The grand prize of two round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets was awarded to the school with the highest number of registrants — Baldwin High School with 75 registered runners. Puʻu Kukui Elementary took second with 59 registrants, and Pōmaikaʻi Elementary came third with 40 registrants. Michael Balangitao, Baldwin High School’s Athletic Director won the two roundtrip tickets.
As a surprise to race participants, Alaska Airlines provided two additional roundtrip airline tickets through a fast-paced giveaway involving Alaska Airlines trivia. Three individuals with the correct answers provided their name for a random drawing.
“Seeing so many runners gather for keiki fitness is always a powerful reminder of why the Maui 5K was founded,” Jon Emerson, founder of Maui 5K and Run for Fitness, said. “The energy was high and everyone was excited to gather to support a community cause. Our presenting sponsor, Maui Ocean Center, did an amazing job getting the word out to make this the largest Maui 5K to date. We’re all looking forward to exceeding these numbers in 2023.”
The funds raised will be distributed to participating schools based on the number of registrations to support physical fitness programs and equipment in schools throughout Maui nui.
The 12th Annual Maui 5K is set for Sunday, March 5, 2023. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 event will be available commencing Aug. 1, 2022, and advance inquiries are welcome.