March 9, 2023, MĀʻALAEA, MAUI, HI – A record number of Maui residents and visitors — nearly 1,000 — ran and walked in last weekend’s 12th annual Maui 5K, raising more than $57,000 for Maui Nui schools.
The event kicked off at 6 a.m. Sunday, March 5, with Maui Ocean Center General Manager Tapani Vuori presenting a “Community Hero Award” to Maui 5K co-founders Arlene and Jon Emerson in recognition of their efforts. “The Maui 5K raises funds to keep our kids healthy and active,” Arlene Emerson said.
Before starting the race, Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen voiced his support for the event, telling the crowd that he “can’t ask for a better cause.”
The top 5 schools with the most participants were:
- Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School (127)
- Carden Academy of Maui (71)
- Pu‘u Kukui Elementary School (61)
- Baldwin High School (47)
- Waihe‘e Elementary School (45)
In total, 989 runners and walkers — some pushing strollers and others dressed in costumes — made their way along the 5K course through Māʻalaea or an alternate mile-long loop. Awards were presented to top finishers and a variety of door prizes were handed out, including four roundtrip airfares from Alaska Airlines.
Additional sponsors of the event included Bank of Hawai‘i, Maui Health, HMSA, Parklinq, KHON2, Hawaii News Now, Planet Fitness and the Māʻalaea Triangle Association. KHON2 weather anchor Justin Cruz emceed the event, while DJ Z kept the crowd moving and Yanagida Fitness led the pre-race stretches.
Presenting sponsor Maui Ocean Center opened its doors 25 years ago this month and will be hosting a 25th Anniversary Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, featuring kama’āina specials, performances and keiki activities.
In addition to notable financial and in-kind donations, the aquarium awarded annual family memberships to the top five individuals who raised the most money for their school. “We want to send a big mahalo to the Maui community for coming out to this year’s Maui 5K and supporting our local students,” Vuori said. “We look forward to growing this event for years to come.”
Save the date: next year’s run is set for March 3, 2024