Race Review: Maui 5k for Kids


We’ve spent the last week on the gorgeous Hawaiian island of Maui. We’ve visited Oahu and Kauai but this was our first trip to Maui. It’s beautiful (although I still think Oahu is my favourite). We had an amazing week and I was VERY slothful despite my best intentions to run a decent amount whilst there. However we did participate in a race, and it was a lot of fun.

The Maui 5k For Kids isn’t actually FOR kids (i.e., just for kids to run) but is for kids in that it raises money for schools – last year’s race raised something like $8,000. It’s a little community race, and I mean that in the very best possible way. There were about 700 people racing, including a massive number of schoolchildren and there was a fantastic community feel to it. I think a fair number of runners were holiday-makers, but there were loads of residents running and we really loved being part of such a community event.

All three Ramsdens were running. The Husband was going to race it – he’s run with the Dude several times so it was definitely his turn to fly. The Dude and I would run it together. I was VERY excited about running a 5k with my little boy. I’ve seen his glowing face and pride at the end of his previous races but haven’t run with him before, so he and I were most excited about this.

Packet Pick-Up was the day before at the local Sports Authority although there was limited pick-up on the day. The race started at 7am so we got there at about 6.30am. It was held at Ma’alaea, down by the harbour in the central section of the island. We gathered in the plentiful car parking, got bibbed up and used the loos. (There were only 2 portaloos, the race director ordered 4 and didn’t get what he ordered, but there was a petrol station with a loo nearby). The very lovely Miss Maui was there to support, along with the local mayor. One of my boys was most keen to have his photo taken ‘with the pretty lady’.

The Mayor, Miss Maui and the Dude


The race director briefed us and we all walked up to the start point. There were a LOT of fast-looking runners there – despite this being a community event, it was a good field. On the way to the start line, we met BT’s neighbours (she’d warned us all we would be there and to look out for each other). Such a small world. The Husband positioned himself nearer the front, we took what we thought was a good position, the klaxon sounded and we were off.

I’ve been trying to decide quite how to describe running a race with my son. Should I be tactful and just be grateful for the experience (which I WAS) or should I be honest? So I’ll be honest. Running with the Dude was the most frustrating thing in the WORLD! Bearing in mind his PR is 36-something, I assumed we’d be running a lot of the time but the Dude just wasn’t into it today. We’d done a tough hike the day before, it was already pretty warm and humid, the course was quite hilly and the poor child is just five…but let’s just say there was plenty of moaning (him), plenty of cajoling (me), plenty of motivating (me) and plenty of agonised death-faces (him). His shirt came off within half a mile, which helped cool him down but it was not the blissful running experience I’d expected. The Husband later nodded wisely when I told him this and explained that our son has to be praised and motivated constantly, told how well he’s doing etc. My ‘tough love’ approach apparently didn’t work!



The course itself wasn’t particularly pretty. Half a mile or so downhill to the harbour, then up onto the main road and up a long straight hill until the 2 mile marker. The traffic is coned off, we felt very safe. But it was exposed and stretched up into infinity. We got to see the speedy people heading back down the hill to the finish line – they were flying! We got to see some of the kids hurting back down, there are FAST kids on Maui, and we got to see the Husband running down, waving at us.


Eventually we got to the turnaround and headed downhill, pretending to be aeroplanes. This helped for a while and then it was a case of ‘Run to the lamp-post then walk till the tree’ and repeat. Finally (slooooowwwwllllyyyy) we got back towards the staging area. The Husband came towards us with his medal, yelling encouragement at the Dude. My son sensed the finish line coming and suddenly it was like a light went on. He TOOK OFF like a jet plane, hurtling towards the finish line, dodging people right and left. The crowd went wild at this amazing, speedy child…and he crossed the finish line a good few seconds before me. ‘See Mummy’, he said, cheeks glowing and eyes shining, ‘I was saving all my energy for the finish line’.





Still, lots of hugs and high-fives and sweaty kisses.

The Husband was mildly disappointed by his race. He’d hoped to do 25 or 26 mins and came in at about 27.15. I think this was pretty good – there was a lot of steady uphill and it was surprisingly warm at this time of the morning, they could easily have started it a little earlier! He wondered if he might still have placed in his age-group until three super hard-core runner guys got up to claim the positions, running something like 21 minutes!

Later on, I spotted my bottom on the race’s FB page (top left-hand bottom). I have to say, I was very chuffed with my outfit.


The loot for this race was pretty good – we got nice cotton t-shirts and a super-cute little flip-flop medal that we all really loved. Age-group prizes went three-deep and they were VERY generous, due to the number of kids. 1 – 6 yrs, 7 – 8 yrs, 9 – 10 yrs…that kind of thing until you got to the adult ages which went up in 5s. Each winner got a water bottle.


The Dude was a little disappointed not to have placed in his age group (I muttered darkly about how maybe he should have run a little more) but somehow, miraculously there was a prize draw and his number got called, so he went up to claim his prize, to say which school he represented and to come back to us beaming, with the gift certificate for a Road ID! Some kids have all the luck.

maui dude

(Also…why on earth haven’t we got him a Road ID before?? A bracelet for him to wear with  our phone numbers on? Perfect for trips into the city or for crowds. Genius idea.)

dude maui
Winner winner, Mahimahi dinner!


All in all, this was a fab race which we really enjoyed being part of. It was only something like $25/person so an absolute bargain. Thank you for having us, Maui 5k for kids!

Before you think I’m a nasty piece of work complaining about my kid not running fast enough and shouldn’t I just be grateful about having a healthy kid in the first place….absolutely yes. I am writing with my tongue firmly in my cheek and I was super-proud of my little man! I totally get how lucky I am. 

13 Comments Add yours

  1. bt says:

    I love it when parents are honest about how their kids are human and they are human and everything isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Shall I describe the day when he literally didn’t stop talking for the entire day?? That was fun too 🙂

  2. Layla says:

    I laughed so much at this that I’m not sure where to begin. “I bred that!” was a gem, as were the “muttering darkly” and “winner winner, mahimahi dinner!” And I loved your honesty — so many people blog only about the good parts of a race or training, when we all know that’s not real life. I think that’s a disservice to less experienced athletes, who need to know that everyone has less-than-perfect experiences, but that there’s always something good to be gleaned from it. In this case, it’s really good to know that kids are just like adults in that they also need motivation but that they’ll be thrilled once they’re done. (I also don’t like it when parents never say anything about the harder parts of parenting. It’s a really, really tough job if you’re doing it properly!) I certainly did not think you were being mean at all — it was funny and honest and REAL.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for the reassurance, I wasn’t sure if I was just being ungrateful. I thought our two different approaches was interesting. The Husband encourages and praises, I was more ‘boot camp’ style. At least we know now how best to encourage for his next race. I’m just glad that he’s still really keen to run and race. That’s the main thing, not his time etc.

  3. Bean says:

    For some reason this just tickled me! My favorite line was “I bred that”. Well done to all of you for having a racing adventure on your holiday!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks 🙂 Glad I tickled you. x

  4. Jen says:

    I also enjoyed the “I bred that” and the fact that your bottom got included on the race’s FB page. 🙂 Did the Husband give you any advice pre-race on how to keep the Dude going? I think it’s fairly typical to have to constantly give encouragement to kids — even the RBO teens thrive off of that.

    On another note, I’m curious about your various takes on Oahu vs. Maui vs. Kauai. I’ve been to Oahu twice, loved it, but I’ve always wanted to visit the other islands… but if Oahu is your favorite, perhaps I should just stick with Oahu??

    1. Cathryn says:

      I had no pre-race advice from the Husband. Next time I will be better prepared.

      Ref the islands, I def think it’s worth visiting the different islands. Kauai is really beautiful but really needs to be hiked. I think you could have the most amazing hiking trip there, and the beaches were really beautiful. It’s quite rural and much quieter than the different islands.

      I actually think Maui was the least beautiful of the islands I’ve been to so far. It WAS lovely but I thought the others were more beautiful and it felt more touristy than the other islands. But that’s just my opinion and I’m sure others have different views!!!

  5. Grace says:

    What’s the rule of thumb again – no more than 1km per year of age or something like that? Sometimes little ‘uns have a bit of an attention span fail and need some motivating… but now you know what lights a fire under your Dude: encouragement, praise, and a visible finish line. And a Road ID for kids: genius.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I didn’t know that rule, but it makes sense. I like it.

  6. Your race recap with the Dude made my day. I love that you’ve been totally honest about it. I was picturing the 2 of you in my head and he made me laugh so much 🙂

    Also, I am a little bit jealous of your outfit. PER-FECT 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you 🙂 You do the speedy stuff, I’ll wear the cute outfits. What a team.

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