run and walk for the whales saturday, february 1 2014 maui whale festival

pwf whale festThe Maui Whale Festival begins on Saturday, February 1, with the annual Run and Walk for the Whales – one of Maui’s largest fun run and walking events. More than 700 visitors and Maui residents participated last year. This year’s race includes a 2.5 mile walk, 5K run, 10K run and half marathon run. It’s a fundraiser to support Pacific Whale Foundation’s humpback whale research in Hawai‘i and other parts of the Pacific, marine education programs for thousands of local schoolchildren, as well as conservation programs including efforts to prevent vessel-whale collisions, end whaling worldwide and keep marine debris out of our oceans.

The Run and Walk for the Whales course begins and ends at a new location – alongside Ma‘alaea Harbor at the Ma‘alaea Harbor Shops. “The easy-to-follow courses are mostly flat and fast, good news for runners seeking to PR,” says Erica Gorman, Race Co-Director. The post-race festivities take place in the plaza at the Ma‘alaea Harbor Shops and include live entertainment by Marty Dread; a post-race continental breakfast for runners served by Porto; tours of Pacific Whale Foundation’s research lab, education center and offices; and discounted whalewatches for race participants.

The entry fee includes professional chip timing for runners in the 5K, 10K and half marathon, plus clock timing for all walking events. Each walker and runner will receive a “Run and Walk for the Whales” quick dry t-shirt.  Water and Gatorade aid stations will be located along the course.

Medals and a pair of whalewatch tickets will be awarded to each of the top three male and top three female overall finishers in the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. There will also be medals presented three deep for the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon male and female age divisions.

Race fees are as follows:

–Half Marathon: $55 (before Jan. 30); $70 (late registration: January 30 – February 1)
–10K Run: $45 (before Jan. 30); $55 (late registration: January 30 – February 1)
–5K Run: $40 (before Jan. 30); $50 (late registration: January 30 – February 1)
–2.5 Mile Walk: $25 (before January 30); $30 (late registration: January 30 – February 1)

Start times for the race are: Half Marathon: 6:15 am; 10K: 6:45 am; 5K: 7:00 am and 2.5 walk: 7:05 am.

Please register online for the race at http://www.flpregister.com/69. The deadline for online registration is midnight, January 30. Entry forms are also available at Pacific Whale Foundation’s offices at the Ma‘alaea Harbor Shops. If you have questions or need assistance, please email run@pacificwhale.org or call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.

The Maui Whale Festival spans February 1 through March 31, and celebrates and honors the thousands of humpback whales that migrate to Maui each winter. Through fun and educational events, the festival raises awareness about these special marine mammals and inspires the public to care for the vital and unique whale habitat here.

In addition to the Run and Walk For the Whales the festival’s events include “Maui’s Parade of Whales” on Saturday, February 15 along S. Kihei Road from 9-10 am, “World Whale Day” on Saturday, February 15 at Kalama Park from 9am-7pm, a special outdoor presentation about whales by Pacific Whale Foundation Executive Director Greg Kaufman called “Whales Under the Stars” at Kalama Park on Friday, February 14 at 6pm, the “Great Whale Count” on Saturday, February 22. and the “Evenings With the Experts” presentations on Thursday, March 13 and Friday, March 14 at the Westin Maui Resort, To learn more, visit http://www.mauiwhalefestival.org.

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