Four T S Restaurants on Maui are the title sponsors for the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, and employees from those restaurants plan to make the most of the event.
The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs will feature three separate courses - the Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill 5K, and the Kimo's Keiki K - and the event is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, with the start and finish at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.
The "T S Restaurants Challenge" is a race within the race. Four T S Restaurants on Maui (Duke's Beach House, Hula Grill, Kimo's and Leilani's On The Beach) will enter employees in the 10K race. The restaurant with the fastest cumulative times from its top five runners will win a trophy that it can display in its restaurant for the year.
Duke's Beach House won the trophy last year, led by general manager Shaughn Helliar. He said the competition was started "as part of a company-wide wellness program to get more employees out exercising and to increase overall health and fitness of T S Restaurants employees."
He said the perpetual trophy is prominently displayed near the front of Duke's Beach House, and several guests have inquired about it. The trophy also serves as a subliminal reminder for the employees to train for the race.
"The anticipation has increased as the race is soon upon us, and a bunch of employees have been training for the race as it has been the buzz around the restaurant for a few weeks now," Helliar said. "Within our restaurant it is a great bonding experience."
Helliar is an avid road marathon runner, but said his experience at last year's XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs has taught him to appreciate off-road running.
"The course itself is fun and challenging, and during the race, the crowd is awesome," he said. "I am now hooked."
Helliar said there is much pride on the line between the restaurants, and he is confident that Duke's Beach House will be able to defend its title. "We will smash them," he said with a laugh.
In addition to serving as the title sponsors of the event and encouraging its employees to participate, T S Restaurants is also supporting the local community. T S Restaurants paid the entry fees for 15 school teachers from King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina to participate in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs.
It should be noted that the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and in-person registration is available on October 24 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.), October 25 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and October 26 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel.
For more information on the event, please visit www.xterramaui.com.