Exciting Conclusion to EMS 5K race
Cousins Brett Shea and Jackson Halford battled for top honors in the 11th annual Emergency Medical Services 5K run held Sunday at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo.
Shea from Denver, Colorado and Halford of Volcano, along with Jason Braswell of the Big Island Running Company in Kona went toe to toe during the 3.1 mile race to make for an exciting race to the finish.
Shea led for most of the out and back race until being run down by Halford in the final 200 yards.
“In the final stretch, coming off Suisan Bridge, I was able to catch and pass him with the finish line in site,” Halford said.
Halford, a distance runner for Waiakea High School, had earlier in the month placed third at the HHSAA track & field championships in the 1500 and the junior Warrior stayed in shape over the past few weeks to meet the challenges of EMS event.
“Last year I was 4th overall in this race, but this year I continued to train since the state championship and never really felt tired today,” Jackson said of his winning time of 17 minutes and 14 seconds.
For his hard work Halford was able to shave 14 seconds of his personal best 5K time.
Shea clocked in at 17:17 with Braswell finishing third in 17:21.
For the women it was Marianne Stone of Orchidland winning in 21:40 over Rosa Erck, 22:20; and Melissa Schad, 22:23.
“We recently moved to Hawaii from Missouri and I was quite surprised that I won,” Stone said. “It was a very slow time for me as usually my 5K’s are in the sub 20 minute range.”
Stone is expecting to undergo knee surgery next month and hasn’t been running as many miles as she would have liked.
“This was my first run in Hawaii and I’m still in shock that I came in first for the women,” she said.
More than 800 runners and walkers converged at Liliuokalani Gardens on Sunday to take part in the Annual Emergency Medical Services fitness event.
“We had 801 registered participants, a record for this event,” an elated race organizer, Firefighter Jesse Ebersole said. “All of this is in conjunction with National EMS week held around country where we showcase many of the services that we provide to our community.”
Participants had a choice of doing a 2 mile walk or a 3.1 mile competitive run along scenic Hilo Bayfront. Later in the muggy morning youngsters under the age of 10 had fun doing a non-competitive mini run within the Liliuokalani Park grounds with a bright yellow EMS helicopter taking center stage on the keiki course.
Over the years EMS organizers have raised approximately $80,000 with the money going to help EMS personnel battling cancer.
“This year the money will go to three of our Hawaii Fire Department Firefighters battling cancer and to the American Cancer Society of Hawaii Island,” Ebersole said
The EMS also included a ‘public safety’ division which was open to police, fire, DLNR, corrections and the like employees.
For the second year in a row firefight Ian Smith and DLNR employee Lisa Hadway took top honors.
Smith, who is at the Waikoloa fire department, not only won the Public Safety Division he also won the stroller division as he pushed his 7 month old daughter, Emi, the entire way finishing in 19:54.
Sandwiched between Smith and Hadway was Hawaiian Paradise Park firefighter, Joe Wedemann who clocked in at 22:14.
“I’ve done 9 out of the 11 EMS runs,” Smith said. “It’s not only a fun event, but it is also for a very good cause.”
Hadway is no stranger to the winner’s podium as she has won the Public Safety Division 5 out of 6 times she has entered.
“I didn’t run the year I was pregnant, in 2009,” she said. “And last year I pushed a stroller and won both divisions, but this year without the stroller, my time was 7 minutes faster at 22:27.”
Hadway finished as the fourth overall woman in the race as she looks to be even more competitive without the stroller.
“We’d like to thank the community for coming out strong in support of our event,” Ebersole said. “We’d also like to thank the many generous sponsors who helped to make the event possible.”
Ebersole cited the LIVESTRONG Foundation who provided wristbands to all the participants and an autographed LIVESTRONG Jersey signed by Lance Armstrong that will be auctioned in September during the Sayre Awards Dinner.
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