From time to time readers of this column will approach me and ask where I find people to write about.
I’m not a shy person and often times I will approach complete strangers who look healthy and fit and talk with them about their methods of staying in shape.
Recently, on a hike in Volcanoes National Park with my wife Randee, I overheard a healthy looking man explaining to a group of tourist about Halemaumau’s activity. That man turned out to be Erik Storm who is a tour guide for Bike Volcano.
“My position at Bike Volcano entails talking to groups of visitors from around the world at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park,” Storm said.
“I will discuss geology, botany and cultural dynamics along the way as I show them the beauty of the Park using trail bikes,” he said.
Storm got his start in sports at an early age and his favorite became soccer as he began to learn the game at age five.
“I played at the goalie position through high school and was varsity captain for two year,” Storm said. “I received a scholarship to play for the Washington Huskies, but I was not ready for the challenge of higher education at that time in my life and decided to leave UW after one year so that I could travel.”
Storm went on to discovering the joy in snowboarding and mountain biking and today will ride his bike between 40 to 50 miles per week.
“My wife and I will take our dogs out hiking over in Kau which is also great exercise,” he said. “I don’t necessarily workout, I just believe that consistent good exercise is a very important part of staying in shape.”
Storm has also been motivated by a variety of people that live in East Hawaii and credits University of Hawaii at Hilo professor, Dr. Tanabe, along with John and Mindy Clark as inspirational people who keeps him cycling.
“I have some friends here locally that I look up to as far as good people and healthy role models and most of them still ride bikes frequently,” he said.
“One of my favorite professors, Dr. Tanabe, still rides, along with the Clarks with whom I used to work with at Kalapana Tropical’s, that keep me motivated.”
Storm also credit Chris Seymour, owner of the Hilo Bike Hub, with keeping him active in the biking community.
“Chris used to laugh at me when I first bought one of the specialized bikes from him because I would hardly use it,” Storm said. “Chris would come over to my home and see that the tires had no tread wear on them at all and the whole bike was basically brand new and just sitting for months.”
Through Seymour’s urging Storm has now logged over 3,000 miles on his once new bike and owes much of his fitness riding to Mr. Seymour.
“Staying in shape and healthy is important to me because it straight up makes me feel good,” Storm said. “I also believe that a healthy mind is a big part of being healthy and I believe in keeping my mind sharp.”
Storm involves himself heavily in the Arts through music in order to keep his mind clear and strong.
“Art and music are both great ways to accomplish a well rounded healthy lifestyle,” Storm said. “I am also a big time plant nerd so I study the different dynamics of plants, mostly the native species, as well as the different varieties of orchids – I love orchids.”
Besides working as a tour guide Storm is also the owner/designer for Absouloot Design Hawaii and is a music producer/performer.
“Absouloot Design is a company I started up about seven years ago and we specialize in promotional tools for bands and artists here in Hawaii,” he said. “This business has been very successful over the past few years and we will be expanding it even more very soon.”
Storm will also perform live and is a recent member of a group called the Moemoea Collective.
“I am very inspired by musicians like the Funky De La Monsta, Hans Fahling and Moku and Kalei Young who all keep that musical fire blazing here on the Big Island,” Storm said.
Storm’s healthy lifestyle also extends to his intake of food where he will make good choices choosing to eat fresh local products over fast food and processed packaged foods.
“I don’t really eat out at restaurants very much,” he said. “I prefer a home cooked meal and I will spend as much time in the kitchen as I can cooking.
Storm will also add supplements to his diet which include antioxidants and probiotics which according to him keeps his body functioning at a high caliber.
“I believe that I can do anything if I set my mind to it and that true strength lies within our hearts,” he said.
Storm has overcome a variety of obstacles in his life through staying positive and motivated, while maintain a strong belief in himself.
“While good exercise and a healthy diet are an important part of staying healthy, a good attitude and hard work will take you to the next level,” he said. “Attitude shows a lot about someone. If you have a bad attitude then that comes back around and you get exactly what you put into life.”
Erik Storm is one of the many people that I’ve run into that tries to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle and has become a newest member of the Running with the Big Dog column.
20th Annual ‘Pedal Till Ya Puke, Run Till Ya Ralph’
Held on July 18 6.5, 3.5, or 1 Mile Bike, Run or Walk up Kaloko; held Sunday in Kailua-Kona
6.5-mile road bike
1. Sam Corace, 46:33
2. Garrett Prinslow, 51:09
3. Roberta Hickman, 52:25
4. Lane Howard, 53:41
5. Michael Hrynevych, 55:39
6. John Jokiel, 55:55
7. Chris Kiser, 56:59
8. Patrick Mitchell, 1:02:55
9. Annamari Fuls, 1:06:30
10. Jimmy Rodwall, 1:09:34
11. Warren Hollinger, 1:12:16
12. Gerd Weber, 1:13:31
1. Josiah Jennings, 56:40
2. Jason Braswell, 58:43
3. Kevin Murar, 1:04:01
4. Miles Cannon, 1:06:50
5. Gary Theriault, 1:07:35
6. Randy Wrighthouse, 1:12:51
7. Rob VanGeen, 1:14:18
8. Doug Henbest, 1:14:19
9. Sam Brown, 1:18:49
10. Michelle Hopper, 1:24:34
11. Conrad Sanborn, 1:25:38
12. Wendy Haward, 1:27:25
13. Linda Goeth, 1:29:52
14. Natalie Todak, 1:30:26
15. Lisa Bryant, 1:33:42
16. Lava Peaple, 1:42:16
17. Joe Loschiavo, 1:44:36
18. Iris Yap, 1:57:09
6.5-mile mountain bike
1. Cliff Armstrong, 1:34:12
3.5-mile road bike
1. Kym Kiser, 29:58
1. Wilfredo Duran, 36:50
2. Melissa Braswell, 45:09
3. Norm Jones, 45:22
4. Mike Schiff, 47:24
5. Somer Mitchell, 49:21
6. Silas Wiley, 55:00
7. Tim Wiley, 55:10
8. Papa Pea, 57:02
9. Alberto Contador, 1:09:02
10. Andy Schleck, 1:09:03
1. John Kunitake, 18:10
2. Gary Theriault, 18:13
3. Sams Son Corace, 20:22
4. Mandy Schiff, 20:42
5. Cadel Evans, 21:10
6. Jamie Yap, 21:17
7. Kelly Yap, 21:24
8. Lauren Jones, 22:39
9. Gary Theriault, 23:23
10. Evan Jones, 23:23
11. Kerry Hall, 23:57
12. Jay Plasman, 25:23
13. Tyler plasman, 25:25
14. Bob Yap, 26:08
15. Frank Miller, 27:20
16. Peaman, 27:23
17. Leslie Cens-McDowell, 29:33
18. Jill Weber, 29:34
1-mile mountain bike
1. Duke Becker, 19:17
2. Danny Becker, 19:18
Hats off to Morgen Buhurinsky for having a fantastic 2009 in achieving many of her athletic goals. What is even more impressive is that this woman is 61 years young and capable of accomplishing much more than most people half her age.
In 2009 Buhurinsky completed the following:
3 full marathons (26.2 miles x 3 = 78.6)
49 K (24.8 mile) bicycling time trial
½ Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)
3 swim races (1.0+1.2+2.38 = 4.38)
Full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 marathon run)
“I’ve learned how much stamina and endurance I really have. I have gained so much more strength through all of this and can push harder than ever before to complete my goals. I will continue to train at this level seeking another slot at Ironman Kona 2010. This year I don’t expect to nearly die at the Honu trying to qualify. I’m so far ahead of last year. But as we say in cycling, it doesn’t get any easier you just go faster,” she said.
The Big Island International Marathon is offering an “Early Bird” entry for all three races in which they host. Participants can receive 50 percent off the full marathon (26.2-miles), half-marathon (13.1-miles) or the 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk if mailed in by November 1.
The “Early Bird” acts as an incentive in getting people to sign up well in advance for the March 21, 2010 event and allows them enough preparation time to successfully complete the respective distances.
During the marathon and half-marathon races a volunteer, Ryan Mason, will follow the last runner on his bicycle. Mason informs the aid stations and police officers alone the route that the last runner has passed. This allows these sections of the course to be reopened to the general public.
Mason does a service for the BIIM event as it is no easy task for someone who is a competitive cyclist. To accomplish this task he needs to spend nearly five hours as the trail bike sweep.
Growing up in Long Beach, California, Mason got into traditional team sports at an early age as he played baseball from the time he could hit a ball off a tee, up through high school.
“I enjoyed playing baseball and the camaraderie with other players, however I grew to feel awkward and out of place in the game,” Mason said.
Mason was a pretty good pitcher on the local baseball teams and he even tried his hand at football and golf, before discovering his love for surfing while in junior high.
“I really enjoyed surfing as it was much different than the other activities I was involved in earlier and it brought a strong connection between me and nature,” he said.
In high school Mason broadened his athletic experiences by running cross-country and track and finally cycling.
“During my junior year in high school I started my first job at Jax Bicycle Center (Long Beach) as a cashier. I developed a good relationship with the other employees including the manager of the store who knew of my running experience and helped in the procurement of my first road bike,” Mason said.
In 2003, at the young age of 22, Mason moved to the Big Island in his quest to expand his life experiences.
Six years ago he landed a job with Chris Seymour at the Hilo Bike Hub as a mechanic while he continues to pursue a degree in Philosophy and in Linguistics at the University of Hawaii Hilo.
“The completion of two degrees will hopefully come to fruition this spring,” he said.
Since age 16 Mason’s life has been filled with cycling which has now become his primary form of exercise.
“I’ve become immersed in not only a new sport, but a new culture. That is one thing about cycling that is so amazing and which continues to renew my love for the sport.
Cycling is used as a means for multiple purposes, which is one thing that many sports cannot claim. Some use bicycles primarily for transportation, others for recreational use and fitness, while others integrate it within their lives as a competitive activity,” Mason said.
Mason will get out and ride for about two hours, and sometimes up to four or five hours, three to five times per week, depending on his school schedule.
“During the summer I was lucky to be able to ride much more than during the academic season. There are five formal rides in Hilo which go on early in the morning where riders meet up and cycle together for about two to three hours,” he said.
What helps Mason is that during the school year he will write out a riding schedule every three weeks in advance. “Having a written schedule seems to be one of the best ways of keeping myself accountable.
September to January is the off season in cycling and so mountain bikes come out as well as the crazy, brakeless, fixed gears. This provides for a break from the training regimen and a little fun with a different rig,” he said.
At 28 years of age Mason has a busy life, working a part time job, attending school full time and raising a two year old daughter, Rylie.
“It is great to be living in Hawaii where you can be outdoors year round. I have never understood the craze over using aerobic gym equipment when the weather is nice. It s too bad there is no indoor rock climbing gym in Hilo, which is an indoor exercise that I do enjoy,” he said.
And Mason offers the following advice for those who would like to get into competitive cycling. “Cycling specifically, can be a very taxing sport physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know many people who tried it, got very engaged in the sport, and then just up and quit a year or two later because of the time involvement and the unpredictability of strength gains.
The classic mistake in cycling is to shift to a very hard gear and pedal at a slow cadence (RPM) and feel like one is getting a good workout, especially aerobically. This is actually a bad way to train your body.
Maintaining a cadence of 70 to 90 RPM during the ride will help build the body and heart’s strength, the muscle growth will follow,” he said.
So if you’re looking to expand your exercise routine and thinking of giving cycling a try you can drop by Hilo Bike Hub in Hilo and ask for Ryan Mason.
And if you ever see a bike rider bringing up the rear of a marathon event remember to say thank you for someone who is truly giving of their time to help an event run more efficiently.
Sometimes in life things happen for a purpose. Such was the case for cross-country and track runner, Steve Lundblad.
Lundblad grew up in Central Washington State, in a town called Yakima, and excelled in both sports and academics.
“I participated in many outdoor activities growing up,” Lundblad said. In junior high and high school Lundblad ran on the cross-country team and participated in various events while on the track and field team, eventually concentrating on the high jump.
“I continued jumping in college until I started to spend more time in the training room than on the track. That’s when I began competing at the collegiate level in bicycle racing, which was a club sport,” he said.
Lundblad’s personal best in the high jump was 6 feet 6 inches when he competed at Harvard University. It was at Harvard that Lundblad stumbled on bicycle racing and was coached by three time Olympian and national road champion, John Allis.
After living in various locations to attend graduate schools, Lundblad and his wife Nancy, returned to Yakima for an additional 10 years.
A friend from college, Karen Nakamoto, would always encourage the Lundblad’s to move to Hilo. “It took several years of convincing before we made the decision to live in Hilo,” Lundblad said.
Lundblad’s wife took a job as the medical director of the Hilo Medical Center (she no longer works there) and he joined the faculty in the Geology Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he serves as an assistant professor.
“It is great teaching geology in an area with active volcanoes. I also work with Peter Mills, a UHH archaeologist, tracing the origin and exchange of stone tools by pre-contact native Hawaiians. We analyze them for geochemical signatures, which relate to the locales of the origination of the rocks,” Lundblad said.
Lundblad’s running days ended during the early 1990’s when he suffered a badly broken foot. “I spend most of my time these days cycling, in part to my brittle joints as well as to enjoy the beautiful surroundings here on the Big Island,” he said.
In 1991 Lundblad competed in the Texas state championship road race with a young kid by the name of Lance Armstrong. “Lance was still a relative unknown but becoming the “kid” to watch. Later that year he (Armstrong) became the national bicycling road race champion, while I went back to graduate school,” Lundblad said.
The Lundblad’s also rode up the famous Alpe d’Huez climb during the 2003 Tour de France. “It was quite an experience to ride up the hill with hundreds of thousands of people lining the roads. They were there waiting to watch the world’s best cyclists climb the same road at unbelievable speeds just a few hours later,” he said.
Lundblad was also a regular cross country skier when he lived during the winter months in Washington State. “Cross country skiing is an activity that is mostly limited to my vacations now,” he said.
But this past February Lundblad did compete in the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race held in Wisconsin with world renowned skier Bjorn Daehlie of Norway. “Training for the cold and snowy race was a bit of a challenge here in Hilo,” Lundblad said.
The Birkebeiner race was a challenging 54 km (33 miles) event and Lundblad was only able to get in a few days worth of snow skiing prior to the race. “I spent several days in Hilo on my roller skis getting interesting looks from people,” he said.
Daehlie participated in the event as a way to raise money and awareness for MS, which his mother has, and he finished second overall. Lundblad finished somewhere in the middle of the pack of over 7,000 skiers.
At age 46 Lundblad is lean and a picture of good health. Due to his regular exercise routine Lundblad doesn’t have to worry about weight which leaves room for him to eat a variety of foods.
“I am lucky to not worry too much about how much I eat, as my weight doesn’t really fluctuate very much. I try to enjoy a balanced diet, but generally need to eat a lot of food, so there is room for plenty of everything. It’s terrific to live here in Hawaii with fresh fruits and vegetables all year at the farmer’s market and the garden,” Lundblad said.
Rarely does a day go by that Lundblad isn’t on his bike. He has found a group of friends to ride with a few days a week, spending about two hours per ride. “During the summer some of us rode a bit more to get ready for competitive events like the Sea to Stars race which leaves Bayfront in Hilo and climbs to the visitor center at 9000 feet on Mauna Kea,” he said.
Over the Labor Day weekend Lundblad was in Honolulu to compete in the rigorous Dick Evans Memorial Road Race which took cyclist 112 miles around Oahu. Lundblad finished 14th out of 181 starters in a time of 5 hours and 14 minutes.
Lundblad was very fortunate to find something he truly loves to do after breaking his foot more than 15 years ago. He was also very fortunate to have found good mentors during his early cycling days that taught him how to ride safely and efficiently.
“For folks who are interested in cycling for fitness, my advice is to find people who ride regularly and go with them. It will be more fun, you will learn a lot, and there is more incentive to participate regularly if you know someone else will be there with you. We are always looking for new people to join our group and we’ll get you started on the right pedal!” Lundblad said.
You can contact Steve Lundblad at firstname.lastname@example.org.