Happy New Year!
Hoping this New Year brings the belief that all things are possible in achieving our health and fitness goals.
New Year’s Day saw a large group of eager and excited people assembled at the Coconut Island parking area to start 2011 by doing a 3.1 mile run or walk.
People of varying ages and abilities were making a commitment to themselves to make the New Year a new beginning in their quest to be physically fit.
Many people brought their entire family to start off the New Year for the purpose of having a head start on becoming healthy and fit and to take better care of themselves.
The Fragas family, Leona, Nai’a, Kalen and Harlen were on hand wanting to join like minded people on this first day of the New Year.
“We always are walking around as a family,” patriarch Harlan Fragas said. “We saw the article about this event in the newspaper and wanted to try something different and to do it together, as a family.”
The Heaukulani family and friends were also among the many folks that joined in for the 3.1 mile event.
“This is a great way to make the start of the New Year even better,” Hilo attorney and soccer coach Charles Heaukulani said. “I’m hoping I can run a couple more marathons and expand what I do to cross train and get the awesome Hilo Soccer Girls committed to year round fitness.”
During the race it was it was the owners of the Big Island Running Company in Kona, Jason and Melissa Braswell, showing the 200 participants why they are experts in the running shoe business.
Jason Braswell ran away from the entire field, leading from start to finish, to win in 17 minutes and 18 seconds, while wife Melissa finished 11th overall and second amongst the women.
“We will find any excuse to come over to Hilo,” Melissa Braswell said. “This is a great way to start the New Year and it was great that the race started at 9 am which gave us time to drive over this morning.”
Melissa’s goal for 2011 is to run her first marathon in Honolulu in December and Jason’s is to be able to just keep doing what he’s doing and help his wife in accomplishing her marathon dream.
The first place woman, Kim Pierce, separated herself from Braswell in the first half mile and never looked back clocking in at 21:30 and finishing eighth overall.
“Some girlfriends told me about this race and I thought this would be a great way to kick off the New Year,” Pierce said. “I’m hoping I can run more and surf more in 2011.”
The main reason for the Big Dog in organizing this event wasn’t to showcase those in the lead but to provide a fun venue for all, novice and speedsters alike, in kicking off the New Year in a healthy and fit way.
Gary Kaku, registrar for Hilo Intermediate School, was on hand to do the 3.1 mile walk and his reason for coming was to improve on his health.
“My resolution is to take better care and treatment for my diabetes by walking more and watching my weight,” Kaku said.
Many people were on hand just like Gary Kaku who do not consider themselves athletes, but wanted to participate to get a jump start on making 2011 the best for their own personal fitness levels.
County Corporation Deputy Counsel, Joseph Kamelamela and his wife, were also on hand to enjoy the fitness event.
“I encouraged a bunch of our friends to come out and start the New Year as we wanted to enjoy 1-1-11,” he said. “It is such a beautiful morning and a great way to start any day.”
Kamelamela makes the same resolution each year, “Work hard and play hard,” he said.
For the Big Dog it was a great way to celebrate any occasion with a large group of friends and acquaintances doing what are important in our lives, exercising for health and fitness.
For those that are wondering, the Big Dog did not succeed in running the entire 3.1 mile distance as I needed to walk a little upon reaching the 2 mile mark. On Feb. 6 the Big Dog will host the Lover’s 5K run/walk and will attempt once again to jog the entire distance.
State House Representative, Jerry Chang, read a Certificate of Appreciation to all the volunteers and participants in the Big Dog New Year’s Day 5K run/walk that Mayor Billy Kenoi provided. The mayor wrote, “…There is no better time than the start of the New Year to rededicate ourselves to being more fit for the rigors of our daily lives. Best wishes to all for a good, safe run today and may it be the first of many that will lead to a Happy and Healthy New Year for 2011.”
Mahalo to the loyal and dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors that continue to support Big Dog Productions and help with promoting health and fitness on Hawaii Island.
More than 200 participants showed up on a beautiful morning for the Veterans Day 5K (3.1-miles) run/walk held this past Wednesday at the entrance to Moku Ola in Hilo.
Big Dog Productions, host for the event, wasn’t expecting such a large crowd which included Veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
This was the first time that a fun run/walk has been organized in Hilo in recognition to the men and women who serve in our nation’s armed forces.
Prior to the start Army Lt. Colonel and Hilo’s own pediatric physician, Joseph D’Angelo, addressed the large crowd with these words: “Veteran’s Day and this fun run bring out an important concept, that of not taking things for granted,” D’Angelo said.
D’Angelo went on to talk about the times of year that people take as routine, such as Veterans, Memorial Day and Sept. 11th. “Treating a burned Afghan child or wounded Afghan soldier, or helping their medical personnel with the logistics and supply of building their medical system in both directions, are a no brainer when it comes to understanding the importance of a mission,” he said.
In his pre event speech D’Angelo reminded the crowd of the value of serving one’s country and of how fortunate and blessed we are as Americans. “We wear the uniform and carry out the mission, so this run does not have to be for our lives, but truly just for fun,” he said.
The large field of runners and walkers thinned out early during the race to find two frontrunners leading the way in Joseph Damato and Justin Pang. Pang, a former Christian Liberty harrier who is now on the University of Hawaii cross-country team, exchanged the lead with Damato throughout the event.
“We were running shoulder to shoulder for most of the race,” Pang said. “We hit the first mile at around a 5:20 per minute pace and the race wasn’t decided until the final 200 yards.”
In the final leg of the race, with the finish line in sight, Damato put on an all out sprint to edge out Pang by two seconds, clocking in at 17 minutes and 34 seconds.
“I wanted to get a good run in today and to participate in the local community scene,” Pang said after his second place finish. “This was a great way to support our vets who have done a lot for our country.”
In a very fast field of harriers six runners followed the lead duo and all six broke 19 minutes, they were Tyde Kaneshiro, 18:19; Jason Braswell, 18:23; Rick Michels, 18:36; Bryce Harada, 18:47; Jackson Halford, 18:54 and Shannon White, 18:54.
For the women it was all Kim Pierce who finish two minutes ahead of her closest female competitor in a time of 20 minutes and 25 seconds. Hilo High standout, Shalila de Bourmont was next in 22:31 followed by her coach, Lory Hunter, 23:02.
Many Veterans also came out to support the event which included Matt Lum (finished 121, in a time of 34:55) who spent 21 years in the Army from 1964 until his retirement in 2005.
“I run three times a week and I need to do this to keep up with the younger guys because I am retired,” Lum said. Lum served his country in Vietnam, Iraq and in Afghanistan.
Captain Albert Ne (#68, 26:45) just returned from a tour of duty to Kuwait and decided, along with several of his troops, to attend the Veterans Day run.
“We were socializing and me and my soldiers thought that this run would be a good thing to support the Vets. I work out every day and I’ll do another 5K run later today,” Ne said.
House Rep Jerry Chang (#115, 34:09) was also on hand to take part in the fitness event. Chang served in the Army between 1967 and 1970. “I wanted to support our veterans, the Hawaii Food Basket and Big Dog Productions,” he said.
DJ Blinn (#37, 24:02), a common face on the running scene in Hilo for many years, is a former Marine who served during the Vietnam Era. “I served forty-two years ago in Quang Tri Province in Vietnam and I’m thankful that I can remember the sacrifices our troops made and give thanks that I am still alive and still running,” he said.
Also of note was sixty-nine year old Ken Rosene who brought and ran with an American Flag during the event, finishing in 185th place with a time of 58 minutes and 39 seconds. Rosene is a proud supporter of our troops and wanted to show his pride in being an American.
Big Dog, celebrating his 62nd birthday on Veterans Day surprised everyone including himself, when he finished in 62nd place with a time of 25:51.
The event raised non perishable food for the Hawaii Island Food Basket as all the participants brought items that were donated. According to the Food Basket the Veterans Day 5K raised 353 pounds worth of food items.
Big Dog Productions appreciates the assistance of the many volunteers that helped make the Veterans Day run/walk a huge success. A special mahalo goes out to Dano Banks, Paul Okubo and Randee Arkin.
For complete results and additional photo’s go to: http://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/veterans-day-5k-runwalk-photos-and-results/