Volcano Rainforest 10K JINXED Again
Today, August 18, 2012 was the 3rd annual running of the Volcano Rainforest Runs and we are still awaiting to see the results to see if everything went smoothly.
In each of the first two years volunteers steered to runners in the wrong direction. If you were in this years races please provide information of whether or not you were steered off course.
The Volcano Rainforest, a benefit for the Volcano Art Center, ran their 2nd annual half marathon, 10K and 5K races on Aug 20 and for the second year in a row the 10K had issues with the lead runners.
In 2010 the four lead runners were taken into the finish line after doing only the 5K distance and race officials decided to simply double their time and recognize them as the overall 10K winners.
This year volunteers failed to have the lead pack of 15 runners do a final loop and when they came into the finish line lead runner, Chris Mosch, from Honokaa realized he had only done 5.7 miles.
“There was apparently some confusion among the course marshals at a point in the course where the runners had to run up and back through a cul-de-sac in order to make the course 10 km,” Walter Mosch, father of Chris said.
“The marshals got confused when the leaders of the 10 km race started overlapping with the walkers/stragglers involved in the half marathon. Chris recognized there was a mistake when he finished and his GPS watch read 5.7 miles. When the organizer realized the error, I think that she panicked because this had happened the previous year and was brought to her attention,” Mosch wrote the Big Dog in an email message.
“She originally DQ’ed the 14 runners, at least 12 of whom were clearly running faster than the declared winner. People objected because the course marshals had directed them NOT TO GO into the cul-de-sac. She decided to offer the people the choice of having their times considered for another 5.7 mile race distance or they could have their money refunded.”
According to Mosch he approached the race organizer and said ‘What the heck are you doing? You’re having a fundraiser and returning money?
Mosch also objected to the fact that since it was their screw up the runners shouldn’t be disqualified.
“The top runners were already light years ahead of the newly declared winner when the mistake was made,” Mosch said to the race official. “Chris is going to the University of Oregon on academic scholarship and running with the school’s running club. He is hoping to make the top seven cross country runners on the club which will travel to the club championships in North Carolina in November.”
Editor’s note: Chris Mosch was declared the winner of the newly formed 5.7 mile run, but never received any award for his efforts according to his dad.
There were many firsts on Saturday as the Volcano Art Center played host to a trio of races in their inaugural running of the Rain Forest Runs held in Volcano Village.
The Art Center was instrumental in putting together a marathon, 10-mile and 5-mile events inside Kilauea National Park for 26 years, ending in July 2008.
With the help of new race director, Sharron Faff, the Volcano Art Center once again hosted races ranging in distances from the half-marathon, (10K) 6.2-mile and (5K) 3.1-mile.
Nearly 500 people signed up to do one of the three new distances with the half-marathon being the most popular of the three.
In the 5K it was Hilo’s own Scott Hunter pulling away in the first half mile of the race as he slowly distanced himself from the rest of the field. Hunter graduated from Hilo High in 2009 and is currently attending Central Washington University where he participates in track & field in the pole vault and decathlon events.
“I was pretty satisfied with the course, but it was a lot tougher than I expected,” Hunter said of his winning time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds.
“I had driven the course the day before and knew that it was all on asphalt, but I didn’t realize how hard it was to go over all those rolling hills,” Hunter said.
In the women’s 5K it was all Annie Murphy from Plymouth, Michigan distancing herself from the ladies field and winning in 21:12.
“I thought the course was slightly slower than what I’m used to with all those rolling hills,” Murphy said. Murphy also believed that the 4,000 foot elevation at Volcano Village may have accounted for her slightly slower than normal time.
“The course was set-up and well marked and all the helpers were really friendly,” Murphy said. “I had a great time and enjoyed the cool morning temperature, with the race starting around 50 degrees.”
While the 5K was run without any problems, the lead 10K runners seemed to have had multiple confusion with the direction of the course according to harrier Heather Scarbrough.
“This was to be my first 10K race and I was feeling really good at the start,” Scarbrough said. “But my excitement soon turned into frustration when the lead biker and a course marshal sent us in the wrong direction.”
Scarbrough, along with the top several 10K participants, were led on an abbreviated course and ended up finishing the 6.2-mile distance in just over three miles.
Scarbrough, along with Mt. View’s Rich MacKenzie were awarded the top overall place finishes for their genders when race officials decided to simply double their finishing times, according to Scarbrough.
“Rich and I pulled away from everyone during the race and the volunteer biker took us in the wrong direction and the course marshals didn’t make the correction,” Scarbrough said. “I would have liked to have done this race honestly, on my own, but I can’t accept the time that they artificially gave to me.”
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to do the race that I signed up to do and I also had a friend who signed up for the 10K that ended up doing a half-marathon when she was sent in the wrong direction,” she said.
Scarbrough, a Honaunau resident, called later in the day to report the discrepancy, saying that she could not pretend that she could run 38 minutes for a 10K race as the final results indicate.
“We were asked by a race official not to say anything about the 10K course being shortened to the media, but after thinking about it, I couldn’t accept this time without telling the truth,” Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough was running with MacKenzie in the lead pack of six before MacKenzie pulled away at the first downhill section of the course to win in a artificially calculated time of 38 minutes 7 seconds.
“This was my first 10K and I didn’t know what to expect,” MacKenzie said. “I just wanted to run and to finish this race. I realized, once I took the lead that I could win this thing and began to pickup my pace at the end when I started to hear footsteps.”
Some of those footsteps were coming from Scarborough who was also supposed to experience a 10K for the first time.
“I was having one of those really great days, when everything just feels right,” Scarborough said. “I just felt it and being a very competitive person decided to give it everything I had.”
“I have a 5 year old and I haven’t run competitively since 2008 when I did the 5-miler in the National Park,” she said. “The Village is an incredible place with great views and we couldn’t have asked for better weather, with clear skies.”
In the half-marathon it was Volcano resident, Billy Barnett, sweeping to yet another overall victory in 1:16:44.
“I went out hard right from the start,” Barnett said. “I was feeling pretty inspired as I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, excited to do this race.”
Barnett has many road racing victories under his belt and with the Volcano victory has now won one in his own backyard. “I love Volcano as I run in the area on a regular bases. Everything was perfect today, the weather, the views and the cool temperatures made for a great race,” he said.
For the women it was Megan Brousseau from Massachusetts here on her honeymoon with husband Ben Haber.
“Ben and I met in college as runners,” Brousseau said. “This was one of the best and most scenic races I’ve ever done and we’re glad we did this together.”
Brousseau finished first for the women and 11th overall in a time of 1:33:23 with her husband placing 4th overall at 1:23:46. “I was challenged by another girl for the first couple of miles in the race, but once we hit the 3-mile mark I separated myself from her and was never seriously challenged after that, Brousseau said.”
“This was a well organized half marathon especially when you consider that this was their first time to host it,” Brousseau said.
Most of the runners all agreed that the rolling hills and elevation made for slightly slower times, but the beauty and tranquility of the area more than made up for the challenging route.
“We had 117 finishers in the 10K and 177 in the 5K with another 184 crossing the finish line in the half-marathon, “race assistant David Ravck said.
Rain Forest Runs Preview http://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/volcano-art-center-to-host-rain-forest-runs/
After a two year hiatus the Volcano Art Center will once again be hosting a trio of trail races, but this time outside of National Park land.
Following the July 2008 Kilauea Volcano Marathon, 10-mile and 5-mile runs held in Volcanoes National Park officials decided to end the popular event after 26 consecutive years.
Citing a variety of reasons, from the then recent eruption of Halemaumau Crater to the overuse of the trails and the chance of bringing in invasive species on runners shoes, the Park decided to discontinue the three races.
Sharron Faff has taken it upon herself to try to revive the footraces and will be hosting the Volcano Art Center Rain Forest Runs on Saturday, August 21.
“It was my idea to put this event together,” Faff said. “I had already started the process of putting the race together when Lorna Jeyte, owner of Kilauea Lodge, approached me and asked if I would be willing to put together a fund raising event for the Volcano Art Center.”
Faff teamed with Volcano Art Center CEO Tanya Aynessazian in putting together the inaugural event and have thus far exceeded their original expectations.
“When I first talked with the Art Center Board of Directors I told them they should actually expect the race to cost money as I pretty much only expected around 250 runners to participate in the first year,” Faff said.
The event has already surpassed original estimates and Faff now expects to attract over 400 runners and walkers. “With 400 participants we’re now at the breakeven point with the costs of producing a new event on a tight budget,” she said.
According to Faff there will be participants represented from 14 states and three countries with the majority of those coming from Hawaii. “Most of our runners are from the Big Island,” she said. “Overall we have 58 percent women and 42 percent men that are registered.”
This year’s event will feature a half-marathon (13.1-miles), 10K (6.2-miles) and 5K (3.1-miles) along with a free keiki run, walk or trot at distances of 200 yards or shorter for those seven years old and under.
“We are very pleased with Sharron’s involvement in this and other races and her ability to organize all the details of this race,” Aynessazian said. “She has exceeded our expectations and we are overwhelmed with the generosity and support of so many community members.”
Being a new race Faff needed to layout the courses for each of the distance races. “I wanted to use the rain forest as much as possible without hindering traffic on Highway 11 or Old Volcano Road through the Village,” she said.
Faff looked at a variety of possibilities before settling on a route that would give participants the most mileage through the rain forest with the least amount of traffic impact.
“After having driven the village roads over and over again I chose Cymbidium Acres as the safest and most beautiful for the runners,” Faff said.
All three races will start and finish at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village and will then go through Cymbidium Acres before returning to Wright Road to get the added mileage needed.
“The half-marathon will even get in a little off road experience at the end of the pavement on Wright road,” Faff said. “All of the courses have beautiful views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, while running on Kilauea Volcano.”
To put on a race of this size and magnitude Faff and Aynessazian estimate that there are over 160 volunteers that have come forward to help along with some businesses that have made contributions to the event.
Kilauea Military Camp will sponsor the Military Awards and the Volcano Art Center will be providing unique pieces of art to the top male and female runners in a variety of age divisions.
If everything goes as planned for this year Faff wants to add a full 26.2-mile marathon to next year’s event which would then replace the old Kilauea Volcano Marathon. But for now Faff is hoping to surpass the 400 participant mark for this year’s inaugural event.
“There is still time to register for all three races,” Faff said. “We will have packet pick up and late registration on Friday, August 20 at the Kilauea Military Camp which is located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and people can also register on race morning at Cooper Center from 5:30 to 6:30 am.”
For more information about participating in any of the Volcano Art Center Rain Forest Runs contact Faff at 967-8240 or go to www.volcanoartcenter.org.