Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog


Ivo Hanza came to Hawaii to surf.

Staying in shape, eating well and keeping a positive outlook on life can pay big dividends as we grow older and there are many examples of healthy individuals right here in our own community.

Ivo Hanza has been practicing good health for his entire life and looks and acts every bit of a man who is aging well in our society.

But Hanza is not your average person as this soon to be 60 year old doesn’t drink, smoke or take any kinds of stimulants.

Born in Lima, Peru, Hanza grew up active in everything they do in that county, which means he played soccer.

“We played it during recess in school, played it in the streets, we kicked a ball just about everywhere we went, as it was just part of our culture,” he said.

Hanza also fell in love with water sports and learned to swim long before his earliest recollection.

“I became a surfer dude,” he said. I would surf any and every chance I could and when I was younger I would use anything that floated.”

By the time he was 18 Hanza had surfed throughout his home country, in Brazil and Ecuador. “I wanted to surf everywhere in the world and that is why I moved to Honolulu from Lima when I was 19 years old,” he said.

Hanza came to Hawaii on a tourist visa and fell in love with the North Shore. “The North Shore is the Mecca of surfing,” he said.

Realizing that Hawaii is where he’d wanted to stay and surf Hanza needed to find a way to extend his tourist status. “I went to talk with the counselor at Leeward Community College to see if I could enroll there under a student visa,” he said.

Hanza was not only accepted to Leeward but was given a tuition reduction because of his foreign status and was only charged $90 per semester. “I eventually got my Associates Degree in Marine Technology from Leeward,” he said.

Surfing became his sole purpose in life and Hanza admits to being a “surfing freak.” “I was a freak, anything that moves, no matter what the size or shape and I’d want to surf it,” he said.

While staying on the North Shore Hanza was talked into running an 11-mile race from Turtle Bay to Laie. “I never ran before, never trained for this race and never had proper shoes,” he said.

Just before the start Hanza had to find some bushes to relieve him and while he was standing in the brush the gun went off and the race began. “I ended up starting way in the back, but managed to finish in fourth place overall,” Hanza said.

His surfing had kept him in great shape and his healthy lifestyle managed to provide him with a solid cardiovascular base to make the transition from surfing to running.

Hanza survived by making his own surfboards and boards for others and doing a variety of jobs. “In this rich country I could find any type of job, from construction, to yard work, to odd jobs,” he said.

But in 1978 his life changed, for the better, when he met his wife Heidi. The couple decided to move to the Big Island and raise a family.

“Once I got married I kept on surfing, but it became less and less,” Hanza said.

One thing that hasn’t subsided for Hanza is his early morning calisthenics that he performs on a daily basis.

“I do a lot of construction jobs and need to keep myself flexible and my joints well maintained,” he said. “It works as I’ve had very few injuries and can still do the physical labor of a much younger person.”

Add to this Hanza’s health eating habits of meat in moderation and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. One of his favorite lunches is brown rice with vegetables and garbanzo beans.

“I’m an eclectic and I learned from the Hindu about clenching your thirst before eating, so I’ll drink water before ever meal and then take my time chewing my food,” he said.

“I read a book called ‘You Are How You Eat” about a man that would chew his food very slowly, about 100 bites before swallowing. I try to slow my chewing down to enjoy every bite and will take ten times longer to eat than others,” he said.

Hanza believes that people eat too fast and would recommend that for good health to eat good food and to take your time chewing each bite.

“A big part of my staying so healthy is that I follow the Mormon diet my entire life, no drugs, no stimulants, no alcohol or tobacco,” he said.

Ivo Hanza has his 60th birthday approaching this month and he serves as a fine example of someone who is in great shape due to his healthy lifestyle.


Coming up this weekend is the Big Dog 5K run/walk on Saturday followed by the Makana Mile Run on Sunday.

The Big Dog 5K will start and end at the entrance to Moku Ola (Coconut Island) in Hilo at 7:30 a.m. The event is open to people of all fitness abilities as you can walk, run or jog the distance at your own pace.

Hosted by Big Dog Productions the 3.1-miler is free and will provide post race refreshments, timing and announcements of upcoming events.

For more information call the Big Dog at 969-7400.

Then on Sunday join Jaime Guerpo and his UHH cross-country team for the Makana Mile run from Carlsmith Beach Park to Richardson. The event cost $5 and is a way for the UHH harriers to raise some much need funds for their upcoming season.

The one-miler is open to runners and walkers and will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m., so show up early to register and show your support for Vulcan running.

For more information contact Guerpo at 217-5243 or email at Guerpo@hawaii.edu

The next time life throws you a curve ask yourself this question: Will it matter a year from now?

And someday should you happen to see a happy runner at Coconut Island and Carlsmith Beach Park remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


March 2, 2009 - Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , ,


  1. I just read your article about Ivo. I am an old friend of his. We surfed together many times in Peru back in the 60’s. Last time I saw him was in Kauai, in 1970. I am now living in California and I would like to contact him.

    Comment by Miguel | July 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Aloha Miguel,
      Provide me with your email address and/or phone number and I’ll pass it on to Ivo. You can write me at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

      Comment by waynejoseph | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. Interesting post.

    Comment by Tommy Lee | August 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. Rio de Janeiro,august 18, Aloha. I just want to congratulate Ivo,biggest surf rider ever meet; in Peru we surf and went to USA in 68,after long walk from east to west coast,arriving i
    n northshore for the Makaha Surfing contest 69.Thanks for the news from Ivo,have some old pictures to share via e mail;apologize my english

    Comment by carlos PENHO | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Dear sir,would like contact with Ivo,because long and old friendship and great adventures must be remenber;my email is: penhasco1@hotmail.com;apreciate this comunication,thank you very much , Carlos Penho

    Comment by carlos PENHO | August 31, 2009 | Reply

    • I’ve sent your information onto Ivo. Hopefully he will reply to you soon. aloha, Big Dog

      Comment by waynejoseph | September 1, 2009 | Reply

  5. hi ivo, do you remember my dad chuck avina? well i’m his son ivo avina my dad named my after you.

    ivo avina

    Comment by ivo avina | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. Ivo Hanza

    Comment by Gustavo | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. Ivo Hanza, soy el hijo de Rubén Núñez de Puno Perú, que tu enseñaste el evangelio restaurado junto con Manuel Dávila… tengo una foto tuya con ellos y siempre en familia quisimos saber noticias tuyas. Mi padre falleció hace 3 años, pero siempre te tenía un afecto enorme y gratitud. Nosotros, sus dos hiojs somos fieles miembros de la iglesia y con familia,,, nos gustaría tener contacto contigo y saber de ti, te agradecemos por habernos enseñado la verdad. un abrazo RUBEN NUÑEZ HIJO

    Comment by RUBEN NUÑEZ | January 1, 2010 | Reply

  8. construction jobs these days are on demand because the construction business is booming again;-~

    Comment by Personalised Mugs : | October 27, 2010 | Reply

  9. Conocí a Ivo cuando tenía yo 9 años en la Rama Surco que funcionaba en una casita en Vista Alegre, creo que tenias una moto. Te admire desde chico y cuando a los 13 empece a hacer surfing encontré una revista donde aparecías . Que bueno seria poder saber mas de lo que hiciste cuando te fuiste con Heidi, pues ella llego alguna vez a la capilla de la Rama Surco, en la época que Juan Barbaroux era el Presidente de Rama. Salud y buenas olas.

    Comment by Óscar Machuca | July 11, 2011 | Reply

  10. Ivo Soy Oscar Andrade my amigo de toda tu familia en Lima Peru, Estoy en tu busqueda desde hace mucho tiempo. Si lees esta nota mi correo electronico es:
    imoscar917@yahoo.com y mi telefono in USA es (845)542-0573

    Comment by Oscar Andrade | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  11. Ivo, geat person since he was a child, I used to surf with him during the early 60’s at most surf spots in Peru, as we belonged to the group called the C.C.C. (collera de corredores capos).
    Please send him my best regards and appreciation.
    Actually I’m 70 years old and in my mind I always remember his drops at Pico Alto on a July 06 am.(winter) without wet suit, also a late afternoon ripping up and down the outer break of miraflores.. (reventazon).
    Ivo, un fuerte abrazo y que Dios te bendiga siempre.
    Saludos a tu familia.
    Chato Reyes..

    Comment by Cesar Reyes | January 27, 2013 | Reply

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