Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Veterans Day Run/Walk BIG Success

Vet 5K run 014

Proud Vets Support Healthy Lifestyles

 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.

Justin Pang
Justin Pang

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.

Matt Lum
Matt Lum

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.

DJ Blinn
DJ Blinn

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: https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/veterans-day-5k-runwalk-photos-and-results/

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment