Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Keaau’s Lum Ho runs to stay fit

Greg Lum Ho, standing, give pre-race instuctions

    Gregory Lum Ho ran his first marathon (26.2-miles) in Honolulu back in 1982 and was able to finish in 4 hours and 12 minutes.  But that was when he was younger, thinner and he had more time to train.

    Now, at 40 plus years old, Lum Ho had an uphill battle of trying to lose some weight and also be able to run 26-miles at a sub 9 minute and 44 second per mile pace.

   “I run to keep skinny,” said a smiling Lum Ho.  “Before my tour to Afghanistan, in 2003, I weighed over 200 pounds, which was very unhealthy.”

    But upon his return to Hawaii in 2004 Lum Ho had trimmed down to 173 pounds.  “I ballooned back to 207 pounds in 6 months after my return home,” said Lum Ho.

   Knowing that being overweight is unhealthy Lum Ho went on a strict diet and added running to his exercise program.  “The running helped me get back down to 169,” said Lum Ho, “now I hover in the 170 range.”

     Lum Ho grew up in Pearl City on Oahu where he enjoyed the usual childhood sports, playing little league baseball and running track in high school.  “I also got into power lifting, but it was my dad who introduced me to running.”

    Lum Ho’s father was an avid runner who encouraged his son to take part in this healthy activity. 

    “The only physical activity I was doing when I returned from Afghanistan was sleep,” said Lum Ho with a grin.

    But with the weight coming on Lum Ho remembered his dad’s advice and began running once more.  “In 2005 I set my goal on running in the Big Island Marathon’s 10.8-mile race and I finished 13th overall,” said a surprised Lum Ho.

   “After that I was hooked and continued entering races.”  Lum Ho has since done 4 Honolulu and 1 Big Island International Marathon, running the full marathon distance of 26.2-miles.  “I’ve also gone to Maui,” said Lum Ho, “to run in the Maui Marathon.

   Lum Ho’s schedule allows him to do some form of physical activity for an hour 3 days per week.  “I try to squeeze in a 5.5 to 8 mile run into that hour,” said Lum Ho, “and on weekends I’ll do a run of at least 12-miles, more if I’m training for a race.”

   To get in the necessary mileage to run a successful marathon Lum Ho will do runs at 4 am around his residence in Hawaiian Paradise Park before work.  “I’d like to thank all those cars that slow down and give me room early in the morning on Kaloli Drive,” said a happy Lum Ho.

   To stay slim Lum Ho also avoids any food at least 6 hours prior to bed time.  “It’s something I learned during my power lifting days,” said Lum Ho, “the theory is not to go to sleep without digesting your food, otherwise the food just sits there and your metabolism can’t burn it.”

   For cross-training Lum Ho also loves to go surfing and, being an optimist, he is also hoping for a role in the next “300” movie.

   Last weekend Lum Ho ran the Honolulu Marathon in 4 hours 15 minutes and 57 seconds, just three minutes slower than his 1982 Honolulu Marathon some 27 years ago.

   I’m impressed that in his middle age years he can still crank out a marathon time equal to his much younger days.


December 26, 2009 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , | 1 Comment