Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hilo’s EMS Run/Walk a Huge Success

Keiki mini-run for ages 5-6 followed the 5K run and 2-mile walk

More than 700 runners and walkers laced up their sneakers and went out and got hot and sweaty this past Sunday all to bring awareness to our Emergency Medical Services here on the Big Island.

  Participants had a choice of running in a 3.1-mile race or a 2-mile walk and for kids under 10 years of age there was a non-competitive mini run on the grounds of Liliuokalani Gardens.

   In the highly competitive 5K race it was the usual group of Big Island harrier standouts, in Alan Ryan, Justin Pang, Jackson Halford, Jason Braswell and the like forming the early pack, but none was going to catch the “ghost” in Billy Barnett.

   Barnett was in his own spirit like zone as he distanced himself from the well known leader pack to disappear from sight, winning the EMS 5K in a time of 16 minutes and 35 seconds.

   After the race Barnett was nowhere to be found as the “ghost” left without receiving his award for winning the race and another prize for winning the lucky number segment of the event.

Farrah Madanay

Women’s winner was a big surprise as Farrah Madanay of Honolulu, like Barnett, ran away from the other women to win with a time of 19:55, nearly two minutes over her closest rival.

   Madanay is a former Punahou cross-country standout who now attends Rice University in Houston, Texas.  “I’m in Hilo attending UHH summer session and taking a ‘fun’ course in Organic Chemistry,” she said.

   The EMS also had a “public safety” division which is opened to police, fire, DLNR, corrections and the like.  Volcano’s Lyman Perry had won the division four times but didn’t show to defend his title which left the door open to a variety of fit firefighters to claim top honors.

   It was an unusual race for “public safety” bragging rights as the eventual winners of both the male and female division ran pushing their infants in baby joggers.

   Firefighter/paramedic Ian Smith from the South Kohala District and Lisa Hadway from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Wildlife Division captured the special division that recognizes our public safety employees.

   Smith, a six year veteran of the fire department, had his 21-month old son Noah along for the ride as father and son cross the finish line in 19:50. 

Lisa and Malia Hadway

Hadway had her eight month daughter, Malia, along for the ride as the duo clocked in at 29:31.  “I didn’t run last year, when I was five months pregnant,” Hadway said.  “I still have a ways to go before I’m back into the condition I was in prior to getting pregnant.”

   Hadway had won the female public safety division three times previous running four to five minutes faster, but was still happy with her overall results.  “It’s just great being a mom,” she said.

   EMS organizers also recognized firefighter/EMT Kainoa Willey with a public safety award for his overall time of 22:37.

Kainoa Willey

Willey was credited with designing this year’s run/walk tee shirts and for making a web site for the EMS event at www.hawaiiemsrun.com.

   “I’ve been with the department for nearly three years and I’ve done this race each year,” Willey said.  “I also got my fiancé, Eva Sumi, started in doing these events, the first year as a walker and the past two years as a runner.” 

   Willey and Sumi were all smiles before and after the race as the couple plans to wed on Saturday, June 5.  “Everyone can come to the wedding if they bring food,” Sumi said with a huge grin.  

   EMS week was celebrated around the nation from May 16 to May 22 with May 19 being set aside as Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Day.

  “During the first few years of our event we moved the date around a bit because of conflicts with other races, canoe regattas and graduations,” race organizer and firefighter/paramedic Jesse Ebersole said.  “We settled on Memorial Day weekend as it is in close proximity to the nationally recognized EMS Week.”

  This year the EMS team partnered with HMSA to help educate the community on the proper utilization of Emergency Services, basically when to call 911, according to Ebersole. 

   Each year during the Big Island EMS Week event committee members selects a person or business to benefit from the race.  “Our criteria are that the beneficiary be related to health care and that the money stays on our island,” Ebersole said. 

  Over the past 13 years the Big Island EMS family has donated nearly $60,000 to various charities.  This year the recipients are a County of Hawaii Employee battling Leukemia and the American Lung Association of Hawaii Island, according to Ebersole.

  Ebersole estimates that this year’s event will raise $7000 and all of it will be donated to the two causes.

  “We greatly appreciate the community supporting our event during this typically busy and activity filled weekend,” Ebersole said.


May 31, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment