Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

After 5 pregnancies Swanson is still going strong

HPP resident, Suzanne Swanson

Finding the time and the motivation to start an exercise program can be difficult.  The number one reason that most people give for not exercising is that they can’t find the time.

The key to finding time and staying with a fitness program is to find something fun and the incentive to keep doing it.

For Hawaiian Paradise Park resident, Suzanne Swanson, the motivation came from giving birth to her third child and the trouble associated with losing the weight.

“I didn’t start exercising seriously until I had trouble losing the weight after my third pregnancy,” Swanson said.  “I began by taking aerobics, but after my fourth child was born I joined a gym.”

The stay at home mom also decided to home school all of her children which resulted in her having trouble making it to the gym on a regular basis.

“I could only get to the gym twice per week and I knew I needed an additional workout, so I began running on the weekends,” she said. 

The decision to supplement her workouts with running was made 13 years ago and Swanson is now a regular fixture jogging around Hilo Bay or close to her home in HPP.

Swanson grew up 90 miles north of New York City in the town of Kingston and moved to Oregon at age 19 where she met her husband.  The couple then decided to come to Hilo in 1993 to raise a family.

“I didn’t play any sports while in high school, instead I was a band person” Swanson said. 

With age and a total of five pregnancies Swanson realized that she needed to find the time to do regular exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and lower her risk of a variety of ailments.

“I stayed at home for 18 years to raise and home school my children, and then last September I went back to work as a full time receptionist/bookkeeper for Ohana Counseling Services in Hilo,” she said.

Since that time Swanson has participated in a variety of community runs and can now boast of breaking 30 minutes for a 5K (3.1-mile) race.  In January she participated in the Hilo to Volcano relay race (31-miles) with two other women and the team crossed the finish line under six hours.

“I have to do what works for my schedule, which changes periodically,” she said.  “When the kids were on the swim team I would swim laps three days a week.  I went through a biking phase before and I did the bike portion of the sprint triathlon in Honolulu two years ago.”

Through all the changes to Swanson’s busy life she has consistently used running as a ‘fall back’ activity as she finds that it works well with her ever changing schedule.

“Running isn’t the ideal full body workout, but it is better than nothing,” she said.  “Running keeps me sane and allows me to eat what I want.”

Swanson will run three times per week with distances varying from 2.5 miles to 4 miles, depending on where and how she feels. She will also watch what she eats to maintain a healthy, well balanced diet.

“I love to eat which became a huge motivator for me to run,” she said.  “But running also helps me watch what I eat.  When I run in the afternoons I will stop eating by 2 p.m. so that I won’t cramp up, which leads me to stop snacking late into the day.”

The Swanson family will rarely eat out and they try to stay away from processed foods.  “My four kids all help with the cooking so we tend to eat a lot of basic, old fashioned meals,” she said.

This busy mother, with a full time job, has also raised the bar in her goal setting as she looks for a variety of ways to stay healthy and fit.

“I’d like to try Zumba, if I could find the time,” she said.  “I’d love to do the entire Sprint Triathlon in Honolulu sometime before I’m 50, (within the next 5 years) and I’d like to run in some races beyond the 5K distance.”

Swanson continues to make the most of her situation and continues to challenge herself in the battle of gaining age related weight.  Her goals are simple and obtainable and her biggest competitor is herself.

“I have no desire to compete in a race and I don’t ever want to run in a marathon (26.2-miles)” she said.  “But I would like to build up to 5-miles, then 6 and eventually 7 miles without stopping.”

Swanson is a good example of an average, everyday person, who sets her first priority on her family while looking for ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“I feel better after I run,” she said.  “I used to not go (running) if it was raining, but then decided that it is better to be wet than grouchy.  Besides, after I run I can eat whatever I want without feeling guilty.”


August 31, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , , | Leave a comment

Canefire Conditioner Opens with a Fast Start

Eventual duo winners, Hilo's Karina Lawrence and Nadia Ramirez

KEEAU-It was a breathless, fantastic finish for a pair of Hilo runners, each girl running glued together until one leaned ahead of the other at the end.

 The Big Island Interscholastic Federation opened its cross-country season with a pair of running events that zigzagged its way around the Christian Liberty Academy Campus this past Saturday.

Using a format introduced by CLA coach Frank Grotenhuis the Canefire Conditioner required each BIIF school to pair their runners with each harrier doing three alternating one-mile legs.

Kelsie Kobayashi

In the opening girl’s race it was Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi jumping out to an early lead with the rest of the field in hot pursuit.

“I wanted to run my own race right from the start,” Kobayashi said after the race.  “I was mentally ready to take the lead and it felt very smooth and comfortable.”

Kobayashi ran her first mile in 6 minutes and 10 seconds with Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont and Karina Lawrence following in at 6:21.

During the exchange Kobayashi handed off the baton to partner Kara Paulachak while Lawrence was teamed with Nadia Ramirez and de Bourmont was paired with Carmen Garson-Shumway.

The Hilo pairs chipped away at Waiakea’s initial lead and soon found themselves in command of the race.  “My goal was to run my opening mile in the 6:20 range,” de Bourmont said.  “I knew that we each had to run 3-miles, so I wasn’t worried when I fell 10 seconds behind Kelsie in the first mile.”

The Vikings lead pairs stayed composed during the race and by the third mile found their top two teams running side by side in the lead.  “We wanted to keep the leaders in sight during the first mile and then run all three of our miles consistently,” Lawrence said. 

“It surprised me when I caught up to Shalila and it helped because we started pushing each other as it was fun to run together,” Lawrence said.

During the final leg Vikings, Ramirez and Garson-Shumway ran shoulder to shoulder as it appeared that neither wanted to outdo the other.  Ramirez, a senior who transferred into Hilo after last year’s cross country season, leaned at the finish line to nip freshman teammate Garson-Shumway by a hair with both clocking in at 38 minutes 29 seconds.

“I was very nervous throughout this race,” the young Garson-Shumway said.  “I ran in middle school but I didn’t know what to expect at the high school level.”

Hilo swept the top three pairs with Kaylee Rapoza and Raycee Cooke helping the Vikings to win the overall team scoring.  Honokaa’s Kelly Greenwell and Allie Shiraki took fourth with the duo of Kobayashi and Paulachak slipping to fifth.

click to enlarge

In the boys race it was the Honokaa duo of Joshua Robinson and Chayce Moniz leading from start to finish.

Dragon star and BIIF individual champion, Chris Mosch, was still sidelined nursing a stress fracture that he received at the end of the track & field season in May.  “I’m sitting this one out to give my leg a better chance to heal,” Mosch said.

Last year at CLA Mosch teamed with Robinson to win the Canefire Conditioner, but this year Robinson needed to rely on Moniz if the Dragons were to repeat as duo champs.

“In my opening mile I was just hoping to hang with the lead pack as I didn’t want to go out to fast then die,” Robinson said.  “It was easier to hang back and let others do all the work as long as I could give my partner a chance at taking the lead.”

His strategy paid off as Moniz took the handoff from Robinson and then claimed the lead in his opening mile.  “I was nervous before I ran as I felt a lot of pressure to do well today,” Moniz said.  “I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my partner.

Moniz opened the gap and by the time Robinson took the second leg handoff the Dragons held a 100 yard advantage.

The Dragon duo widened their lead with each ensuing handoff and left little doubt as to who would win the race clocking in at 31 minutes 46 seconds, more than one minute ahead of their closest rivals.

Ray & Kaneshiro

The battle for second went to the Hilo pair of seniors in Tyde Kaneshiro and Billy Ray.  “My plan was to just stay with the leaders in the first mile,” Kaneshiro said.  “Keaau and Waiakea went out quickly and I just paced off them.”

During the second mile Ray put the Vikings in second place and held that margin the rest of the way.  “I felt tired at the start of the race and the running actually woke me up,” Ray said.  “I knew I needed to maintain my position and the lead group were too far ahead for us to catch.”

The Keaau pair of Wayne Pavao and Kevin Olsen made a final attempt to move into second place, but fell short by one second as the Cougars settled for a third place finish.

Hilo finished in 32:51 with Keaau coming in at 32:52.  In the team standings it was Honokaa taking first with Waiakea second and Hilo third.

On Saturday the BIIF moves to an East/West format with Waiakea and Kealakehe playing host.  Girls will begin at 10 am followed by the boys with each running the traditional 3-mile cross-country race.

Related links:  



August 30, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Michelle Wie Wins CN Canadian Open

Michelle Wie wins second LPGA Title

Michelle Wie tore up the 13th, 14th and 15th holes firing birdies on each and taking a three stroke lead in the CN Canadian Open in Winnipeg, Canada.

Wie started the day in a tie at 10 under par and didn’t really get her game started until the par 5 13th hole where she used her long distance driver to put her into position for birdie.

On the par 5, 14th hole, Wie hit her second shot into the sand bunker, but placed the ball to within 20 feet on her third shot before draining another birdie.

On the 15th hole Wie put the tournament out of reach by dropping another birdie and moving herself four strokes ahead of on the leader board.

Wie is considered by many, me included, to be the Tiger Woods of professional golf and a key person that will bring life back into the LPGA.

The six foot tall, Hawaii born, 20 year old is the darling of the women’s circuit and has now won her second tour victory.

Wie was tied for first after the third round with Jiyae Shin at 10 under.  Shin had an up and down final round and finished with a bogey on the 17th hole to drop her in a group at 9 under for the runner-up position.  Wie also bogeyed the 17th, but still won the Canadian Open by three strokes.

Wie led the Open for 68 out of 72 holes, winning by three strokes over her closest competition.

August 29, 2010 Posted by | golf | , , , | Leave a comment

Honokaa’s Robinson & Moniz run away with Canefire duo title

Joshua Robinson & Chayce Moniz capture CLA duo title
Team Results — Boys        
  Honoka’a  Waiakea Hilo Kea’au  
1 1 6 2 3  
2 5 10 8 13  
3 11 12 16 19  
4 14 17 27 20  
Total 31 45 53 55  
  Kamehameha Parker HPA    
1 4 9 21    
2 7 15 22    
3 25 18 23    
4 26 28 24    
Total 62 70 90    
Individual Results — Boys        
  Names     School Time
1 Chayce Moniz; Joshua Robinson   Honoka’a 31:46:58
2 Billy Ray; Tyde Kaneshire   Hilo 32:51:02
3 Kevin Olsen; Wayne Pavao   Keaau 32:52:09
4 Shawn Correa; Maka’ala Gahan   Kam 33:50:83
5 Dylan Shiraki; Brandon Mah   Honoka’a 34:02:99
6 Jackson Halford; Keoni Rice   WKA 34:19:45
7 Ryan Thomas; Kaulana Ho   Kam 34:32:08
8 Johann Kuipers; Rick Michels   Hilo 34:50:17
9 Chris Koscik; Andrew Langtry   StJ 35:02:70
10 Paul Gregg; Tyler McCullough   Parker 35:08:97

Related post:  Girls results https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/hilo-girls-dominate-canefire-conditioner/

August 29, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wie and Shin tied after round three of Canadian Open

Hawaii’s Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie shot an even par 72 to put herself into a tie with Jiyai Shin going into the final round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open golf championship in Winnipeg, Canada.

Wie held a three shot lead going into today’s third round but had problems on the putting green to lose her advantage while Shin fired a 69 to erase the gap.  Both women finished the third round at 10 under par with a 206.

Wie, only 20 years old and a Hawaii native, is the darling of professional golf and has had an enormous following since breaking into the professional circuit.

Shin and Wie will be paired in Sunday’s final round and are four shots ahead of South Korea’s Jee Young Lee and Na Yeon Choi, along with Suzann Pettersen of Norway who is the defending champion at 6 under par.

Following in a tie for 9th is Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel at 212 with Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Kristy McPherson and Karin Siodin tied for 11th at 213.

August 28, 2010 Posted by | golf | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment