Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hagemann Siblings Continue Fine Running Tradition

Nina, Natalie & Nick Hagemann

The Hagemann sisters and brother continue their fine running tradition.  Nina is a 2006 graduate of Keaau where she ran cross country and went on to run four years with the University of Hawaii at Hilo cross country team.  She currently serves as a Vulcan assistant coach under head coach Jaime Guerpo.

Nick graduated from Keaau in 2008 where he was a star runner in both cross country and track & field and is currently running for the Vulcan squad.

Natalie continues the tradition and is currently a junior harrier at Keaau and will graduate with the Cougar class of 2012.


October 11, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mendoza hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event in Hilo

Lorraine Mendoza

Coming up on Saturday is the YWCA Hawaii Island’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a Men’s March to Stop Sexual Assault, Rape and Gender Violence.

The event starts with registration at 7:30 am at the YWCA Ululani Campus in downtown Hilo.

Event Chairperson, Lorraine Mendoza, is no stranger to community activities as this active 57 year young grandmother is well known for her organizational skills and roll as a community advocate.

Born and raised on the Big Island, Mendoza grew up in Papaikou and Hakalau and has lived in Pepeekeo for the past 29 years.

“I’ve never moved away from East Hawaii and consider myself a real live opihi that is sticking to this rock,” Mendoza said with a wide grin.

A 1971 graduate of Hilo High School, Mendoza received her Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Hawaii Community College and went on to have  a professional career before becoming a “domestic engineer” three years ago.

“I stopped working three years ago and could say I’m a domestic goddess, but that would be stretching it!” she said.  “During the past three years I’ve become more and more involved in various community organizations and activities.”

Mendoza currently serves on the Hamakua Community Development Plan Steering Committee, the Rural South Hilo Community Association, the Pepeekeo Community Association, the Hamakua Community Development Corporation and is a former member of DBEDT’s Community-Based Economic Development Advisory Board, and a host of other past and present boards and associations.

“I get involved because it’s important to me that I am actively contributing to the enrichment of the community I live in.  Teaching by example, perhaps one day my children and grandchildren can say my mom worked on that and she was a part of getting it done,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza also knows that diet and exercise play an important role in her continuing to give back to the community and in her having a long lasting relationship with her grandchildren.

“My doctor tells me all the time that I should exercise more,” Mendoza said.  “Although I am currently taking a very low dose medication for my high blood pressure, I don’t want to have to increase it, ever.”

Mendoza knows what she needs to do to improve her health, but often gets sidetracked and will put her exercise at a lower priority than the work she has planned for the betterment of our community.

“At this stage in my life, osteoporosis is one of the major reasons to exercise in order to strengthen my bones and maintain agility,” Mendoza said.

“The overall benefits to my general health and well-being will enable me to be around for my family and friends.  I want the memories, laughter and joy of spending time with my grandchildren and I want them to also have fond memories of their ‘mama,” she said.

Mendoza realizes that exercise and diet are the keys to continue living a happy and productive life and she knows what she has to do to ensure that this can happen.

That is why Mendoza will eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meat while consuming more fish.

“I will drink lots of water and will eat smaller portions.  I read more about foods that are healthier and beneficial and the reading forces me to make a conscientious effort to include changes in my lifestyle,” she said.

Mendoza will park farther away in parking areas while doing her shopping and she will take the stairs whenever possible, while adjusting her eating habits to accommodate different foods.

“I am guilty of hearing the mantra of exercising and eating the right foods, but often I react with the ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ response,” Mendoza admits.

Mendoza realizes that the possibility of her tomorrow may never arrive as the clock keeps ticking and the years continue to melt away.

“It is a realization, coupled with my selfish need to be around to watch and enjoy my grandchildren grow up, that pushes me to make the commitment to just do it,” Mendoza said.

For this weekend Mendoza is focused on putting on a quality event for the YWCA Hawaii Island’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

“On Saturday, Mayor Billy Kenoi and men from all walks of life will protest sexual assault, rape and gender violence on our island by walking one mile in women’s shoes through downtown Hilo,” she said.

Mendoza and her group will be doing on site registration from 7:30 to 8:30 am and shoes will be available for those that need to borrow.


“Awesome red, white, black high heels were brought in for this event for walkers to borrow.  Also available are other shoes and sandals along with feminized rubbah slippahs for the faint of feet,” Mendoza said.

Of course, men can bring their own shoes and decorate them if they want to, according to Mendoza.

“We encourage all men to sign up as a team of four or as individuals and make the statement, loud and clear, we are against rape, sexual assault and gender violence,” she said.

Awards and trophies will be presented to the top three teams and individuals who bring in the most pledges, according to Mendoza.

For more information email wam2010@ywcahawaiiisland.org or call 935-7141.

And someday should you happen to see a healthy dog jogging against rape, sexual assault and gender violence, remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | Events, Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New faces at front of BIIF cross country leader pack

Thornton finish

KEAAU – One of the most often overlooked aspects of cross country running is mental toughness and for one Keaau youth it proved to make a major impact on her performance.

Cougar, Deann Nishimura-Thornton had trouble making it into the top 20 for most of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation cross country season until she discovered the magic of mental imagery.

“I’ve been in la la land all season long, at least until today,” Nishimura-Thornton said.

The Keaau junior harrier saved her best race for Kamehameha this past Saturday when she decided to run with the leaders in the 3 mile event.

“I knew I needed to step up and I needed to feel the pain and work through it.  I was mentally tough today,” she said.

Nishimura-Thornton stayed in contact with the lead pack during the race and her efforts paid big dividends as she managed a fifth place finish in the all-schools BIIF meet.

“To me running is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical and today I have my confidence back.  I’m so happy because I’ve been disappointing myself during the entire season and now I’m actually looking forward to the BIIF championships,” she said.

  1. Zoe Sims

Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Zoe Sims also had a major breakthrough, winning her first BIIF race and distancing herself from the rest of the field.

“I had no big strategy coming into this race as I just wanted to run my best,” Sims said.

Leading from start to finish, Sims won the race by nearly 40 seconds over Hilo’s Shalila de Bourmont, who finished second and HPA teammate and super freshman Kristiana Van Pernis who took third.

“I wanted to run hard for the sake of our team because I know all my teammates are doing the same for me,” Sims said.  “I didn’t want to have any regrets after the race and I wanted to leave everything out on the course.”

Sims and Van Pernis efforts paid off as HPA won the team title for the second week in a row over a very talented Hilo squad by eight points.

“Our training and good coaching has really helped us as we go into the BIIF championships,” Sims said.

Jesse Tarnas

For the boys it was another surprise, late bloomer, as Parker’s Jesse Tarnas moved up in the overall standings with a super effort at Kamehameha.

“Today I found the right mentality and it just all came together.  I kept saying over and over in my head that pain is temporary, but glory is eternal,” Tarnas said.

The junior from Parker maintained his mantra with excellent results as he finished seventh overall and fourth from the BIIF as there were three Iolani runners within the top group.

“I’ve never finished higher than ninth in BIIF competition, so fourth place is a big jump for me.  I just kept telling myself positive things and imprinted that into my racing and it really helped,” he said.

Tarnas’ efforts also helped the Parker team to their best finish of the season as the Bulls finished fourth behind powerhouse Iolani, Honokaa and Hilo.

Chris Mosch

With Iolani in the mix Honokaa’s Chris Mosch needed to be at the top of his running level as several Red Raiders attempted to take the lead.

“It was fun having Iolani here as it pushed me to run harder,” Mosch said. 

During the first mile a small pack of boys, which included three Iolani runners and Mosch, went by in 5 minutes and 32 seconds.

“I was content with staying in the pack during the early going and it wasn’t until we passed the first mile that I took the lead.  By mile two my dad yelled that I had a 30 yard lead on the rest of the pack,” Mosch said.

The lead quickly evaporated as Iolani’s Troy Esaki played catch up and by the final mile both Esaki and Mosch were shoulder to shoulder.

“I got a little worried when Troy caught me during the last mile.  But I paced myself well and I knew I still had something left in the tank,” Mosch said.

Mosch put on the astro burners in the closing moments of the race to clock 16 minutes and 27 seconds beating runner up Esaki by seven seconds.

“My last mile was at a 5:20 pace and it felt really good.  It was a fun day today,” Mosch said.

Iolani edged out Honokaa for the team title with both squads running away from the rest of the competition.

Honokaa is the dominate BIIF boys team and along with Mosch is lead by Chayce Moniz, Josh Robinson, Robert Connors, and freshman Tony Connors.

The BIIF cross country season takes a bye this weekend in preparation for the BIIF championship to be held on Friday, October 22 at the Waimea campus of Hawaii Prep.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | High School Runners | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment