Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Big Apple’s Latorre staying fit on his bike


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – Here we are back in the Big Apple, the starting point for one of the most spectacular marathons in the world, the New York City Marathon.

Each morning that I wake I head down to do a run along the entrance to New York’s Harbor, jogging under the Verrazano Bridge and looking down upon the green tarnished Statue of Liberty.

The parkway is filled with people early on this foggy morning with shoreline fishermen, other joggers, bicyclist and even an occasion roller skater.

For a local boy it is a unique scene with the blasting of a fog horn from a large merchant ship in the distance.

Everywhere I run, jog or walk I wear a Hawaii running shirt, either a finisher’s tee shirt from one of the many races I’ve done, or a Big Island Running shirt given to me by the Braswell’s in Kona.

You’d be surprised at how many people have stopped me over the years to ask,’ are you from Hawai’i?  Or better still, to tell me about their trip to Hawai’i.

This particular morning as I cross under the Verrazano a cyclist pulled up alongside of me and began what was to be a lengthily discussion.

Anthony Latorre, born and raised in Brooklyn, started telling me about his visit to Hawai’i and how he fell in love with the islands.

“I was there in a few years ago,” Latorre said.  “I’ve always wanted to go back, but my job and the cost has always prevented me from doing so.”

Turns out that Latorre is a bike fanatic who spends 150 miles per week peddling to and from work and riding for recreational purposes.

“I first fell in love with cycling at the age of 16,” Latorre said.  “I was doing a moonlight ride in the Rockaway’s in Queens which is where the water meets the sand.  As we rode along the shore the piping plovers would dash away in front of our bicycles and I became hooked on ridding.”

Latorre does not ride competitively, but enjoys the sport for its health and fitness benefits.

“Ridding helps me stay in good health,” he said.  “It also gives me a sense of independence and allows me to enjoy my surroundings.”

For the past 42 years Latorre has used cycling as his primary form of aerobic exercise and has notched some great experiences along the way.

“I enjoy doing cross country bike tours,” he said.  “I’ve rode from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and back.  I’ve also done numerous tours to Long Island, New York to the South Shore of New Jersey and back.”

While I find the best way to see the world to be on my feet jogging, Brooklyn’s Anthony Latorre has been exploring a variety of places peddling his way along the back roads of small towns and scenic villages.

“I enjoyed my bike tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which was quite an experience,” he said.

Latorre will also supplement his fitness routine with regular walks of 15 miles or more per week.

“I’m a professional musician who’s approaching 60 years of age and I need to be more concerned than ever with my health in order to enjoy the years ahead,” Latorre said.  “I’m careful not to eat junk food and I will stay with a low salt intake.”

Latorre plays drums and backup vocals in a band called Neptune-Jam and his group can be found by going to www.neptunejam.com.

“We play three or four times a week and our music consist of Rock, Reggae, Blues, Jazz and Country,” he said.

Each year Latorre will celebrate his birthday by riding his age.

“It’s my way of felling good about getting older to be able to ride my age in miles,” he said.  “I don’t own a car and my primary means of getting around is cycling, walking or taking the subway.”

But there are dangers being a cyclist in New York according to Latorre.

“One of the biggest problems in the city is people opening car doors with looking,” Latorre said.  “I was hit recently by a car coming out to fast from his driveway.  Luckily I just got a couple of bruises.”

It’s interesting to meet new people, especially when wearing a Big Island running tee shirt.  Over the years I have meet a variety of strangers by wearing Hawai’i Island race shirts and this year is no exception as meeting Anthony Latorre is one of the highlights of my Big Apple stop over.

“I have wonderful memories of visiting Honolulu in 2001 and again in 2004,” Latorre said.  “I’m hoping I can make it back there again someday and hopefully visit the Big Island.”

Next stop for Randee and the Big Dog is Frankfurt, Germany as we embark on a three week run/walk/jog through Central Europe.

And someday should you happen to see a tall, slightly tanned jogger wearing a Big Island Running Company tee shirt remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

June 20, 2011 - Posted by | Profiles | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You always seem to meet the most interesting people on your travels as well as at home.
    I know just what u mean about people coming up to talk with u when wearing a racing shirt from Hawaii.
    It has happened to me when I was in Thailand a few weeks ago. Just started up a conversation about Hawaii..Everyone wants to know what it is like to live here..The best place in all the world.

    Comment by Tom | June 20, 2011 | Reply

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