Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Mt. View’s Chuck Yogi looking to live till age 115

Chuck Yogi with track photo

Are we limiting ourselves when we set a goal of living to be 100?

According to 92 year old Chuck Yogi from Mountain View we are doing just that.

“I read an article in National Geographic that said we should set our age goals higher,” Yogi said.  “I’m looking at living to be 115 years of age.”

Yogi is correct in his assumption as much of the research done on the subject of aging indicates the body was built to last 120 years and by mentally projecting a life span of 100 we may be short changing ourselves.

Yogi got his start in sports as a freshman at Mt. View Intermediate School when he was recruited to run high school track for Hilo.

“One of the coaches at Hilo asked if I was interested in running for the team,” Yogi said.  “I was a little nervous at first as I didn’t want to waste my time if I wasn’t going to travel with the varsity team.”

It was back in 1936 that this young 9th grader made the varsity traveling squad for the Vikings as a one mile distance runner.

“It was fun traveling back in the old days,” Yogi said.  “We’d take the Cattle Boat from Hualalai to Maui and it would take all day.”

It was also back in the days that everyone ran on dirt tracks, without spike shoes, and no one was able to break the 5 minute barrier in the Territory of Hawaii according to Yogi.

“I was able to run 5:02 which made me one of the fastest runners during the 1930’s,” he said.

Yogi continued his love for running far beyond his high school days, as he ran at Sacramento Junior College, and then later transferred to Iowa State.

“My college and educational plans were interrupted at the start of World War II,” Yogi said.  “It was necessary for me to return to Oahu to work in the naval fueling station at Red Hill.”

After the war Yogi continued to run competitively in the island winning 72 gold medals in his age group over a span of several decades.

“I eventually converted myself from a distance runner to a sprinter,” he said.  “Most of my medals have come in the 100 and 200 yard dashes and the 4×100 relays.”

Yogi spent nearly 40 years living on Oahu and most of those years were as the Customer Service Representative for Times Super Market.

“While I was working at Times I trained the owners of KTA, Richard and Tony Taniguchi, in customer service,” Yogi said.  “I helped them with ideas in taking care of their elderly customers to increase business.”

Today Yogi is a regular shopper at KTA where he drives in from Mt. View every Wednesday and Sunday to do his shopping.

“When I come in on Sunday’s I also go over to McDonald’s where I treat myself to a hamburger,” Yogi admitted.  “It is something I look forward to and it has become a regular part of my life.”

Yogi stopped competing in racing a couple of years ago, but still stays active by walking two miles every other day.

“I stretch every night before I go to bed,” he said.  “The stretching helps me get ready for the next day.”

Yogi’s stretching routine includes knees to the chest, straight leg exercises and shoulder exercises.

“Part of living well means reducing the amount of stress in your life,” Yogi said.  “We all need to learn to practice patience, learn compassion for other, understand and don’t grumble and never be in a rush.”

For diet Yogi admits to having some weakness, but overall has a high fiber, healthy daily diet.

“I treat myself to a slice of pizza and a bowl of chili once a week, along with my Sunday hamburger,” Yogi said.

Every morning Yogi will have a half papaya, along with a small sweet potato.

“I need the papaya and sweet potato to keep everything flowing in my body,” he said with a grin.

Yogi will list black grapes and cherries as his favorite and will eat fish on a daily basis.

“I will have some sort of citrus on a regular bases and will have a very light lunch,” he said.

Yogi claims that he has lost three inches in height through the aging process, along with ten pounds.

“I now weigh 130 pounds and they tell me that I’m 5’ 3”,” he said.

In December Mr. Chuck Yogi will turn 93 years of age and appears to be in great health with a positive, stress free attitude.

Whether or not Chuck Yogi makes it to 115 years of age, one thing for sure, he is certainly making the most of the time he has.

And someday should you happen to see a tall, thin jogger come passing through the back roads of East Hawaii remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


September 19, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Barnett wins Peace Festival 5K Race – Complete Results from Honokaa


    First Annual Peace Festival 5km Run Results

    1. Billy Barnett (20-29)17:22
    2. Jason Braswell (30-39)                   17:53
    3. Lyman Perry (40-49                         18:50
    4. Tony Connors (15-19)                     19:34
    5. Jason Thorpe (40-49)                      19:45
    6. Zackary Waian (20-29)                    20:10
    7. Steve Pavao (50-59)                        20:28
    8. Patrick Leatherman (20-29)         21:43
    9. Gavin Laird (15-19)                          22:14
    10. Riston Matias (15-19)                     22:26
    11. Anthony Aguirre (15-19)               22:38
    12. David Robinson (15-19)                 22:41
    13. Isaac Angelo (15-19)                       23:08
    14. Jhumar Coboson (15-19)               23:31
    15. Devin Hays (15-19)                          24:02
    16. Seanry Agbayani (15-19)               24:07
    17. John Hines (50-59)                           24:21
    18. Andrew Langtry (40-49)                                24:34
    19. Chayce Moniz (15-19)                    24:43
    20. Jordan Kube (30-39)                       24:55
    21. Allie Shiraki (15-19)                          25:43
    22. Kelly Greenwell (15-19)                 25:51
    23. Josh Abner (20-29)                          26:08
    24. Heidi Schmidgall (20-29)                26:15 (#1 woman)           
    25. Elizabeth Aguirre (15-19)              31:27
    26. Abigail Andrade (under 15)          31:28
    27. Archie Hapai (60-69)                       32:44
    28. Steve Hanks (40-49)                        32:47
    29. Hoolaea Andrade (30-39)             33:04
    30. Jay Boughanem (30-39)                 33:37
    31. Jorgen Nelson (30-39)                    35:03
    32. Cullen Andrade (under 15)          39:03
    33. Kristina Dumova (20-29)                46:21

       34.     Jo Kim (50-59)                                    54:37

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keaau Athlete, Maka’ala Lum Ho, Remembered

KEAAU – “A mile to remember,” is how Greg Lum Ho explains it.

Lum Ho and over 200 people, some teary eyed, came out on Friday to remember by walking or jogging a mile distance in honor of Maka’ala Lum Ho a Keaau High School 16 year old whose life was abruptly ended on June 6, 2011 in an ocean kayak accident.

“Our run/walk was totally informal today,” Maka’ala’s dad Greg said.  “That’s how Maka would have wanted it to be, so there will be no results, just a time for all of us to reflect on a person that everyone was glad to have as a friend.”

The Lum Ho family attended with mother Imelda and younger brother Kahaku both doing the walk.

“I couldn’t believe when we were told Maka had died,” Kahaku said.  “It wasn’t till we went to the hospital and I saw his body that it hit me, but I tried to be brave and didn’t cry.”

It’s been hard on the Lum Ho family and 9th grader Kahaku is finding it difficult to even talk about the passing of his older brother.

Kahaku, Greg and Imelda Lum Ho

“It wasn’t until some friends started talking about Maka that I broke down and cried,” a teary eyed Kahaku said.  “As the days go by it gets better but I think about him every day.”

The Maka Mile was also a fundraiser for the Cougar cross country team to help defray part of their travel cost to the state championships at the end of October.

The tee shirts that were given out to the participants read “MakaFulu” which the dad had written to include his son’s name along with his best friend’s name, SeFulu Faavae, a Waiakea basketball player.

“I knew Maka since 7th grade,” Faavae said.  “We played together in the Parks and Recreation league and we would talk stories about lots of different things.

“Maka had a way of making people smile and he always knew what to say,” she said.

Maka’ala, which translates into vigilant or watchful, according to the dad, it also means Gregory.

“Maka’s grandfather and I are named Gregory and we wanted to give him the Hawaiian version of the name,” Lum Ho said.

Maka’s mile started and ended on the schools track and weaved its way around the campus; pass the tennis courts and the gymnasium.

The course was designed to pass by the three areas in which Maka’ala lettered in sports for the Cougars: cross country, tennis and basketball.

“Yes, Maka played tennis,” Lum Ho said with a partial grin. 

Lum Ho came up with the concept of remembering his son with a mile run/walk through his deployment to Afghanistan.

“When I was deployed with the 10th Mountain Division we did an annual Mogadishu Mile in honor of the events detailed in Black Hawk Down,” Lum Ho said.  “It is a way for people to remember and this is a way for people to remember Maka’ala in their own way.”

Lum Ho, who is the assistant cross country coach, recalled his son’s love for sports.

“If Maka could run just one mile, he would,” Lum Ho said.  “The distance is something most people can do either by running or by walking and it is not intimidating to those not used to working out.”

While contemplating how he should design the course, Lum Ho took the advice of Cougar head cross country coach, Donna Wong Yuen.

“Donna told me to let Maka’ala guide me in figuring out how to lay out the mile course,” Lum Ho said.  “The route was actually presented to me by Maka’ala as I let him guide my heart.”

“Maka was funny and charismatic,” Coach Wong Yuen said.  “A very talented and gifted athletic that enjoyed talking story more than he did practicing cross country.  That’s why a mile would be something he would be willing to do, quite easily.”

Although the event wasn’t meant to be competitive some high school cross country runners turned it into a race with Waiakea’s Jackson Halford edging out St. Joseph’s Andrew Langtry in a time of 5 minutes 48 seconds.

“I didn’t know Maka personally,” Halford said after the mile run, “but thought I’d come out here and honor another fellow runner.”

The first female across the finish line was a Cougar cross country teammate of Maka, Deann Nishimura-Thornton, in 7:40.

“One mile sounds like Maka,” Nishimura-Thornton said.  “He ran cross country to help him get into shape for basketball and it did help him become a very good player.”

According to Nishimura-Thornton it was Maka’ala’s dream to someday play college ball at North Carolina.

“Maka had a real passion for basketball and it showed when he played,” Nishimura-Thornton said.  “He had a great attitude and always had positive things to say in encouraging his teammates.”

Prior to the event Lum Ho, who is a Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserves, addressed the large crowd with a tearful description of his son.

“I’ve never been known as a person who liked titles,” he said. “But the greatest title that I ever had in the world was being known as Maka’ala’s dad.”

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/maka-mile-photos-from-keaau-high-school-on-9-16-11/

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment