Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Former UH Rainbow Track Star, Clarence Andrade, still going strong 60 years later

Clarence Andrade

I’m always impressed with the number of people living on this island that have accomplished so much in sports, both at the high school and collegiate level.

Recently I interviewed a man that excelled in track while attending the University of Hawaii.

“They were called the Rainbows back then,” Clarence Andrade said with pride.  “In 1952 I won the mile and two mile Junior AAU events and the following year I won the Senior AAU 1500 meter title.”

During Andrade’s tenure at UH he was a member of the winning 2 mile, 4 mile, and medley relays at a time when it was called the Rainbow Relays.

Andrade was also a former mile record holder for the Rainbows, but his road to success was filled with challenges.

“As a youngster I was not active in youth sports except for neighborhood games in softball, touch football and basketball,” Andrade said.

Back in those early days Andrade was a latchkey kid as both his parents worked.

“After walking home from grade school I had to remain within the confines of our home the rest of the day,” he said.  “That accounts for my late start in athletics.”

Besides the limited exposure to sports at an early age Andrade had no real role models in cross country or road racing.

“Distance running was absent in Hilo as the only people that would run outside of the track season were boxers doing their road workouts,” Andrade said.  “The running revolution for competition or health reasons was years away.”

From 1947 to 1950 Andrade attended Hilo High where he had his first competitive experiences in track.

“High school track at the time had a very diluted season,” he said.  “The season consisted of two meets, one at Konawaena on a grass five lap per mile track surrounding the baseball diamond and the other meet on the Hilo cinder oval.”

The Country Park and Recreation Department ran two island wide group track meets on the Hilo track following the high school season, but the emphasis was placed on sprints, the jumps and throwing events.

Andrade graduated from Hilo High in 1950 and believes that track died in East Hawaii in 1951 before being revived later into a solid sports program.

“I ran three years for the Vikings where I was a two year letterman, winning the mile one year and placing second another year,” Andrade said.

According to Andrade there was no Territorial Championship and his idol was another Hilo High track runner, Harold Furtado.

“Harold was the first person in Hawaii, 1948, to run the mile in under five minutes and I was the second, two years later,” Andrade said.

Andrade received his Bachelor of Science Degree for UH Manoa and went on to spend 32 years in Social Work with many of those years being spent in the Correctional Services field.

When Andrade retired in from state service in 1987 at age 55 Andrade he continued to coach swimming and track for another 10 years until taking up race walking winning many medals at various State competitions.

“Running on a competitive level became a problem for me because the training demands I made on myself was too much for my body,” Andrade said. 

Instead of running Andrade excelled in race walking and from 1996 to 2002 won many medals at the Aloha State Games  as well as the Senior Olympics on Oahu.

This 79 years young retiree now continues with his twice a day walking program and has not missed a day of walking in many years.

“During adverse weather conditions, or in the absence of training facilities, I will do my walking in hotel hallways, malls or airport terminals,” he said.  “I don’t allow anything to get in the way of doing my walks.”

Andrade abstains from alcohol, nicotine and caffeine and takes care of his body by carefully watching what goes into it.

“I love to eat and therefore am doomed to continue workouts to the end of my ambulatory days,” he said with a grin.

For breakfast Andrade will alternate oatmeal with a multi grain cooked cereal adding a variety of seeds, berries and nuts.

“I like flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and cran or blue berries,” he said.  “I’ll add non-fat yogurt, low fat milk and sometimes a little fruit juice for change of taste.”

Lunch is light for Andrade and dinner is always left to his wife’s discretion.

“My wife is always very meticulous about seeing to it that we have proper balanced and nutritious meals,” he said.  “We have lots of fresh veggies with tofu, poultry or fish, pasta once a week and red meats are a scarce item.”

Andrade will add to his walking and healthy diet weight lifting and modified puss up, three times per week and badminton with a slamming senior group twice per week.  

“I’ll do stretching each morning upon arising plus stomach crunches three times per week,” Andrade said.  “Another important requirement for living a healthy life is getting a good night’s sleep.”

Clarence Andrade, as he approaches 80, is doing everything right in living a healthy lifestyle full of moderate exercise and rich in a rainbow diet.

And someday should you happen to see a former Rainbow jogging through 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.

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October 12, 2011 - Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , ,

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