Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant, Kelly Sohriakoff, loves to run

Kelly Sohriakoff

As parents we need to teach our children, but we should also be open to learn from them as well.

For 40 year old, Kelly Sohriakoff, her interest in running began when her daughter, Jade, joined the Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s cross country team four years ago.

“My two younger daughters started Kindergarten and first grade on the same year Jade joined the cross country team and I would do short runs while they were all in school,” Sohriakoff said.

Schriakoff grew up in Hilo and her forms of exercise were on the dance floor.

“I took up dancing Hula with Johnny Lum Ho from grade school up until my senior year in high school, she said.  I took ballet as well and I’d go to the gym a lot after school and on with weeks during my high school years.   My dad was a police officer and I’d workout with him in the gym, but I never played any organized high school sports.”

Born and raised in Hilo, Sohriakoff is a 1989 graduate of Waiakea High School and moved away from the Big Island shortly thereafter.

“My husband and I moved back to the Big Island nine years ago as our dream was to raise our family here,” Schriakoff said.

The Sohriakoff family currently resides in Waimea as both commute to opposite sides of the island to work.

“My husband, Mike Sohriakoff Jr. commutes to Hilo to work as he is a Fire Rescue Specialist at the Waiakea Fire Station,” she said.  “He is also the assistant wrestling coach to Gary Jarvill at HPA.”

Kelly Sohriakoff has been a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines for the past 20 years where her primary route is to the West Coast, Japan and to Korea.

“Flying sure takes a toll on my body,” Sohriakooff said.  “No matter how long I’ve been doing it, it’s the jetlag that I never get used to.  When I come home from a long, back of the clock flight, one good night of sleep will usually put me back on track.”

As Sohriakoff began to approach age 40 she started setting her sight on running her first marathon, a distance of 26.2 miles.

“I promised myself last year, that on the year that I turn 40, which was 2011, I would complete the Hilo Half Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon,” she said.  “I was pleased with my time of 2 hours 6 minutes for the Hilo Half run and also pleased with my time of 4:44 for the Honolulu Marathon.”

Sohriakoff not only set her sights on running her first marathon, but wanted to finish it less than 5 hours.

“My training for the marathon was to continue with cross training three times weekly and to do three runs a week with one of them being a long run,” she said.

Sohriakoff also added in several hill repeat workouts and in the last two months of her training added in some sprint sessions on the HPA track for good measure.

Sohriakoff minimized the effects of flying by packing healthy meals from home for her long flights of 5 to 10 hours.

“You have to be very disciplined to continue to eat healthy while traveling,” Sohriakooff said.  “I made it a point of packing those healthy meals from home so that I could continue to eat healthy where ever I may be.”

At home Sohriakoff will stay away from carbohydrates, sugars, dairy, beans and legumes with no refined foods.

“I pretty much stay as much paleo as possible,” Sohriakoof said.  “I eat veggies/fruits, eggs, nuts, fish, chicken, other meats and drink lots of water.”

Having what she describes as a sweet tooth Sohriakoff will bake what she craves.

“Any sweets that I crave I’ll bake myself,” she said.  “I’ll bake simple cookies from coconut or almond flour, eggs, coconut oil and a little agave nectar.”

Sohriakoff’s interest in running, which stemmed from her daughters involvement in cross country four years ago has now blossomed into a passion.

“I’ve done a few 5K’s and 10K’s within the past few years and I loved the Hilo Half Marathon which is such a beautiful and scenic run,” she said.  “What I’m most excited about is the Portland Hood to Coast Relay in August 2012, of which I am the team Captain.”

Portland’s Hood to Coast Relay is the world’s longest relay run and starts at Mount Hood and ends 200 miles later in a town called Seaside.

“Out of 2,500 teams that entered our team was one of the 1,050 entries chosen,” Sohriakoff said.  Twelve of us, from 3 different areas will travel to Oregon in August for this exciting event.”

With her new found love for running Sohriakoff hopes to continue with her early morning runs in Waimea, usually starting at 5 or 5:30 am.

“Yes, I start in the dark, with headlamps, and to me starting in the early morning gives me a ton of energy to last me the entire day,” she said.  “If my day ends up on the West Coast or even in another country, it is the energy that I surely need a lot of!”

Sohriakoff used that passion that daughter Jade has for running and has transformed it into her own lifestyle change.

So it’s true, we can all learn something from our children.

And someday should you happen to see a lifelong learner jogging the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”


January 16, 2012 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments