Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Big Island International Marathon Closes Half Marathon Registration

March 20, 2011 half marathon SOLD OUT


The Big Island International Marathon is no longer accepting applications for its 13.1 mile half marathon as all the slots have been sold.  Anyone mailing in applications for the half marathon will have their entry returned.

The full marathon still has a hand full of available slots and the 5K run or walk has many available openings.  The BIIM will continue to accept full marathon applications until those slots are filled and 5K registration will be taken on line and by mail in entries as well as  during packet pick up at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel from noon to 6 pm on March 19, 2011.

For additional information call (808) 969-7400 or email waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

The 2012 race will be held on March 18 and limits have been set on the marathon and half marathon events so please register early.

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Island International Marathon Early Bird Nov 1st

The 14th Annual Big Island International Marathon scheduled for March 20, 2011 is many months away, but the deadline to save 50 percent off anyone of their three races is only days away.

Each year the marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) afford participants half off the entry fee by signing up early.

To receive the discount participants must mail in their entries and have it postmarked no later than Nov 1st, according to BIIM treasurer David Hammes.

Hammes, also known as the “tortoise” because of his high level of perseverance and lack of speed finishing, is one of only four people who have done the 13 previous full marathon races.

“I may be slow, but I finish whatever I start,” Hammes said.

Along with Hammes are Hilo’s D.J. Blinn and Kona’s Ken “Cowman” Shirk along with the only woman, Hilo’s Marie Kuramoto, who have completed all the previous BIIM races.

Kuramoto, a cancer survivor and in her mid 60’s, has for a number of years, been donating the entry fees for two high school kids in need. 


“Hilo is my favorite marathon course in the state,” Kuramoto said.  “My providing entry fee for two kids each year is just my way of giving back to the sport that I love.”

The original Hilo Marathon went from 1975 to 1987 before disappearing until 1997 when businessmen Roland Higashi of Creative Arts and George Miyashiro of Jack’s Tours recruited the help of Karl Kunz and the Big Dog to design and host another 26.2 mile race for East Hawaii.

Kunz was partially responsible for designing the new marathon course which takes runners and walkers from Pepeekeo, along the 4 mile scenic drive, and follows along Hilo Bayfront until heading out to the National Guard Armory, out to Keaukaha and Kings Landing before returning to Bayfront.

Instrumental in measuring and certifying the course is HELCO engineer, Curt Beck, who meticulously measured every inch in order to have the course certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

Three years ago BIIM added a half marathon and it was Beck who again went out and measured the course to have the half certified as well.

“The half marathon has turned out to be our most popular race which has sold out in each of the previous two years,” Beck said.

Adding to the morning of events is a 3.1 mile walk or run which takes participants along Hilo Bay out to the Ice Ponds and back to Bayfront.

The full marathon entry cost is $80, the half is $60 and the 5K is $25, but anyone who signs up between now and Nov 1st that mails in their entries can take 50 percent off that entry fee.

Of course nothing can ever be accomplished without the hundreds of volunteers that continue to support the BIIM event.

Since 2004 Waiakea’s Kari Sato has been providing the ‘student’ power that number just a few Key Clubbers in the early years to over a hundred in recent times.

Key Club

The Waiakea Key Club managed eight of the fourteen aid station during the 2010 race and have once again agreed to provide support.

Other school groups that have volunteered to help along with the Waiakea Key Club and Interact Club are Hilo High Key Club, Hilo Intermediate Builders and the Waiakea Intermediate Builders.

”We keep helping because we know the need for community service is there and because the runners are always so appreciative,” Sato said. 

Sato also enjoys having her members get up close to seeing a marathon and the effort put forth in those that participate.

“Many in our group will probably never see a marathon because they are not runners,” she said.  “This is a good project for us because it is different from most of our other projects.  This one involves more than just direct manpower and supervisory assistance as we get to interact with the running participants, up-close and personal.”

More than 900 runners are expected in the March 20, 2011 race with over 300 people behind the scenes making it possible to put on a quality event.

If you’d like to take part in this event remember, you can save half off the price of admission by filling out your entry application now and mailing it in prior to the Nov. 1st deadline.

Last year the full marathon and half marathon sold out three weeks prior to the race.


Coming up on Thursday, Nov 11, is Big Dog’s Veterans Day 5K run/walk starting at 7:30 am from the parking area of Coconut Island in Hilo.

Big Dog Productions will commemorate Veteran’s Day and honor those that served our country with a fitness walk or run with the price of admission being a canned good to be donated to the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

According to Food Basket Director, Alton Nosaka, the Food Basket is in need of fruit and vegetable canned goods.

Post race refreshments will be provided by Jerry Chang and Vidration sports drinks provided by Keith Aoki of Anheuser-Busch, while supplies last.

For more information on the Vet Day event call 969-7400.

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

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Hilo Medical Center CEO, Howard Ainsley – staying fit

Howard Ainsley

Running is a fun sport which is meant to relieve stress and running a hospital is considered by management administrators to be one of the most complex, difficult and stress filled jobs known today.

Recently, at a Jerry Chang ‘fun-raiser’, I had the pleasure of sitting next to and speaking with the Regional Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii-Health System in the East Hawaii Region, Mr. Howard Ainsley.

Ainsley, who is originally from Norfolk, Virginia moved to Hilo 22 months ago to assume his new job at the Hilo Medical Center.

“My wonderful job brought me to beautiful Hilo and I love being here,” he said.

There are many things interesting about this 56 year old, but what really got my attention is his love for sports and his ability to overcome stress by staying healthy and fit.

“I first became interested in sports during primary school,” Ainsley said.   “My brother-in-law was a college basketball star/coach and he was my mentor.”

Growing up Ainsley became interested in playing both basketball and tennis and in high school he even joined the track team.

Ainsley at Western Carolina Univ

“I received a full basketball scholarship to Western Carolina University (1972-76) where I also participated in volleyball, golf and fencing,” he said.

Following college Ainsley became a high school teacher and coach at Norfolk Collegiate School for three years before spending another three years as a teacher/coach at Washington and Lee University.

Needless to say that Ainsley has set his health and fitness needs as a top priority and despite his enormously busy schedule finds the time to work out.

“The healthcare industry has essentials that are certainly focused on business acumen – finance, statistics, economy and people skills,” he said.  “Success hinges on many things, but first and foremost we are there for the patients and striving for high quality care is essential.  In healthcare you need competent, caring people, from the nursing staff to physicians to computer specialists.”

And how does this CEO find the time to exercise? 

“I believe that finding balance is key and also should factor work-outs just as one would commit to their lunchtime or dinnertime,” he said.

Nearly each and every day Ainsley will find the time to get out and work out. 

“My workouts these days generally include 1 to 2 days per week of tennis,” he said.  “I’ll cycle 5 to 10 miles 1 to 2 times per week and swimming laps 1 to 2 times per week.”

Ten years ago Ainsley participated in mini-triathlons which included a half mile swim, 26 mile bike ride and a 6.2 mile run, but ankle and knee issues along with job demands have limited his participation in those competitive activities.

“Fitness is important to me because it keeps me healthy and well,” he said.  “Literature and research indicates that longevity is related to keeping weight down, keeping stress low and the mind engaged and challenged.”

Ainsley will also take the added precaution of washing his hands regularly to avoid germs, colds and inflammation.

“My overall philosophy is generally, everything in moderation,” he said.   “Furthermore, I believe that exercise and eating well are critical to overall health and general wellness.”

Ainsley will watch what he eats as he tries to consume a low fat diet, following often along the Mediterranean diet guidelines.

“I drink alcohol in moderation and will have an occasional glass of champagne or wine,” he said.

As for future fitness related goals Ainsley keeps everything simple.

“My fitness goals these days are to keep my weight in check, to remain stress free, to build core strength and to gain more stamina,” he said.

A typical workday for this busy CEO will often exceed 10 hours, but finding the time for his workouts remain as an important commitment in his life.

Finding that balance between being a good administrator and taking good care of his body and mind are both important components in Ainsley’s life.

“Whether you are building a house, or you’re putting together a symphony, or you’re the LA Lakers, you are only as good as the people around you.  Hilo Medical Center has good people and we are building our skills for tomorrow,” Ainsley said.

Office work and the stress of the job will always be there for Ainsley and that is why he has made his personal health, fitness and well being a priority in his life.

It is reassuring to know that people in the health care industry such as Howard Ainsley actually practice what they preach in health care prevention.

We are fortunate to have Howard Ainsley and people like him in our island community.


Rapidly approaching is the deadline to save 50 percent on your entry into the 14th Annual Big Island International Marathon, to be held on March 20, 2011.  Participants who mail their entries in on or before the Nov 1 deadline can take half off the price to enter any of the three races hosted by the BIIM.  For more information go to www.hilomarathon.org or call 969-7400.

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

October 18, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment