Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Random photos for the Salute to the Veterans race held on the 4th of July 2012

Click onto any photo to enlarge



Mahalo to host Marlene and Archie Hapai.

All photo’s taken by International Model and my daughter Jaclynn Joseph

July 4, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , | 2 Comments

Chris Gregory edges Zach Johnson to win the Hilo Bay 10K run








Chris Gregory






Zach Johnson






Lyman Perry






Justin Pang






Paul Mauser






Stewart Miyashiro






Michael Daly






Nick Hagemann






Rob Van Geen






Andrew M Langtry






Kelly Freitas






Ray Ibarra






Raadha Jacobstein






Nikolai Shumov






Bill Golisch






Robert Belcher






Tim Orr






Charles Bostwick






Aaron Morita






Lynne Brauher






Anne Veillet






David Hammes






Jennifer Orr






Rick Otani






Jodi Kawakami






Archie Hapai






Joy Silbermann






Lisa Turner






Charlie Heaukulani






Nikole Morris






Lee Otani






Anthony Nolta






Kelley Heaukulani





September 14, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Salute to the Veterans – Honor the Dead by Helping the Living

Post 3830

    “Honor the Dead by Helping the Living” is the slogan by the Veterans of Foreign Wars headed by Commander George Kelly from Post 3830 in Pahoa.

Kelly and his group of Veterans and their spouses will be hosting a 5K (3.1 mile) run or walk on Sunday, June 18, to raise money for the many services they provide to our veterans.

A Salute to our Veterans title and idea came from a group effort in looking for the right name to call their 5K run/walk.  The Vets looked at a variety of titles, including “The Hilo Bay 5K” before deciding on the Salute to the Veterans title.

“We wanted to do something special in connection with the VFW state convention being held in Hilo from June 16 to 18,” event organizer Marlene Hapai said. “From my canvassing the Puna district and attending a few of their breakfast meeting it was obvious this was a group of people willing to do anything and everything to help their fellow veterans.”

VFW post 3830 is located in Nanawale Estates in lower Puna will host veterans and members of the community for breakfasts twice a month and a dinner once a month for a nominal fee.

“Most of our funding comes out of our own pockets,” Kelly said. 

Presently Post 3830 is located in a small 24’x80’ building that services everyone from Veterans to members of the community and on busy days many people need to sit outside.

“This run/walk will help raise money to expand our facility and to add a Class A kitchen, showers and an office,”  race director Marlene Hapai said.

Kelly, who is presently undergoing chemotherapy, will start the race and will be pushed in his wheelchair by another veteran, Archie Hapai of Kurtistown.

“I’ve been diagnosed with B cell lymphoma,” Kelly said.  “I got the cancer from serving in Vietnam from 1965 to ’66 when they were using Agent Orange.”

Kelly served our country in the Marine Corp for “4 years 3 months and 29 days” and was honorably discharged as an enlisted man, sergeant.

“We’d like to expand our facility in order to have more space so that we can bring doctors, dentists and other services for our Puna vets,” Kelly  said.

According to  Kelly  many of our veterans still live in the woods and under tarps.    The 2010 census revealed that there are 2,300 displaced veterans with 1,300 of them living in the Puna district.

“Displaced is a government word for saying that those Vets are not homeless, but in all likely hood they are living in sub standard housing and are having a difficult time making the transition to civilian life,” Kelly said.

The new facility will become the Pahoa Veterans Outreach Center and will expand to its original conceived idea of what the post was supposed to be.

“We were to have two buildings but the lack of funding prevented us from having a facility that could help the amount of vets that live out here,” Kelly said.

Kelly believes that those in Washington D.C. thinks that Hawaii is the island of Oahu as the Big Island is often overlooked when it comes to government dollars.

“We have over 4,000 vet patients and only three doctors to care for them,” Kelly said.  “We kept complaining and made out voices heard in Washington and now they’ve allocated funding for an additional doctor.”

The Salute to Veterans 5K run/walk is an attempt by the post to raise some money to help those that served our country and are living on the Big Island.

Prizes will be given to participants who have the best decorated wheelchair, most patriotically dressed, to the youngest and oldest participants and for those that came from farthest away, according to Hapai.

Awards will also go to the fastest three in a variety of age and gender groupings.

“We will also recognize the largest team participating,”   Hapai said.

The goal for event directors is to have at least 200 participants and the Veterans groups is also looking for sponsors in their quest to reach a goal of $250,000 by the summer of 2013.

“I recommended a two year fund raising campaign that would coincide with the 75th anniversary of the VFW in Hawaii to raise money to build the rest of their building and increase their services,” Hapai said.

For all their hard work and outstanding community service Post 3830 will be recognized in August at the national level as the “National Most outstanding Community service Post for 2010 to 2011,” according to Kelly.

“Our vets and their Ladies Auxiliary have put in over 12,000 hours of community service and is well deserving of this award,” Kelly said.

For the 5K run/walk Hapai is hoping that 200 plus people will participate in the fitness event in order to recognize the contribution these men and women have made to their country and their community.

“We are only at 25 percent of our goal and we are hoping that the community will come out and support our vets by participating in a health and fitness event,” Hapai said.

Race information as follows: 

Marlene Hapai

What?  "A Salute to Our Veterans" Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk
When?  Saturday, June 18th, Begins at 7:00 a.m. Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Registration: Early Bird Registration Extended to June 5th: $25
includes T-shirt; After June 5th, $35.
Registration Forms can be picked up at the post, emailed to you or downloaded from the website: vfwpost3830.com
Contact information: Marlene Hapai, Event Coordinator, 966-9894 or mhapai@aol.com

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Events, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Puna’s Archie Hapai an Ironman Original

Archie Hapai

       “All my successes have been built on my failures,” Benjamin Disraeli said.

For Puna’s Archie Hapai learning from a failure brought him unique gratification and the ability to say that he is one of the few and an original.

In January 1978 Hapai attempted to swim the Molokai Channel from Ilio Point on Molokai to Sandy Beach on Oahu.

“I belonged to the Humuhumunukumukuapuaa Swim Club and they asked me to give the 26 mile distance swim a try,” Hapai said.

Hapai estimated that, with weather permitting, the challenging swim would take him about 13 hours.

“I had been training from September 1977 till January to teach my body to go the entire 26 miles,” Hapai said.

After 12 hours in the water Hapai caught sight of Sandy Beach and was looking at completing something that few before him had ever accomplished.

“The current started pushing me back in the final hour and I lost sight of Sandy’s,” Hapai said.  “I wasn’t able to get ashore and became a DNF (did not finish).  It was heartbreaking.”

A month later Hapai was holding his chin high as he attempted what no one before him had ever done.

“I swam the 2.4 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim from San Souci Beach to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, and then rode my bike 112 miles in the Oahu Century Ride from Duke Kahanamoku Beach around parts of Oahu to Aloha Tower,” Hapai explained.  “This was followed by a 26 mile Honolulu Marathon run from Aloha Tower to Kapiolani Park.”

Hapai did all of the three distances in one day along with 11 other people to complete the first Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon in 1978, making him an ‘original’.

“I don’t remember all of the reasons I did the Iron Man,” Hapai said.  “But not finishing the Molokai to Oahu swim along with the faith of my fellow club swimmers probably had something to do with it.”

Back in February ’78 there were no crowds cheering the original 12 on and no money bet between the racers as the entire event was made through each person’s own inner strength and determination.

“The challenge was to finish the three legs and determine who were the best athletes overall: swimmers, bikers or runners,” Hapai said. 

On that day in Feb. ’78 there were 15 men that started the race, no women, and three had to drop out because they ran out of time and needed to get to work.

“We had to pace ourselves as I knew it was going to be a very long day,” Hapai said.

What started as a beautiful sunny day during the swim turned into a heavy downpour when the bikers reached Haleiwa.

“I remember riding through the Haleiwa Sea Spree, a carnival/fair at about midday and having to dodge the potholes in the road,” Hapai said.

Hapai also recalled running on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki with tourist on the sidewalks he needed to be on the street.

“Running on the road we had to endure cars honking at us and yelling things like ‘get off the street you idiot’,” Hapai said.

Through Hapai’s self determination and inner strength he was able to complete the entire race and is now referred to as one of the original Iron Men.

Today, at age 64, Hapai remains healthy and active through regular physical exercise and his love for the water.

“I swim 240 minutes, will jog 90 minutes, do pushups, chin ups, abdominal core exercises for 30 minutes, each and every week,” Hapai said.

Hapai is a retired Army Veteran who spent 25 years in the military and is a decorated Vietnam Veteran awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Commendation Medal and the National Defense Medal.

Because of his military service and his love for his country Hapai is helping to put on a 5K  run/walk called A Salute to Our Veterans at Hilo Bay on Saturday, June 18.

“We’re helping the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3830 to try to raise funds to expand facilities and programs to meet the rapidly growing needs of Puna’s veteran population,” Hapai said.

Hapai explained that a 2010 census identified 2,300 displaced veterans on the Big Island with 1,300 of them residing in the Puna District.

“Basic medical, hygienic and social services to improve their quality of life are desperately needed,” Hapai said.  “The expansion of our VFW Post will enable our dedicated volunteers to help these veterans who have done so much to help others.”

Hapai would like to encourage the public to attend this run/walk event as his wife, Marlene is the Event Coordinator.

For more information email Marlene at mhapai@aol.com or call 966-9894.

For registration, sponsorship and convention forms go to the Post 3830 website at www.vfwpost3830.com and click on ‘Convention and Run 2011’.

“Our website has been recognized nationally as the VFW’s second Most Outstanding Website,” Hapai said.  “The services we provide range from addressing everyday veteran transportation, medical, food and housing needs to coordinating and contributing to maintenance, care and educational programs for veterans, youth, elderly, Special Olympians and cancer patients.”

And someday should you happen to see a fortunate veteran running along the roadside remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Profiles, Swimming in Hawaii | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lover’s Day 5K raises 488 pounds of canned goods for Food Pantry in HPP

Start of Lover's Day 5K with 302 participants

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and Big Dog Productions got a head start on the big day by hosting a Lover’s Day 5K on Sunday.

Over 300 people showed up to either run, walk or jog the 3.1-mile scenic course along the coast of Hilo Bay, setting a new record for Big Dog Productions number of participants..

With the theme being Lover’s Day the Big Dog decided to add a new twist to the fitness event by offering a special recognition award to couples that held hands while covering the 5K distance.

It was a pleasant surprise to see so many couples eager to take advantage of the novel idea.  Duo’s volunteered to have their wrists tied together with yarn in order to keep with the Lover’s Day theme.

Couples held hands while doing the 3.1 mile event

A couple from Kenai River in Alaska, Cindy and Jim Nelson, jogged the entire distance to set the record for fastest time for a couple holding hands, with their finishing time of 36 minutes and 35 seconds.

“We’re in love,” Cindy Nelson said after the race.  “Just like love we keep on running together.”

According to Jim Nelson the event was his Valentine’s Day present to his wife.

“We enjoy doing things together and we got motivated when we did the Big Dog Resolution Run on Jan 1,” Jim Nelson said.  “We’ve been running almost every day since the New Year and will continue to do so.”

Another couple, Archie and Marlene Hapai, wanted to try something new in order to create another memory together.

“We’ve been married for 39 years and we just wanted to see if we could do it and have another crazy memory to share,” Marlene Hapai said.

The Hapai’s believe that to keep a relationship together takes daily work.

“We do little things for each other and we take an interest in and actively participate in each other’s interests,” Archie Hapai said.

Another couple that decided to join in on the hand holding fun was Steve and Andrea Sparks from Puna. 

“Part of doing this walk together is a comeback of sorts for us,” Andrea said.  “This is going to be the start of our goal in doing a walking event every month.”

“We always hold hands or join at the elbows wherever we go,” Steve said.  “Today is a memorable event for us as we met people from all over the country.”

Other couples doing the event holding hands included Davis Abraham and Stacey Kapeliela, James and Nancy Iaukea, along with Shane, Noah and Malia Johnston.

The event was more about couples than it was about individual runners, but there were your usual cast of serious men and women who wanted to test their harrier skills while getting a good cardiovascular workout.

5K overall winners

Leading the pack from the very start was University of Hawaii at Hilo cross country runners Zach Johnson and Kirsta Andrew.

“I ran with teammate Paul Mauser for most of the way,” Johnson said.  “We didn’t separate until the half way turn around point and after that I was running by myself.”

Johnson finished in 17 minutes and 57 seconds and was followed by Tyde Kaneshiro, 18:04; Justin Pang, 18:07, Isaiah Sato, 18:23; Jackson Halford, 18:59; and Mauser came in sixth at 19:02.

For the women it was Andrew running with Vulcan coach Nina Hagemann as the two decided to stay together in the early going.

“I ran with Nina for most of the race and we didn’t separate until we saw the finish line, about 50 meters in front,” Andrew said.  “At that point I started my kick.”

Andrew took top women honors with her time of 22 minutes flat and Hagemann coming in three seconds behind.  Hilo’s Lory Hunter took third at 23:07.

Eakins & Wagner

Kamehameha School parents, teachers and staff decided to participate under the direction and leadership of Zeeny Eakins and Bob Wagner.

“We did the New Years Day Resolution run/walk and wanted to try to do another event outside of work,” Eakins said.  “We had about 40 from the Kamehameha ohana and everyone had a smile on their face when they finished.”

“We’re happy to come out and do something for the community,” Wagner said.  “Giving canned goods to the Food Basket is a great cause and coming out to get some exercise for our bodies is a positive way to stay health and fit for our own families.”


The event raised a total of 488 pounds of canned food items for the Hawaiian Paradise Park Food Pantry, with some participants donating cash to help the islands Food Basket.


Coming up on Sunday, March 20, is the 14th annual Big Island International Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K run/walk.

Both the full marathon (26.2 miles) and half marathon (13.1 miles) have been sold out since January 3, but there are nearly 90 remain slots for the 5K (3.1 mile) event.

Those interested in participating in the 5K should sign up soon because once those remaining slots are taking the 5K will also be closed.

To sign up go to www.hilomarathon.org or for more information on the event or on how to volunteer call the Big Dog at 969-7400.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/big-dogs-lovers-5k-sets-participant-record-of-302-official-results/

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment