Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog



HELCO engineer Curt Beck certified the half-marathon course

HELCO engineer Curt Beck certified the half-marathon course


    The 12th running of the Big Island International Marathon is only six days away as runners; walkers and joggers prepare to participate in what is considered by many to be one of the most scenic routes during the first half of the course.

    This year the BIIM has measured out a 13.1-mile or half-marathon course to go along with their showcased full marathon as well as a 3.1-mile walk/run.

    To measure and certify the new half-marathon course took months of preparation, according to BIIMA Course Measurer, Curtis Beck.  “The measurement of a race course is very precise, and requires the use of a 400-meter calibration course to calibrate the bicycle-counter,” Beck said.  “The calibration course was precisely measured by a survey crew at HELCO who volunteered their time:  Barbara Cooper, Iopa Maunakea, Joe Martin and Tyrel Cuyo.”

    Beck, along with expert runner and bicycling enthusiast Rob Patterson, examined three different routes for the half-marathon, with Patterson operating the bicycle-mounted counter and Beck recording and analyzing the data.  The first route would have started in Honomu and finished at the Bayfront in a simple point-to-point direction.  However, “the unpaved roads through the Honomu Gulch and the farm fields near Pepeekeo were too rough for a road course, so that idea was abandoned,” Beck said.

   The two next looked at a course that would have started in Pepeekeo and looped Banyan Drive completely before returning to the Bayfront at what is now the marathon finish line.

   “The second option proved to be about 2,000 feet too long and we could not make up the distance at the start because it would have meant starting the race on the highway, too far from the marathon start,” Beck said.

    Beck finally settled on, and with agreement from the race director and BIIM board, to start with the marathoners in Pepeekeo and run along Banyan Drive and loop back through Liliuokalani Gardens to get just the right distance.  “The turnaround on Banyan will be near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel entrance,” Beck said.

  Established back in 1997, the BIIM was the brainchild of businessmen George Miyashiro of Jack’s Tours and Roland Higashi of Creative Arts.

    Both men were looking at ways to attract more Japanese tourists to Hilo and thought that a major fitness activity might be the answer.

   The Japanese love challenges and running a full 26.2-mile marathon provides a major milestone that rewards its self-disciplined participants with a sense of accomplishment.

    Miyashiro and Higashi recruited the efforts of Karl Kunz and the Big Dog to help establish a course and to set into motion the beginnings of what has become an evolving event.

    Initially the BIIM was to host their event every October starting with the 1997 race and along with the marathon there was to be an Ekiden Relay.  But the numbers never materialized from Japan and the event never grew past a total of 200 runners during its first five years.

    Miyashiro and Kunz has long since left the BIIM and gone onto other pursuits, but Higashi continues to serve on the Board of Directors as its President and the Big Dog serves as race coordinator and as the Executive Director of the organization.

    In 2002 the Ekiden was dropped and replaced with a 10.8-mile run and a 3.1-mile run/walk which saw the numbers of participants increase.

   With this years race only days away the half-marathon has already established itself as the most popular distance, attracting 300 participants, with 240 in the marathon and another 200 in the 3.1-mile run/walk.

   In conjunction with the three races the BIIM will also host a Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.  The Expo is free and open to the public and there are a number of vendors providing free services, from massage to body fat analysis.

   Ki Mana Academy Massage, Waiakea Health & Fitness Academy, Herbalife, Podiatrist Dr. David Arkin, and Hilo Bike Hub are just a few of the many people that will be offering advice and services at the Fitness Expo.

   During the Expo there will be late registration, for those still interested in participating in one of the three races.  For those that are already registered they can come and pickup their races packets and running numbers.

   No registration will take place on race morning and only those who have registered and have running numbers will be allowed on the course.

   For more information go to www.hilomarathon.com or call 969-7400.



March 16, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , | 1 Comment


Rainy Day Winners, Ikaika Ho, Shelila De Bourmont, Johan Dan

Rainy Day Winners, Ikaika Ho, Shelila De Bourmont, Johan Dana

This past weekend saw a tropical storm blow in and dump buckets of rain onto Hilo and the rest of the state. With the cold winds blowing it gave many a good reason to stay in bed and get some extra sleep.

Yet some people got up early to get ready for work and to provide the many services that go on despite the terrible weather conditions. Still others woke before the crack of dawn to get in their regular weekend exercise run.

“I don’t like to make excuses for not exercising,” marathon runner Johan Dana said. “Running is something I do no matter what the weather is like; I just don’t make any excuses for not getting out there.”

Dana, along with many health conscience people in our community, are believers in the benefits associated with aerobic types of exercise and they will workout in all types of weather in order to reap its rewards.

There are a lot of good reasons to get out and go for a run or walk. Many of those reasons have to do with the betterment of your health and this past Saturday runners and walkers turned out in the pouring rain to participate in the Big Dog 5K.

Leading the way were Johan Dana, Ikaika Ho, Bryson Kobayashi and Chris Mosch. Dana got out to a quick pace and by the first mile had separated himself from the rest of the soggy group.

“I felt good and once I got going the rain didn’t bother me at all,” Dana said. The former University of Hawaii-Hilo cross-country runner traversed the course to finish in 17 minutes 59 seconds.

“It was a bit slow running today, with all the puddles and slippery conditions,” Dana said. For the former Vulcan it was his third consecutive East Hawaii 5K (3.1-miles) victory and one of his wettest.

Following in second place was another former Vulcan runner and current Waiakea track sprint coach, Ikaika Ho in 18:31, with Warrior distance runner Bryson Kobayashi taking third in 19:03.

Rounding out the top men were Chris Mosch, a Honokaa High cross-country star, 19:35; Johann Kuipers, 20:21; Alan Ryan, 20:36; Carlos Fuentes, 20:47; former Keaau high track standout John Sanchez, 21:07; Caden Yamamoto, 21:38; Chayse Collins, 21:41; and Jackson Halford in 22:21.

For the women it was Hilo High’s Shalila De Bourmont, 22:26; Waiakea’s Kelsie Kobayashi, 22:38; Lory Hunter, 23:05; Amy Kama, 24:51; Alyssalyn Buyuan, 30:16; Chelsey Buyuan, 30:27; Hollie Lambert, 32:13; Joyce Dyorak, 32:49; Brittney Imade, 32:49; Suyzanne Swanson, 33:44; and Emily Kuyat, 34:45; rounded out the top women.

Hunter, who finished third for the women, coaches distance runners for the Hilo High cross-country and track programs. “It was really a wet one today, but it was also a lot of fun,” she said after the race.

Hunter’s youngest son who just finished a successful season with Parks and Recreation track & field, Stephen, stayed close to his mom and finished 15th overall with a time of 23:14.

Young Jack Roney, in his 70’s, showed up to walk the course with his umbrella and enjoyed being out, despite the weather. “I walk all the time and a little rain isn’t going to stop me from doing what I enjoy,” Roney said.

The youngest participant was Jesse Swanson, age 11, went out of his way to find the biggest puddles to jump in and run through. “I’m hoping I can beat my mom,” Jesse said during the race while talking with the Big Dog.

Exercise isn’t about waiting for the right moment or perfect weather condition to get out. If you wait for the ideal opportunity to do anything you will be left far behind in any endeavor.

Don’t make excuses for yourself. Getting out for an hour walk or 30-minute run four to five times a week is what will keep us younger and healthier as we begin to age.

Jospeph Addison had it right when he said, “If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”


Late registration for the Big Island International Marathon, Hilo’s only certified 26.2-mile event, will continue from now until Saturday, March 21.

Besides the marathon the event will hold a certified half-marathon (13.1-miles) which begins with the marathoners in Pepeekeo, winds its way into Hilo using the 4-mile scenic route and other back roads, then goes out to the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel before turning back to the finish, at Bayfront.

More than 200 runners have signed up for the marathon and over 300 athletes have signed up for the half-marathon. There will also be a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk that will start and end at Hilo’s Bayfront.

Also on March 21, from noon to 6 pm at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel with be a Health & Fitness Expo which is free and open to the public. Many vendors will provide free services which includes Ki Mana Academy Massage, Waiakea High Health Academy Body Fat Analysis, and talk about your feet with Dr. David Arkin, podiatrist; with samples from Herbalife, and much more.

For more information go to www.hilomarathon.org or call the race director at 969-7400…………

Smiles don’t have to be saved for a rainy day. It’s good to waste them!

And someday should you happen to see a wet and happy runner come passing through the streets of Hilo remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

Smiling in the Rain, just prior to start of 5K run/walk

Smiling in the Rain, just prior to start of 5K run/walk

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness, Running on the Big Island | , , , | 3 Comments


Jonatha Giddens, women's winner of '08 Hilo Marathon

Jonatha Giddens, women's winner of '08 Hilo Marathon


The Big Island International Marathon will be hosting a weekend full of activities beginning on Friday, March 20, with their Carbo-Load Dinner party at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The dinner party will be hosted by Josh Pacheco of ESPN-radio morning show and will feature entertainment by a Halau Na Pua ‘O Uluhaimalama, under the direction of Kumu Hula Emery Aceret.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a buffet pasta dinner at 6:30. The public is invited and cost is $21.50 at the door.

Then, on Saturday, March 21, the BIIM will host a Health and Fitness Expo from noon to 6 pm at Lobby area of the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Several vendors from around the state will be on hand to provide free displays and samples and the public is encouraged to attend.

Included in the Fitness Expo will be free massage by Ki Mana Academy, free body fat testing by Waiakea High Health Academy, talk story with podiatrist Dr. David Arkin, and much more.

Running concurrently with the Expo is packet pickup for those pre registered in Sunday’s marathon, half-marathon or the 3.1-mile run/walk. Late registration will also take place and affords interested people the opportunity to sign up for one of the three events hosted by BIIM on Sunday.

The 12th Annual Big Island International Marathon will begin at 6 am, Sunday, March 22 when runners from around the United States, Japan and Canada start the certified 26.2-mile marathon and certified half-marathon run in Pepeekeo.

At 6:30 am the 3.1-mile run/walk will start at Hilo Bay Front. All three races currently have more than 700 people registered and BIIM is expecting that number to top 800 during late registration Saturday.

Defending marathon champions Andrew Taylor of Kaneohe and Jonatha Giddens of Honomu will return to defend their titles. Taylor finished last years race in a time of 2 hours 49 minutes and Giddens claimed the women’s crown with her time of 3:18.

For more information on any or all of the activities sponsored by BIIM you can visit their web site at www.hilomarathon.org or call race coordinator Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph at 969-7400 or through email at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness, Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , | Leave a comment

Adrel Vicente Story

Your health has a lot to do with what you eat, how much you exercise and the parents that brought you into this world.

Diet and exercise are within your control, but your genes determine your risk factor for contracting many diseases such as diabetes, heart problems and many types of cancers.

Adrel Vincente

Adrel Vincente

For Adrel Vicente being careful with the foods he consumes and being sure that he exercises regularly is an important factor in his family where there is a history of diabetes and heart problems.

Vicente, who was born and raised in Hilo and attended Saint Joseph High School, got an early introduction into team sports.

“I played baseball and ran cross-country during my high school years, which included one year on the junior varsity basketball team,” he said.

Graduating from St. Joe in 1993 as the class Valedictorian, Vicente went on to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he double majored in Biology and Natural Science and went on to complete a one year teacher program to become a certified science teacher in 1999.

Today Vicente serves as the freshman counselor at Waiakea High School and continues to get his regular exercise by walking around the large Waiakea Campus on a daily basis.

“After school I’ll head down to Liliuokalani Gardens and do a couple of laps around the park,” he said.

On weekends Vicente can be found Honoli’i or Pohoiki with his longboard. “I only started taking up surfing about three years ago,” he said. “I’m not that good, but being in the water helps clear my mind and it’s a lot of fun!”

While at the famous surfing spots Vicente has been seen by his students and will often catch a wave together, surfing side by side.

“I’ve also tried some of the exercises that my family and friends enjoy and I’ve tried golfing, tennis, mountain biking, kayaking, and even ballroom dancing, Vicente said.

“Trying a variety of sports and activities to get exercise id definitely the way to go because the variety keeps exercise from being boring,” he said.

Two to three times per week you can find Vicente walking or jogging around the Waiakea Complex and on the weekends you’ll find him in the water.

Last year Vicente’s mother passed away, “she was a diabetic, had heart problems and high blood pressure,” he said. Vicente’s father is currently a diabetic and keeps it under control with a healthy diet and some medication.

“We have just honored the one year since she has passed with a celebration of life for her. My mother worked as a nurse at Hilo Medical Center and she was a home economics teacher back in the Philippines,” Vicente said.

Vicente’s mother would always try to put a healthy spin when cooking for the family and encouraged them to eat healthy. “One of my favorite dishes she would make is the Filipino vegetable dish called pinakbet.”

“Exercise helps me to relieve stress, helps clear my mind, gives me energy, maintains my health and its fun,” he said. “But my main motivation is to try to stay healthy and to prevent having health problems like some of my family members.”

Vicente has also become an active member of the Big Island Road Runners when he accidentally bumped into the group while surfing at Richardson Beach Park about three years ago.

“I was surfing with my nephews one early Sunday morning in December. When we were done I saw a two of my friends and a lot of people in the parking lot and they told me about the BIRR fun run and that I should join,” Vicente said.

“So I paid my $10 annual dues and started coming every month after that to take part in their fun runs and walks. I did nearly every one since then and I even made a chart in my computer to track all of my times.”

Vicente also continues to enter short distance races of two to three miles and has entered the 2009 Big Island Marathons 3.1-mile race scheduled for March.

“Someday I hope to do the half-marathon (13.1-miles), then maybe the full 26 miler,” he said with a grin.

Vicente continues to get annual check ups and has done the HMSA health pass screening. “I am still health problem free with no high blood pressure and no diabetes,” he said.

“My life long goal is to maintain a reasonable weight and proportion and to use exercise to help give me energy, relieve stress and above all to prevent health problems.”

“I believe in working hard and playing hard as I’ll get back as much as I give and sometimes I might get back even more,” Vicente said.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles, Running on the Big Island, Wilderness Trail Runs | , | Leave a comment