Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Many Firsts at New Volcano Rain Forest Runs

Runners prepare for the start of the Volcano Rain Forest Runs

There were many firsts on Saturday as the Volcano Art Center played host to a trio of races in their inaugural running of the Rain Forest Runs held in Volcano Village.

The Art Center was instrumental in putting together a marathon, 10-mile and 5-mile events inside Kilauea National Park for 26 years, ending in July 2008.

With the help of new race director, Sharron Faff, the Volcano Art Center once again hosted races ranging in distances from the half-marathon, (10K) 6.2-mile and (5K) 3.1-mile.

Nearly 500 people signed up to do one of the three new distances with the half-marathon being the most popular of the three.

In the 5K it was Hilo’s own Scott Hunter pulling away in the first half mile of the race as he slowly distanced himself from the rest of the field.  Hunter graduated from Hilo High in 2009 and is currently attending Central Washington University where he participates in track & field in the pole vault and decathlon events.

“I was pretty satisfied with the course, but it was a lot tougher than I expected,” Hunter said of his winning time of 18 minutes and 15 seconds.

“I had driven the course the day before and knew that it was all on asphalt, but I didn’t realize how hard it was to go over all those rolling hills,” Hunter said.

In the women’s 5K it was all Annie Murphy from Plymouth, Michigan distancing herself from the ladies field and winning in 21:12.

“I thought the course was slightly slower than what I’m used to with all those rolling hills,” Murphy said.  Murphy also believed that the 4,000 foot elevation at Volcano Village may have accounted for her slightly slower than normal time.

“The course was set-up and well marked and all the helpers were really friendly,” Murphy said.  “I had a great time and enjoyed the cool morning temperature, with the race starting around 50 degrees.”

While the 5K was run without any problems, the lead 10K runners seemed to have had multiple confusion with the direction of the course according to harrier Heather Scarbrough.

“This was to be my first 10K race and I was feeling really good at the start,” Scarbrough said.  “But my excitement soon turned into frustration when the lead biker and a course marshal sent us in the wrong direction.”

Scarbrough, along with the top several 10K participants, were led on an abbreviated course and ended up finishing the 6.2-mile distance in just over three miles.

Scarbrough, along with Mt. View’s Rich MacKenzie were awarded the top overall place finishes for their genders when race officials decided to simply double their finishing times, according to Scarbrough.

“Rich and I pulled away from everyone during the race and the volunteer biker took us in the wrong direction and the course marshals didn’t make the correction,” Scarbrough said.  “I would have liked to have done this race honestly, on my own, but I can’t accept the time that they artificially gave to me.”

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to do the race that I signed up to do and I also had a friend who signed up for the 10K that ended up doing a half-marathon when she was sent in the wrong direction,” she said.

Scarbrough, a Honaunau resident, called later in the day to report the discrepancy, saying that she could not pretend that she could run 38 minutes for a 10K race as the final results indicate.

“We were asked by a race official not to say anything about the 10K course being shortened to the media, but after thinking about it, I couldn’t accept this time without telling the truth,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough was running with MacKenzie in the lead pack of six before MacKenzie pulled away at the first downhill section of the course to win in a artificially calculated time of 38 minutes 7 seconds.

“This was my first 10K and I didn’t know what to expect,” MacKenzie said.  “I just wanted to run and to finish this race.  I realized, once I took the lead that I could win this thing and began to pickup my pace at the end when I started to hear footsteps.”

Some of those footsteps were coming from Scarborough who was also supposed to experience a 10K for the first time.

“I was having one of those really great days, when everything just feels right,” Scarborough said.  “I just felt it and being a very competitive person decided to give it everything I had.”

“I have a 5 year old and I haven’t run competitively since 2008 when I did the 5-miler in the National Park,” she said.  “The Village is an incredible place with great views and we couldn’t have asked for better weather, with clear skies.”

Ben Haber, Megan Brousseau & Billy Barnett

In the half-marathon it was Volcano resident, Billy Barnett, sweeping to yet another overall victory in 1:16:44. 

“I went out hard right from the start,” Barnett said.  “I was feeling pretty inspired as I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, excited to do this race.”

Barnett has many road racing victories under his belt and with the Volcano victory has now won one in his own backyard.  “I love Volcano as I run in the area on a regular bases.  Everything was perfect today, the weather, the views and the cool temperatures made for a great race,” he said.

For the women it was Megan Brousseau from Massachusetts here on her honeymoon with husband Ben Haber. 

“Ben and I met in college as runners,” Brousseau said.  “This was one of the best and most scenic races I’ve ever done and we’re glad we did this together.”

Brousseau finished first for the women and 11th overall in a time of 1:33:23 with her husband placing 4th overall at 1:23:46.  “I was challenged by another girl for the first couple of miles in the race, but once we hit the 3-mile mark I separated myself from her and was never seriously challenged after that, Brousseau said.”

“This was a well organized half marathon especially when you consider that this was their first time to host it,” Brousseau said.

Most of the runners all agreed that the rolling hills and elevation made for slightly slower times, but the beauty and tranquility of the area more than made up for the challenging route.

“We had 117 finishers in the 10K and 177 in the 5K with another 184 crossing the finish line in the half-marathon, “race assistant David Ravck said.

Related Posts: 

5K results https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/volcano-rain-forest-5k-reults/

10K results  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/volcano-rain-forest-runs-10k-results/

Half results https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/volcano-rain-forest-run-half-marathon-results/

Rain Forest Runs Preview https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/volcano-art-center-to-host-rain-forest-runs/

August 22, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment