Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Former UH Rainbow Track Star, Clarence Andrade, still going strong 60 years later

Clarence Andrade

I’m always impressed with the number of people living on this island that have accomplished so much in sports, both at the high school and collegiate level.

Recently I interviewed a man that excelled in track while attending the University of Hawaii.

“They were called the Rainbows back then,” Clarence Andrade said with pride.  “In 1952 I won the mile and two mile Junior AAU events and the following year I won the Senior AAU 1500 meter title.”

During Andrade’s tenure at UH he was a member of the winning 2 mile, 4 mile, and medley relays at a time when it was called the Rainbow Relays.

Andrade was also a former mile record holder for the Rainbows, but his road to success was filled with challenges.

“As a youngster I was not active in youth sports except for neighborhood games in softball, touch football and basketball,” Andrade said.

Back in those early days Andrade was a latchkey kid as both his parents worked.

“After walking home from grade school I had to remain within the confines of our home the rest of the day,” he said.  “That accounts for my late start in athletics.”

Besides the limited exposure to sports at an early age Andrade had no real role models in cross country or road racing.

“Distance running was absent in Hilo as the only people that would run outside of the track season were boxers doing their road workouts,” Andrade said.  “The running revolution for competition or health reasons was years away.”

From 1947 to 1950 Andrade attended Hilo High where he had his first competitive experiences in track.

“High school track at the time had a very diluted season,” he said.  “The season consisted of two meets, one at Konawaena on a grass five lap per mile track surrounding the baseball diamond and the other meet on the Hilo cinder oval.”

The Country Park and Recreation Department ran two island wide group track meets on the Hilo track following the high school season, but the emphasis was placed on sprints, the jumps and throwing events.

Andrade graduated from Hilo High in 1950 and believes that track died in East Hawaii in 1951 before being revived later into a solid sports program.

“I ran three years for the Vikings where I was a two year letterman, winning the mile one year and placing second another year,” Andrade said.

According to Andrade there was no Territorial Championship and his idol was another Hilo High track runner, Harold Furtado.

“Harold was the first person in Hawaii, 1948, to run the mile in under five minutes and I was the second, two years later,” Andrade said.

Andrade received his Bachelor of Science Degree for UH Manoa and went on to spend 32 years in Social Work with many of those years being spent in the Correctional Services field.

When Andrade retired in from state service in 1987 at age 55 Andrade he continued to coach swimming and track for another 10 years until taking up race walking winning many medals at various State competitions.

“Running on a competitive level became a problem for me because the training demands I made on myself was too much for my body,” Andrade said. 

Instead of running Andrade excelled in race walking and from 1996 to 2002 won many medals at the Aloha State Games  as well as the Senior Olympics on Oahu.

This 79 years young retiree now continues with his twice a day walking program and has not missed a day of walking in many years.

“During adverse weather conditions, or in the absence of training facilities, I will do my walking in hotel hallways, malls or airport terminals,” he said.  “I don’t allow anything to get in the way of doing my walks.”

Andrade abstains from alcohol, nicotine and caffeine and takes care of his body by carefully watching what goes into it.

“I love to eat and therefore am doomed to continue workouts to the end of my ambulatory days,” he said with a grin.

For breakfast Andrade will alternate oatmeal with a multi grain cooked cereal adding a variety of seeds, berries and nuts.

“I like flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and cran or blue berries,” he said.  “I’ll add non-fat yogurt, low fat milk and sometimes a little fruit juice for change of taste.”

Lunch is light for Andrade and dinner is always left to his wife’s discretion.

“My wife is always very meticulous about seeing to it that we have proper balanced and nutritious meals,” he said.  “We have lots of fresh veggies with tofu, poultry or fish, pasta once a week and red meats are a scarce item.”

Andrade will add to his walking and healthy diet weight lifting and modified puss up, three times per week and badminton with a slamming senior group twice per week.  

“I’ll do stretching each morning upon arising plus stomach crunches three times per week,” Andrade said.  “Another important requirement for living a healthy life is getting a good night’s sleep.”

Clarence Andrade, as he approaches 80, is doing everything right in living a healthy lifestyle full of moderate exercise and rich in a rainbow diet.

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

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


October 12, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Track Honors Island’s Best

   The Big Island Interscholastic Federation recently released its 2009 Track & Field All-Star list naming Kau’s Jacob Edwards and Hawaii Prep’s Ku’uipo Nakoa Male/Female Athlete of the Year.

   Edwards, a slender six foot junior, won individual honors during the BIIF championships in the triple jump, 110 and 300 hurdles, and placed second in the long jump and fourth in the 200 meter dash to single-handedly score a whopping 42 points.

  Nakoa won the 200 meter dash, long and triple jumps and placed second in the 100 dash to amass 38 individual points and went on to help HPA finish first in the 1600 relay and second in the 400 relay.

   At the HHSAA track and field championships held in Keaau Edwards claimed titles in both the 110 and 300 hurdles while Nakoa won the state gold medal in the long jump.

   Also coming away with double wins in the BIIF championship were HPA’s Noelani Vargas who swept the 1500 meter run and later returned to win the 800.

   Waiakea’s Ka’imi Scott won the BIIF 400 dash and then captured the 200 dash to make it a double gold day for the Warrior junior.  

   A trio of freshman became BIIF champions as Keaau’s Randi Estrada won the girls 400 dash, then went on to the state championships to claim a third place medal.  Hilo’s Shina Chung claimed a BIIF title in pole vault and HPA’s Shane Brostek won the league title for the shot.

   Surprises came when Honokaa’s Tialana Greenwell could only muster a second place finish at the BIIF 3000 meter run, but turned things around by running her best at the state championships to win a second place medal and clock an incredible time of 10 minutes 48 seconds.

   In the boy’s hurdles no one in the state could catch the “King,” Jacob Edwards, but Hilo’s TJ Dela Cruz was not only the second best in the BIIF, for both the 110 and 300, he was also second best in the state.

   And when it came to the 300 hurdles it was the BIIF’s fifth seed, Keaau’s Broc Bangloy, and third seed, Hilo’s Cameron Calistro going fourth and fifth in the state respectively to give the BIIF boy’s four out of the state’s top five medals.

   Yet, another surprise, came from BIIF runner-up Jordan Lerma from Kamehameha who went onto break the 2 minute barrier in the 800 at the state meet to collect a third place medal with Keaau’s Daniel Brooks, the BIIF fourth seed, winning fifth at state.

   HPA’s Mindy Campbell finished the BIIF championships as the runner-up in the high jump to Waiakea’s Cassie Morigaki, but at the state championships Campbell leaped her personal best 5-04 to win the state title, while Morigaki claimed fifth.

   The BIIF All-Star team is based upon the athletes placing in a particular event during the BIIF championships.  Athletes who placed first were selected to the first team, those that placed second were second team selections and those that placed in any of the scoring positions, from third to sixth, were given an honorable mention.

   Hilo High won the boys BIIF team title by more than 60 points in a runaway victory for Coach Bill McMahon.  McMahon has accumulated the most team titles of an  active BIIF track & field  coach, winning his 18th team title (boys and girls combined) over an illustrious 19 years with the Vikings.

   McMahon was selected by league coaches as the Coach of the Year a title he has won on numerous occasions.  “I don’t count those things,” McMahon said of winning Coach of the Year.  “What I count are the former athletes that I see on the street that bother to approach me and say “thanks coach”.

   “Alex Kane, Clarence Andrade and Norb Keolanue all gave me the same advice,” McMahon said, “surround yourself with good people.”

   Kamehameha girls came away with a narrow four point victory over HPA to claim the BIIF team title and for their efforts the entire Warrior coaching staff was named Coach of the Year.

   Kamehameha Schools coach, Troy Souza, was elated with his team’s success and in the sharing of the Coach of the Year award with the rest of his staff.

   “It is an honor to have our coaching staff named Coach of the Year,” Souza said.  “This is something that couldn’t be done without the effort and success of our students.”

   For the private school Warriors it was a season filled with emotion and hard work.  “As a school we had so many school records broken this year which goes to show how hard these students worked,” Coach Souza said.

   BIIF track & field coaches voted for boy’s and girl’s coach of the year and the results were released by the leagues “Games Committee.”

May 31, 2009 Posted by | High School Runners, High School Track & Field, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment