Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

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. 

Kuramoto

“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.

PAW PRINTS:

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

BIIF Track Season Finale Pays Dividends for DeRego

Kamehameha's Isaac DeRego clears 13-6 at Last Chance Meet

KEEAU- Sometimes in life a last chance is all one needs to prove his mettle.  Kamehameha senior Isaac DeRego was given a last chance this past Saturday during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field regular season finale held at Keaau.

    DeRego, who has been pole vaulting for the Warriors for four years, had never gone higher than 12 feet prior to Saturday’s meet.  Needing to clear 13 feet to gain an automatic spot in the HHSAA state championships DeRego took full advantage of his last chance opportunity and cleared 13 feet.

   But the private school Warrior wasn’t done, having the bar raised another six inches, DeRego went on to a stellar performance day by clearing 13-6.

   “I felt good today,” DeRego said after the meet.  “There is something about being at this track (Keaau High School) that gets all us vaulters doing really well.”

   After clearing 13-6 DeRego asked that the bar be raised seven inches and attempted to clear 14-1.  Normally the bar is raised six inches at a time, but DeRego had something bigger he was shooting for.

   “I knew our school record was 14 feet and I wanted to break the record,” he said.  “I’m still really happy with what I did today and will try to go after the record at the BIIF championships in Kona.”

   While DeRego was complimentary of the Keaau track the Fully Automated Timing System or FATS was trying to get the Gremlins out of the software.  The FATS turned from an automated system to an animated system and left computer technology wizards Bob Martin, Chris Drayer and Curt Beck scratching their heads.

  The FATS crew needed to depend upon the ‘old school’ method by using hand times for the entire meet.  The only thing that remained fully operationally was the finish line photo system that came in handy during the girls 800 meter run.

  In the girls two laps race around the track Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock, the BIIF leader with the league’s best time in the 800 and fifth best in the state, took the lead and appeared to be in control of the race, clocking 75 seconds on her first lap with the rest of the field content to hang back.

Nishimura-Thornton

In the final 100 meters of the second lap, with Chock maintaining her pace, Keaau’s Deann Nishimura-Thornton made a late charge and closed in fast as both girls hit the line in what was a “photo finish.”

  FATS official Chris Drayer made a careful review of the finish line photo’s and declared Nishimura-Thornton the winner.  “The Keaau girl won by the thickness of her jersey,” Dryer said of the 1/1000th of a second difference.

   “I had an adrenaline rush towards the end of my race and I just went for it,” Nishimura-Thornton said of her winning kick.  “I felt really confident today, but when we hit the finish line I didn’t know if I had won or not, I just couldn’t tell.”

   For Chock it was a perfectly equal race, with the senior running 75 seconds for each of her two laps.  “It was the first time I’ve ever run even splits,” Chock said.  “I was supposed to have gone out faster, but I was tired from running the 400 race prior to doing this race.”

   “The 800 is my favorite race because you’re in pain during the entire race, but it feels really good when it’s over,” Nishimura-Thornton said. 

Mosch winning 3K

Honokaa continues to rule the 3K distance race with BIIF cross-country champions Tialana Greenwell and Chris Mosch both winning their seven and a half lap races.

   Mosch, who had the second fastest time in the state at 9 minutes and 23 seconds coming into the race, ran by himself at Keaau to win in 9:32.38.

  “I’m happy with my effort and performance, but it’s difficult to run alone,” Mosch said.  “I ran my fastest time of the season when I was in Honolulu and there were a lot of people around me to help me keep my pace.”

   Mosch was hoping to get out to a 4:52 in the first four laps and found himself already four seconds off his self imposed pace.

   “I’ll have to be able to run a sub 9-minute race to win at states and that’s not going to happen unless I try,” he said.

King Jacob

While many athletes were using the regular season finale as a spring board in preparations for this weekend’s BIIF championships, others were just out to have fun and enjoy the near end of their prep careers.

   The “King of the Hurdles,” Kau’s Jacob Edwards showed his business side by winning both hurdle events and the triple jump while finishing second in the 200 dash.

   But the “King” also entered the high jump for the first time in his four years of BIIF track and field competition.

   “I’ve always wanted to try the high jump,” Edwards said.  “Since this was the end of the regular season, it was the last chance I had to give it a try.”

  The “King” used his Midas touch and turned the high jump into pure gold by winning at 5-8.

 “I never expected to win the event, I just wanted to have fun doing it,” he said.  “If the season was a little longer I probably would like to give the 1500 a try.”

  The BIIF track & field season concludes this weekend with the league qualifiers and finals on May 7-8 at Konawaena.

May 3, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Track & Field Officials Recognized

Pictured left to right: Dick Sutton, Keith Tolentino, Bob Martin, Kimo Weaver, Myron Isherwood, Iris McGuire, Tom Correa

  BIIF AWARD CEREMONY   

    Dick Sutton, President of the Hawaii Association USA Track & Field, presented five Big Island Interscholastic Federation officials certificates for their contributions to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Track and Field championships held at Keaau in May 2009.  This was the first time that a State track meet was held on the Big Island.   

   Pictured are President of the Hawaii Association USA Track & Field  Dick Sutton, Honokaa’s Keith Tolentino, Kau’s Bob Martin, Kamehameha’s Kimo Weaver, Myron Isherwoon, Keaau’s Iris McGuire, and Waiakea’s Tom Correa. 

   Myron Isherwood, previously recognized as the State Official of the Year.

   Sutton also acknowledged the many people, behind the scenes, who made contributions to the state track & field meet held at Keaau last May.  Vicki Chai-Guerpo, Joel Peralto, Jaime Guerpo, Faith Nance, Randee Arkin Joseph, Curt Beck, Chris Drayer, Jordan & Ipo Rosado, Sherman Viernes, Sally Wilburn, George Ikeda, Jerry Lomongo and more made the first ever state track & field meet at Keaau a success.  Congratulations to all!

April 14, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BIIF’s Best Move Up in Track Rankings

Hilo's Shina Chung ranks #2 in state pole vault

KEAAU – In a day of super highs several East Hawaii youngsters positioned themselves in the number 2 position in the state during a Big Island Interscholastic Federation track & field meet held this past Saturday at Keaau.

   Hilo’s Shina Chung, Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton and Keaau’s Daniel Brooks all gave super efforts during week two of the BIIF track & field season.

  Chung, only a sophomore, set a new personal record in the pole vault with her clearing height of 9 feet 8 inches, 14 inches higher than she went last week.

  “The biggest thing for me was getting a bigger pole and making the transition,” Chung said of her clearance that ranks her second in the state.

   “I went to a 120 pound, 12 feet 6 inch pole and it worked for me today.  I’m really happy with my personal best and I now feel confident that I can get to 10 feet,” she said.

  Hilo’s vault coach, Sherman Viernes, believes that Chung will be able to clear 10 feet within the next few meets.

  “Shina tried 10 feet today, but the end of the pole died,” Viernes said.  “For somebody not knowing much about pole vaulting prior to last year she has come a long way.  The only thing stopping her now is her mental focus, once she figures that out she’ll be able to go even higher.”

   While Chung was conquering new heights Kamehameha’s Kaopua Sutton was finding new distances.

Sutton

   The Warrior senior threw the discus further than she has ever thrown it before, 123 feet 8.5 inches, to record the second best distance in the state.

   “Last year my personal best in the BIIF was 115 feet and when I went to states I threw 117 feet,” Sutton said.  “I’ve been hitting 120 feet during practice, so I knew I could do it.”

   Sutton, who stands 5’ 10” is the defending BIIF champion in the discus and she owes much of her success to her mental attitude.

   “I raised my mental focus and now I think I can go at least 130 feet in this event,” she said.  “I’m pretty stoked with what I did today.”

Brooks

Not to be outdone Keaau’s Daniel Brooks made a bold statement prior to running the 1500 meter race.  “I plan on going under 4 minutes 20 seconds,” Brooks said during warm ups.

  The Cougar senior had to run his own race as no one in the field was capable of keeping up with his torrid pace.

  After the first lap Brooks had already built a 20-meter lead and continued building on the lead going into the bell lap when he opened the gap to 70 meters over his closest competition.

  At the tape Brooks clocked in with a 4:15.96 a full second faster than his personal best time and good enough to list him as the fourth fastest in the state this year.

  “I felt really good today and I knew I could get under 4:20,” he said.  “I’ve set my goals high in my senior season and I’m going to try to run 4 flat by the time states rolls around.”

  “I’m hoping to get a scholarship to a mainland college to run track,” Brooks said.  “In order to get that scholarship I need to get my 1500 time down to 4 minutes and my 800 time to 1:56.”

  Brooks later returned to the track to win the 800 meters in 2:03.89, three seconds faster than the previous week.

   “I’m happy with my 800 time and I still have a ways to go, but this is good for this point in the season,” he said.  “I still need to run the 4×400 relay later today and next week I’d like to mix things up and get a good 3000 time.”

  Brooks is looking forward to Saturdays all-schools meet to be held at Kamehameha as this would be the first time this season that he will match up with Honokaa’s best distance runner Chris Mosch.

  “I know Chris will really push me as we’ll be able to help each other run faster,” Brooks said.  “I’m looking forward to the competition.”

   Mosch ran his 1500 at Konawaena in 4:25, but is considered to be one of the best 3000 meter runners in the state.

Azmera

In the girls 300 hurdles it was Keaau’s Azmera Hammouri-Davis getting the win in 50.9 seconds.

  “Last year I ran 50.05 seconds and my goal would be to break 50 seconds and hopefully get down to 48 by the end of the season,” she said.

   “I think I’m stuttering before I hit the hurdle,” Hammouri-Davis said.  “I need to be faster out of the blocks and work on my technique more in order to get a faster time.”

   Saturday’s meet at Keaau was an Eastern Division contest with Konawaena hosting a Western Division meet.

   The BIIF is the only league that has two fully automated timing systems and both were in full operation.  Chris Drayer handled the FAT system at Kona while Curt Beck and Bob Martin operated the other FAT system at Keaau.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | High School Track & Field, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Time BIIM Champion, Michael Georgi, Returns

Jason Florimonte, 2009 BIIM winner. Photo by Tim Wright

Preparations are underway for the 13th Annual Big Island International Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K scheduled for Sunday, March 21.

   The event was the brainchild of Roland Higashi, former owner of Creative Arts, and George Miyashiro who owned Jack’s Tours.  The two businessmen elicited the help of running Guru Karl Kunz and the Big Dog to help make their vision happen.

   “We wanted to help stimulate the visitor industry for Hilo and thought that runners from Japan and elsewhere would find us an attractive place to visit,” Higashi said.

   The inaugural Big Island International Marathon (26.2-miles) race was held in 1997 and the winner was Michael Georgi of Honolulu.

  Georgi, a Punahou Social Studies Teacher and longtime track and cross-country coach, ran the certified marathon course in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 15 seconds at age 45 and returned the following year for his second consecutive victory.

   Georgi became a regular fixture in the Hilo race running eight of the first nine BIIM’s while finishing first three times, a BIIM record, third three times and fifth twice.

   “The first eight miles of the course took its toll on me during my last two appearances (2006 and ’07),” Georgi said.  “After the 2007 race I decided to take a hiatus from doing this course.”

   Now at age 57, after taking a two year break from the BIIM, Georgi has decided to challenge the course once again.

   “I like doing the BIIM because of the beauty of the first eight miles,” he said.  “I much prefer the BIIM to the Honolulu Marathon due to the scenery and lack of crowds.”

   The Honolulu Marathon will typically have more than 20,000 runners at the starting line compared to the BIIM which has 250 marathoners and another 350 half-marathoners beginning at the 6 am start in Pepeekeo.

   During the 1980’s Hilo hosted a smaller marathon that ran totally within the Hilo district which saw Georgi win in 1985.

   “I ran the original Hilo Marathon twice during the 1980’s,” Georgi said.  “I finished second in 1982 to Ruben Chappins with a time of 2:29:55 and returned in 1985 to win in 2:32:04.”

   The original Hilo Marathon course was a double, out and back loop that went from Bayfront out to Richardson Beach Park twice.  The course was relatively flat and was never certified and some say it may have been a tad bit short of the 26.2-mile requirement.

  Since 1997 the BIIM has been measured precisely by HELCO engineer, Curt Beck, and the race has obtained a USATF certificate making it a legitimate qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon in April.

   Add in a bunch of rolling hills from Pepeekeo to Honolii and the BIIM is a challenging marathon that takes runners through some of the most beautiful areas in paradise.

   Georgi currently owns two age group records when, at age 45, he ran 2:41.15 (45-49 age group record) and at age 52 he finished in 2:56:58 (50-54 age record) to go with his three overall BIIM victories. 

   Now, at age 57, Georgi has his sights on breaking the 55 to 59 age group record currently held by Texan, Larry Linchovsky, with a time of 3:16:48.

    “My realistic goal is to finish the marathon respectably and uninjured,” Georgi said.

   When Georgi laces up his shoes for the start of this year’s marathon he will be joined by 250 other 26.2-mile enthusiast plus another 350 half-marathon runners.  Both races sold out three weeks ago and has made BIIM one of the most attractive small marathons around.

   “We’re going to have to see if we can increase the participants’ spots for the 2011 race,” Higashi said.  “We will try to increase at a slow, reasonable rate, as to minimize the impact to our community.”

   In conjunction with the three races hosted by BIIM on Sunday there will be a Carbo Load Dinner Party at the Moku Ola room of the Hilo Hawaiian on Friday starting at 6 pm.  The all you can eat pasta party cost $21 at the door and includes a hula show and lucky number giveaways. 

   Then on Saturday the BIIM will host a Health and Fitness Expo from noon to 6 pm at the Hilo Hawaiian.  Vendors from around the island will be on hand with free samples.

   Ki Mana Academy Massage will be giving free massages, Island Naturals free samples, and more.

   For more information on any of the events hosted by the BIIM call 969-7400.

One of my favorite quotes on running in a 26.2-mile marathon comes from Martine Costello when he said, “You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line.  It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.”

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment