Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

NFL Pro Bowl Returning to Hawaii in 2013


HTA is extremely pleased the NFL will return to the Hawaiian Islands in 2013 for the Pro Bowl, and are grateful for our more than 30 year partnership. Many of us believe that there is no better place in the world to host this game.

 The Hawai’i Tourism Authority has maintained ongoing discussions with the NFL leading up to today’s announcement. Together, we are committed to improving the quality of the game and overall experience, and are working to expand the Pro Bowl both in the Hawaiian Islands, as well as in Asia.

We will be pursuing new opportunities in Hawai’i to benefit and engage our communities and youth across the state. Beyond Hawai’i’s shores, we look forward to assisting the NFL in expanding upon their relationships in Japan, and help them to establish a presence in China – both important markets for Hawai’i tourism.

The Pro Bowl in Hawai’i is more than just a game – the NFL has helped to provide for our community through youth education programs, charitable contributions, community events and so much more. In addition to the worldwide media exposure for our Hawaiian Islands and the significant revenue and tax dollars generated by visitors who travel here specifically to attend the Pro Bowl, the game provides local businesses with an increase in activity and residents the opportunity to engage with players and experience a live professional football game.

Mahalo to Speaker of the House Calvin Say, Senate President Shan Tsutsui, Mayor Carlisle and the City and County of Honolulu, Scott Chan and the Aloha Stadium Authority, and the entire community for their support in helping to bring the game back to Hawai’i.

Hawai’i looks forward to building upon our longstanding relationship with the NFL Pro Bowl well into the future. We will work closely with them to create a quality game and incomparable Pro Bowl experience here in our Hawaiian Islands.

To be held:    Jan 27, 2013 in Honolulu at Aloha Stadium


May 31, 2012 Posted by | football | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Islanders Gearing Up for the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday

Davin Padilla

On Sunday morning than 200 Big Island residents will be getting up before the crack of dawn to run the Honolulu Marathon, many of them for the very first time.

The Honolulu Marathon has become the launching ground for many first time marathoners. More than 40 percent of the more than 22,000 people toeing the starting line will be doing their maiden 26.2 mile run, walk, jog or crawl in the pre dawn hours.

“My expectations for this first marathon is to essentially do my personal best, to perform as well as, if not better than on practice runs,” Hilo’s Davin Padilla.

Padilla is a math teacher at Hilo Intermediate School where he teaches 8th grade pre-algebra.

“I was inspired by my principal, Esther Kanehailua, whose first marathon was in Honolulu a couple of years ago,” Padilla said.

Since July 2010 Padilla has logged a total of 804 miles over 129 activities.

“Of those 804 miles, 401 miles were done over 44 activities from my 33rd birthday in June of this year till now leading up to Honolulu,” Padilla said.


Padilla’s friend and training partner, Trudy Sleightholm, will be joining him in the race, but Sleightholm will be doing her second consecutive Honolulu.

“When I did the race last year I didn’t know what to expect, but now I’ll be better prepared,” she said.  “I really just love the time outside running, taking in all the awesome scenery and enjoying time with friends who share the same passion as I do.”

Sleightholm is anxious about doing her second marathon in Honolulu as she will be joined by numerous friends.

“I am so excited to run this year’s race, more friends are doing it and taking a liking to the runners high,” she said with a grin.

This year, with a little more experience under her belt, Sleightholm decided to train harder for the marathon challenge.

“I’ve been running six times a week and I did longer runs,” she said.  “I ran three 19 milers and I did a 20 miler and two 21 milers.  I kept my mileage higher to stay stronger.”

Padilla made his marathon announcement on Facebook for all of his friends to see.

“I’m not trying to boast,” he said.  “The announcement was a way to keep myself accountable.  I know I have the heart and drive to do it.”

Cheryl Kiefer
Dove George

Cheryl Kiefer of Keaau will also be trying a marathon for the first time.

“I’m doing the Honolulu Marathon because it’s been a goal of mine to do a marathon before I turn 60,” Kiefer said.  “I’ll be 60 the day after Christmas, so this is the year to fulfill my dream and my goal.”

Kiefer will be joined at the race by her daughter, Dove George.

“Dove and I plan to do the race together, as she is doing it for my birthday,” Kiefer said. “We are planning on just walking as neither of us has ever done a marathon.”

“I’m doing it because it is my mom’s birthday and it is hard to say NO to my mom,” George said.  “I am not excited about doing 26.2 miles, as I’m dreading it actually.  I’ll try to stay with her for as long as I can as this is the only reason for me to it.”

As for a goal George is just hoping to finish the race with no after effects.

“I’m just hoping that I won’t be super sore the next week,” George said.  “I’ll try to run part of it just to get it over with faster, but will stay with my mom no matter what.”

Joe & Veronica Wedemann

The marathon usually drains all the energy out of a runner by mile 22 and for those that didn’t properly train there will be a slow walk up Diamond Head on their way to the finish line at Kapiolani Park, according to Hawaiian Paradise Park Firefighter, Joe Wedemann.

Wedemann should know as he has finished 11 marathons with a personal best time of 3 hours and 24 minutes.

“To avoid hitting the wall runners would have needed to prepare properly by running a 20 or 22 miler four to five weeks prior to race day,” Wedemann said.

Wedemann will be joined by his wife Veronica who will be doing her fourth marathon with a personal best time of 4:10.

“I enjoy doing this race, primarily because my wife is in it,” Wedemann said.  “We did some long training runs together and we enjoy the time we spend running as quality time.”

Wedemann advises first time marathoners to relax during the opening miles of the race.

“Probably the most important advice to a first time marathoner is for them not to go out too fast in the first 6 miles, so that they can have some gas in the tank for the last 6 miles,” he said.

Veronica Wedemann prepared throughout the year to run the marathon.  She built up her mileage during the past six months to avoid the misery which is accompanied by hitting that invisible wall.

“My training throughout the year was 5 to 10 miles per week and I built up to 45 miles per week in the six months prior to race day,” she said.

“I like the Honolulu Marathon because with so many people doing it I can get distracted and forget how much pain I am in,” she said.  “This year I am hoping to finish around 4 hours 30 minutes.”

The race has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for Hawaii each of the last six years and is totally self-supporting, receiving no subsidy from the Hawaii Tourism Authority according to marathon media consultant Pat Bigold.

“We are the 10th largest marathon in the world and last year we had 20,168 finishers,” Bigold said. 

This year’s race is expected to exceed 24,000 in registration and of that number 8,879 will be first time marathoners with nearly 6,000 of those coming from Japan, according to Bigold.

The Honolulu Marathon will provide a complete list of Honolulu Marathon finishers to the Tribune which will be published in a timely manner.

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honolulu to Host 2012 World Vintage Rugby Carnival

Hawai’i To Host 2012 World Vintage Rugby Carnival

HONOLULU-The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, is pleased to announce that Hawai’i will host the 2012 World Vintage Rugby Carnival.  The seven-day event to be held in Honolulu, is the first of its kind to be held in the United States and is expected to bring more than 1,500 veteran players and supporters to the islands. 
“We look forward to hosting this first-time event to the United States that will increase Hawai’i’s sports presence on a global level and inject a boost to our tourism economy,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of HTA.  “Sporting events such as this not only have a positive economic impact on tourism for our state, but also generate invaluable media coverage worldwide and enhance our resident’s and visitor’s quality of life, providing opportunities for enthusiasts to attend, participate or volunteer.”
HTA played an instrumental role in meeting and coordinating with local organizing groups and event planners, bringing stakeholders together to make Hawai’i’s winning bid for the Rugby Carnival possible, including beating out other destinations who boast a larger number of rugby followers. Hawai’i Tourism Oceania, HTA’s marketing partner, will also be providing marketing support for the event. 
More than 60 teams from countries including Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, England, France, Spain, Germany, South America, Australia, and South Africa are expected to participate in the 2012 Rugby Carnival.  Included in the week-long event are three playing days, two major social functions and island sightseeing and activities.
“Vintage rugby is a rapidly growing international movement for mature rugby players,” said Cormac O’Carroll, president of Hawaii Sports Inc., a local sports event management company assisting with coordination of the event.  “We would like to thank HTA for their vision and support in bringing this emerging and exciting sport to Hawai’i.”
The 2012 Carnival will have two categories for participation, men ages 35-45 years and men ages 46 years and over.  Previouscarnivals have been held in Ireland (2004), Argentina (2006), New Zealand (2008), and South Africa (2010).
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future.  Its mission is to strategically manage Hawai’i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.  For more information on the HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org.

August 21, 2010 Posted by | Rugby | , , , , | 1 Comment

Pro Bowl Returning to Aloha Stadium in 2011

Pro Bowl coming back Jan 2011

Pro Bowl to Return to Hawai‘i in January 2011

HONOLULU—The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, and the National Football League (NFL) have announced that the next Pro Bowl is confirmed for January 30, 2011, the Sunday prior to Super Bowl XLV. The game will be televised live on FOX with kickoff at 2 p.m. HST at Aloha Stadium.
“The Pro Bowl has been a part of our community for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming the game back to Hawai‘i in 2011,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “We know how much the Pro Bowl means to our residents, the players and to the thousands of fans from the mainland who enjoy visiting our state for the game. The Pro Bowl is a great investment for our state with both economic and community benefits.”

HTA will invest $4 million per game for 2011 and 2012. In 2009, the Pro Bowl accounted for $28.6 million in visitor spending, generated $2.9 million in state taxes and attracted 18,000 visitors to Hawai‘i for the game.

“Playing the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl generated more excitement and interest in the event and also kicked off Super Bowl week in an innovative new way,” said Frank Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events. “We are pleased to return to the State of Hawai‘i, which has embraced the Pro Bowl for 30 years.”

In 2009, HTA’s sports marketing program accounted for approximately 73,500 visitors, $106 million in visitor spending, and $11.3 million in state taxes.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , , | Leave a comment