Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Honolulu Marathon is today – complete list of BI finishers later today

Honolulu Marathon brings over $100 million to our state economy.  Over 3,400 participants are expected to paraticatpate many from Japan.

This is Japan’s largest marathon.

Complete results of Big Island Finishers will be posted at this site later today.

Advertisements

December 9, 2012 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , | 1 Comment

Hilo Weight Watchers Diana Kahler going stong and keeping fit

Recently I was on the Keaau High School track instructing middle school athletes how to read passing zone markings so that they could understand the rules for a successful relay team.

During the two hours that I was helping I noticed a woman walking laps on the grassy infield, wearing a Big Island Marathon 5K finisher’s tee shirt.

On the second week of my tutorial the same woman appeared again walking laps on the infield but this time I decided to strike up a conversation.

The woman turned out to be 73 years young, Diana Kahler.

“I’m actually 73 and a half,” Kahler said with a wide grin.  “I walk everyday no matter where I’m at and since I had to drop off my great granddaughter for track practice I thought I’d do a few laps.”

Kahler is a mother of 6, a grandmother of 11 and a great grandmother of 11.

Born and raised in Marquette, Michigan Kahler grew up playing a lot of different sports.

“My childhood home was a half block from the shores of Lake Superior and summer vacations were spent swimming, playing sandlot baseball and kickball,” Kahler said.  “Television was not invented yet and in the winter I would go downhill skiing and sledding, but ice skating was my favorite activity.”

Kahler had chilling memories, no pun intended, of outdoor skating rinks and fire fed warming shacks.

Walking had always been a part of her life, so doing laps around the track for two hours was a piece of cake for her.

“I walked eight blocks to and from school four times a day during the school months,” Kahler said.  “Sometimes there were snowdrifts five feet tall and that never stopped me from walking to school.”

Kahler started walking to school in the first grade and it continued through high school.

“I believe those walks to and from school is where I got my love for walking which continues now,” she said.

It was during high school that Kahler joined the Girls Athletic Association and played volleyball, basketball and softball for all four years.

“I received the school letter in athletics in my junior year,” Kahler said.

While growing up Kahler listened to the radio and one of her favorite programs was ‘Hawaii Calls.’

“While listening to Hawaii Calls I would dream of living someplace where the skies were often blue and the weather always warm,” she said.  “When the opportunity presented itself 35 years ago I took it.”

Once here Kahler took advantage of our beautiful weather and began walking everyday without the snow drifts.

“I found walking to be a marvelous method of managing my stress as I was working fulltime and completing my degree at the University of Hawaii,” Kahler said.

Her enthusiasm with fitness and tropical weather saw her complete her first half marathon on Oahu I 1999 and six weeks later she became a finisher in the Honolulu Marathon.

“I participated in the Great Aloha Run in 2000 and then began walking less,” she said.  “In 2001

I rarely exercised and became overly absorbed in work and volunteering. I began eating as a method of managing my stress.”

The following three years following Kahler’s decision to stop walking was a disaster as she gained 40 pounds, developed aching joints and saw her cholesterol and blood pressure shoot up.

Motivated by two of her friends who had joined Weight Watchers and lost 100 pounds Kahler joined the Hilo group and lost those 40 pounds within a six month period.

“I returned to walking regularly and eating healthy, with the help of Weight Watchers I remain at my goal weight to this day,” Kahler said.

Retired from a lifetime of work, primarily in the Early Childhood Field, Kahler works a few hours a week in Hilo helping others take better care of themselves and keep their weight off.

“I find retirement a bit stressful due to the reduced social interaction,” she said.  “But now I have more time to be involved with my Hawaii family and I find it a delightful benefit.”

Today Kahler walks three miles, six days a week, either at the Hilo High Track or around her neighborhood in Naauao.

“I plan to increase my mileage to four while adding in some hills and to increase the intensity in February,” Kahler said. 

To maintain her upper body strength Kahler will work with hand weights and resistance cords daily.

“My goal is to stay healthy and injury free and mitigate some of the disabilities that so frequently impact the independence of the elderly,” she said.

Kahler’s infectious enthusiasm for walking has spread to family and friends.

“Walking is a great family event and it is free, you can do it almost anytime and anyplace,” she said. 

Kahler has gotten her great granddaughter, Tawnee Respicio and her grandson Treysin Brugman to participate in the New Years Day Resolution Run/Walk. All three walked and finished the 5K of the Big Island International Marathon on March 18, 2012.

“Several members of Weight Watchers came out to do the Resolution Walk with us,” Kahler said.  

Kahler continues on her healthy diet which includes a daily intake of five servings each of fruits and vegetables, power foods, non fat dairy and whole grains.

We can all learn from this healthy 73 and a half year old!

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good Things Happen to Nice People – Congratulations Melissa Braswell

Jason & Melissa

They say that good things happen to nice people and that is very true when it comes to the Braswell’s, Melissa and Jason, who are owners of the Big Island Running Company.

Since arriving on the Big Island the Braswell’s have donated much of their time and resources to promoting the great sport of running.

Melissa Braswell of Kailua-Kona won lifetime entry into the annual Honolulu Marathon as well as their half-marathon, which will debut March 11, by entering the marathon’s Facebook trivia contest.

“I have to come back now,” the 33-year-old Braswell said.

Marathon officials conducted a daily race-related trivia contest during the past week, with the winners receiving a marathon tee-shirt. The prize was upgraded on the Friday before the race with a more difficult question.

That question was to guess the race winner’s finish time. Braswell came within one second of the two hour, 14 minutes and 55 seconds time of winner Nicholas Chelimo of Kenya. Race officials used their own Website to track Braswell on the course and give her the good news when she crossed the finish line.

Braswell said she has trained for previous Honolulu Marathons but didn’t run because of injuries. This was the first year she was injury free, she said, and ran the race in just under four hours.

The final challenge in the contest is to guess the finish time of the slowest participant. That winner also will receive lifetime marathon entry, but the marathon has yet to announce the winner.

Congratulations to Melissa Braswell for winning the Honolulu Marathon contest and here’s wishing the entire Braswell ohana the happiest of Holidays from the Big Dog and his ohana.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , | 1 Comment

Should Caleb Westfall be banned from all future Honolulu Marathons?

Should Caleb Westfall be banned from future Honolulu Marathons?

Big Island resident Caleb Westfall was told several times that he would be arrested if he attempted to do the Honolulu Marathon on stilts, race officials told the Big Dog.  

Race President, Jim Barahal, did not want him in the race with the stilts. Westfall was advised several times before the race that the stilts could pose a danger to other runners in a crowded field like the Honolulu marathon.

Westfall defied race officials and came in anyway. He got himself on KITV’s morning show because the station was doing live coverage from the course. When KITV asked Honolulu race officials his name they would not give it to the television station because they did not want to help Westfall in his self promoting publicity stunt.

Look at the end of this video from the KITV live program and you will see Westfall being interviewed on the course. He complained that the Honolulu Marathon would not let him race with stilts so he jumped in at mile 5.

The Honolulu Marathon is now considering banning Westfall from future races.

The Big Dog would like to know if you agree with the ban because I would also not allow stilts to be used in the Hilo Marathon, for safety reasons.  The safety of runners should always come first!

December 12, 2011 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Puna’s Archie Hapai an Ironman Original

Archie Hapai

       “All my successes have been built on my failures,” Benjamin Disraeli said.

For Puna’s Archie Hapai learning from a failure brought him unique gratification and the ability to say that he is one of the few and an original.

In January 1978 Hapai attempted to swim the Molokai Channel from Ilio Point on Molokai to Sandy Beach on Oahu.

“I belonged to the Humuhumunukumukuapuaa Swim Club and they asked me to give the 26 mile distance swim a try,” Hapai said.

Hapai estimated that, with weather permitting, the challenging swim would take him about 13 hours.

“I had been training from September 1977 till January to teach my body to go the entire 26 miles,” Hapai said.

After 12 hours in the water Hapai caught sight of Sandy Beach and was looking at completing something that few before him had ever accomplished.

“The current started pushing me back in the final hour and I lost sight of Sandy’s,” Hapai said.  “I wasn’t able to get ashore and became a DNF (did not finish).  It was heartbreaking.”

A month later Hapai was holding his chin high as he attempted what no one before him had ever done.

“I swam the 2.4 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim from San Souci Beach to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, and then rode my bike 112 miles in the Oahu Century Ride from Duke Kahanamoku Beach around parts of Oahu to Aloha Tower,” Hapai explained.  “This was followed by a 26 mile Honolulu Marathon run from Aloha Tower to Kapiolani Park.”

Hapai did all of the three distances in one day along with 11 other people to complete the first Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon in 1978, making him an ‘original’.

“I don’t remember all of the reasons I did the Iron Man,” Hapai said.  “But not finishing the Molokai to Oahu swim along with the faith of my fellow club swimmers probably had something to do with it.”

Back in February ’78 there were no crowds cheering the original 12 on and no money bet between the racers as the entire event was made through each person’s own inner strength and determination.

“The challenge was to finish the three legs and determine who were the best athletes overall: swimmers, bikers or runners,” Hapai said. 

On that day in Feb. ’78 there were 15 men that started the race, no women, and three had to drop out because they ran out of time and needed to get to work.

“We had to pace ourselves as I knew it was going to be a very long day,” Hapai said.

What started as a beautiful sunny day during the swim turned into a heavy downpour when the bikers reached Haleiwa.

“I remember riding through the Haleiwa Sea Spree, a carnival/fair at about midday and having to dodge the potholes in the road,” Hapai said.

Hapai also recalled running on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki with tourist on the sidewalks he needed to be on the street.

“Running on the road we had to endure cars honking at us and yelling things like ‘get off the street you idiot’,” Hapai said.

Through Hapai’s self determination and inner strength he was able to complete the entire race and is now referred to as one of the original Iron Men.

Today, at age 64, Hapai remains healthy and active through regular physical exercise and his love for the water.

“I swim 240 minutes, will jog 90 minutes, do pushups, chin ups, abdominal core exercises for 30 minutes, each and every week,” Hapai said.

Hapai is a retired Army Veteran who spent 25 years in the military and is a decorated Vietnam Veteran awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Commendation Medal and the National Defense Medal.

Because of his military service and his love for his country Hapai is helping to put on a 5K  run/walk called A Salute to Our Veterans at Hilo Bay on Saturday, June 18.

“We’re helping the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3830 to try to raise funds to expand facilities and programs to meet the rapidly growing needs of Puna’s veteran population,” Hapai said.

Hapai explained that a 2010 census identified 2,300 displaced veterans on the Big Island with 1,300 of them residing in the Puna District.

“Basic medical, hygienic and social services to improve their quality of life are desperately needed,” Hapai said.  “The expansion of our VFW Post will enable our dedicated volunteers to help these veterans who have done so much to help others.”

Hapai would like to encourage the public to attend this run/walk event as his wife, Marlene is the Event Coordinator.

For more information email Marlene at mhapai@aol.com or call 966-9894.

For registration, sponsorship and convention forms go to the Post 3830 website at www.vfwpost3830.com and click on ‘Convention and Run 2011’.

“Our website has been recognized nationally as the VFW’s second Most Outstanding Website,” Hapai said.  “The services we provide range from addressing everyday veteran transportation, medical, food and housing needs to coordinating and contributing to maintenance, care and educational programs for veterans, youth, elderly, Special Olympians and cancer patients.”

And someday should you happen to see a fortunate veteran running along the roadside remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Profiles, Swimming in Hawaii | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments