Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Jason Doan runs with Bevis and Twinkie in HPP

Jason Doan with Bevis and Twinkie

I’m always happy to see people take the time to walk their dogs.  It is a great relationship between people and animals that bond during these exercise walks.

Walking your dog doesn’t take any special training, just a collar and a leash work well and to remember that you are the one leading, not the other way around.

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of timing a two mile race where the requirement was that you needed to complete the distance with your dog on a leash.

It impressed me to see how well behaved the dogs were and compliant to their owners request to maintain a certain speed over the back roads of Hawaiian Paradise Park.

But what impressed even more was that one owner didn’t race with one dog, he did it with two dogs, one on each hand.

Jason Doan was in perfect sync with dogs, Beavis and Twinkie, during the entire distance and even managed to win the race while maintaining an 8 minute 31 second per mile pace.

“I’ve been running for years and have loved dogs for years,” Doan said.  “It gets kind of lonely running by myself and it was a great opportunity to change things up while having some company.”

Doan has been involved in sports activities his entire life, through organized teams, or just pick up games.  

“I never really did sports for fitness reasons,” he said.  “It wasn’t until I matured that I realized the belly was getting bigger and in order to stay healthy I have to exercise, no matter what.”

In high school Doan did play on the baseball team and from there developed a passion for playing racquetball with some of his friends.

“Racquetball ended up being my favorite sports, but since moving here I haven’t been able to find any courts,” he said.

Doan and his wife grew up in the Phoenix area and moved to the Big Island for a variety of reasons.

“It’s just beautiful here, especially when you have lived in Phoenix for so many years where it is dry and brown,” Doan said.  “We also love the change of pace as we needed to slow down and enjoy life, not just let life pass us by.”

Beavis is a German Shorthaired Pointer and Twinkie, which has shorter legs, is a Terrier.

“I’ve been running with Beavis for over a year and a half and Twinkie only goes with me now and then because I like to run longer distances and she has the shorter legs,” Doan explained.

Doan found it easy to train his two dogs to run with him once he developed a good walking relationship with both.

“They were used to walking on a leash so there was no training on their part at all as we just increased to a faster pace,” he said.  “I just keep them on track and not allow them to pull or wander to the side.”

Doan knows what he is talking about as he and his wife have just started out on a new business venture into pet services.

“We provide dog sitting, walking, transportation, basic obedience training, and of course, dog running,” he said.

The 40 year old Doan will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for four to five miles and then cross trains on Tuesday and Thursday. 

“I’m now training for the Big Island International Marathon, so I have increased my running days to five times per week and will start increasing my mileage,” he said.

Doan started out running just to lose some extra weight and to stay in shape when he realized that he didn’t have any fitness goals.

“I was just running and that’s when I decided to start training for some races from the 10K to the half marathon,” he said.  “In March I will try my first marathon and the goal is just to finish, but I’d like to break the 4 hour mark.”

At middle age Doan is now starting to realize the importance of staying healthy and fit.

“Growing up I was always outside playing and never really gave health and fitness any thought,” he said.  “As I matured into my 30’s I realized how much of what I eat and don’t eat plays in my performance.”

Today Doan will avoid fatty foods, high sugar foods and he stays away from deep fried foods as he tries to consume as much fruits and vegetables as possible.

“I still have much to do and see as I continue to mature,” Doan said.  “I don’t want to be slowed down by poor health, or stuck in a bed because I’m too fat to walk.”

Doan believes in the old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ as he applies exercise and a healthy diet to his daily life.

“I want my body to heal quickly and for it to take care of me so that I can get around and do what I want as I grow older,” Doan said.  “But I know that if I don’t take care of my body like you would a machine, then it’ll slow down and break.”


Today is Valentine’s Day and if you forgot to get your loved one(s) something then you still have time.  Of course, the best gift you can give those you love is by taking better care of yourself through exercise and a better diet.

Research has shown that people who are more physically fit have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood press, and diabetes which provide them with a better opportunity to be more optimistic about life in general. 

And someday should you happen to see a loving, happily married retired teacher come 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

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Profiles, Running on the Big Island | , | Leave a comment