Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

East Hawaii’s Favorite Sunday Running Group

Some of the finishers from Honolulu Marathon celebrate with Doc Morita. The group meets on Sundays in Hilo to do their long run training

From after marathon dinner list (Wonderful dedicated supporters & *runners)  East Hawaii’s fun loving marathon finishers celebrate after finishing the Honolulu Marathon at a post race dinner party.  One of the most popular Sunday running groups in East Hawaii. 

1.     Patricia Morita (Med. Office Bus. Mgr)

2.   *Aaron Morita, MD (Int. Med.)

3.   *Amanda Morita-Zen (UH Med. School Grants Administrator)

4.     Brandon Morita (Financial Planner)

5.     Masa Okazaki (Retired Insurance Executive) 6.   *Tony Nolta (Truck driver)

7.     Laureen Nolta (Teacher) 8.   *Dave Adachi (Recovery Rm. Tech. & AHA CPR Instructor)

9.   *Jennifer Maninga, RN 10. *Luke Williams (Architect; Lauren’s fiancé)

11. *Lauren Chang (Kumu Hula & School Choir Director) 12.   Sandy Chang, Ph.D. (UH Prof. of Immunology)

13.  *Melvin Chang, MD (Int. Med.) 14.  *Elliot Chang (College Student) 15.    Airi Morita (Student)

16.  *Sara Chiu, MD (Child Psychiatrist)     17.  *Mark Zen, MD (Psychiatrist) 18.    Tracy Zen (Med. Office Manager)

19.    Geoff Zen (College Student) 20.    Ted Wong (Aerospace Engineer) 21.  *Clifford Lau, MD (Orthopedics)

22.    Adrienne Wing, MD (Int. Med.) 23.  *Imelda Tamayo, RN 24.    Imelda’s boyfriend 25.  *Gina Durante, RN

26.  *Cindy Kuwana (Ululani Pharmacy Office Manager) 27.    Eric Kuwana (Sales Assoc. at Tokunaga’s Fishing Store)

28.   *Allison Sakoda (UH Nursing Student) 29.  *Melanie Arakaki, MD (Family Practice) 30.    Carole (Melanie’s sister)

31.  *Seppo Rinne, MD (Int. Med.-Hospitalist) 32.    Naomi Morita, MD (Int. Med. & Palliative Care) 33.   *Laura Ebesugawa, RN

 Running but unable to attend this dinner:

1. *Rudy Arzaga (Building Contractor) 2. *Noemi Arzaga, RN

3. *Mari Rayner (UH Med. School Grants Administrator)  4.  *Stephanie Wong (Physical Therapist)

 Could not run the marathon due to having to work:      David Nakamura, MD (Family Practice)


December 18, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Big Islanders Do Well at Honolulu Marathon

Doc Morita, in yellow, finishes 11th consecutive Honolulu Marathon

Big Island runners showed their talents in distance running during the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday with several producing impressive results.

Jason Braswell, owner of the Big Island Running Company in Kailua-Kona, Pahoa’s Trevor Johannsen and Laupahoehoe’s Alan Ryan ran with the top 50 of the world’s best distance runners during the 26.2 mile endurance race which had over 23,000 participants registered to do the event.

Braswell finished 34th overall for the men in a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 4 seconds, Johannsen, 37th; in 2:56:08; while Ryan finished 40th in 2:56:14.

“I’m not really pleased with my finishing time today,” Ryan said during a telephone interview.  “I was hoping to run 2:50 or faster but by 15K (9.6 miles) I started to fall off my 6:30 per mile pace and knew it wasn’t going to happen today.”

Ryan was coming off a 2:50 performance from the New York City Marathon last month and was hoping to ride the crest of his peak performance before feeling his legs start to give out at Honolulu.

“I wasn’t feeling good during the second half of the race and just went into a survival mode,” Ryan said.  “This was the end of a long season for me and now I’ll take a break before starting up again for the Boston Marathon in April.”

Hilo Internist, Dr. Aaron Morita, was joined by his running group which consisted of two physicians, several registered nurses and a couple of long time running companions.

“I improved a little on my time from last year,” Morita said.  “I followed my doctors’ advice and lost a little weight, 15 pounds, which made it easier for me to run.”

Morita completed his 11th consecutive Honolulu Marathon in 5 hours and 25 seconds and may have been able to break the 5 hour barrier if not for a pit stop.

“At about mile 23 I had to stop and pee,” Morita said.  “It ended up costing me my sub 5 hour performance.”

Morita and his Big Island running group of 15 were headed to Big City Diner later that evening for a post race gathering.

Doc Morita and his Sunday running group proudly display their finisher tee shirts

Morita and his Big Island running group of 15 were headed to Big City Diner later that evening for a post race gathering.

“We had a nice mixture of experienced and first time runners going with us this year,” he said.  “Losing the weight made me feel better and I had more energy at the finish, but I still need to lose a few more pounds.”

First time marathon runners that trained with Doc Morita and his group were Cindy Kuwana, 8:03:25; and Jennifer Maninga, 6:51:31.

 “It didn’t go as planned as I was hoping to run around 6 hours 30 minutes,” Kuwana said.  “I feel a little disappointed because of my time as I had to walk the second half of the race due to an injury I got in June from a car accident.”

Kuwana was a passenger in a car that was broadsided and still has back problems and an abdominal strain.

“I guess the main thing is that I was able to finish the race,” she said.  “I probably could have come in 20 minutes sooner if not for two port–a-potty stops as the lines to get in were so long.”

“Despite everything I had a lot of fun and made new friends,” Kuwana said.  “Overall it was a good experience.”

Maninga, a registered nurse, stopped along the course to help give CPR to a runner that needed help around mile 20.

“There was another man administering the CPR and I stopped to help,” she said.  “We assisted until the paramedics could get there, but I think he’s okay and will be fine.”

Maninga also had race jitters and stopped three times to use the portable toilets.

My stops for the toilet and for aiding with CPR probably added 45 minutes to my time,” she said.  “This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do physically and I have a new found respect for all the training and preparation that goes into running a marathon.”

Maninga credits her Sunday running group with Doc Morita as helping her finish her first marathon.

“They are the most amazing and supportive group that I’ve ever been with and thanks to them I was able to finish today,” she said.  “Before I even reached the finish line I had tears in my eyes and I needed the crying release for such an emotional experience.”

Hilo’s Marie Kuramoto finished in 5:17:11 one week after running in the Las Vegas Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes, placing third in the 60 to 64 age division and allowing the marathon veteran a qualifying time in the prestigious Boston Marathon.

“I’m still on cloud 9 after doing Vegas and I had decided to take my time in Honolulu this weekend as I was still nursing a tender right hip,” Kuramoto said.

Kuramoto belongs to a running group called Marathon Maniacs and to be in that group an individual needs to be able to complete two or more marathons within a 16 day period.

Despite being a cancer survivor Kuramoto has never allowed her illness to interfere with her training for long distance races.

“I just try to do the best I can with what I have,” she said.

Kenya’s Nicholas Chelimo won the race in 2:15:18 while Belainesh Gebre from Flagstaff, Arizona claimed the overall women’s title in 2:32:13.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/big-islanders-finish-2010-honolulu-marathon-results/

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hilo Medical Professionals Headed to do the Honolulu Marathon

Doc Morita to notch yet another marathon finish

More than 250 Big Island residents will be lacing up their shoes on Sunday, Dec. 12, for the Annual running of the Honolulu Marathon.

With an estimated field of 25,000 the Honolulu Marathon ranks as one of the top ten largest marathons in the world.  The economic value to the state exceeds $100 million and ranks this marathon as the largest financial sporting event in the State of Hawaii far exceeding the revenue brought in by the Pro Bowl or by the Professional Golf Association.

Each year Big Island residents will train for the event before making the pilgrimage to Oahu to run the 26.2 mile course along with some of the world’s fastest distance runners.

In Hilo a small contingent of medical professionals have been doing a long Sunday run together in preparation for Honolulu.

Led by veteran marathoner, Hilo Internist, Dr. Aaron Morita who will be doing his 11th consecutive Honolulu Marathon, the group is a mixture of experienced and first time distance runners.

“Those in our group that run with us regularly are doctor’s Melanie Arakaki, Sara Chiu, and David Nakamura with registered nurses Imelda Tamayo, Noemi Arzaga, Gina Durant and Jennifer Maninga, along with recovery room technician Dave Adachi and Ululani Pharmacy office manager Cindy Kuwana,  ” Doc Morita said.

Morita will also meet up with a number of family members and friends in Honolulu, most of whom are in the medical field as well, making their group one of the largest, or at the very least one of the most educated in the marathon.

“We are planning an after marathon dinner at the Big City Diner in Kaimuki together with our supporters, friends and relatives,” Morita said.

Morita’s group just finished doing a 20 mile run on Sunday, Nov. 28, and the plan now is for all of them to begin their taper, decrease in mileage, before heading to Oahu and the excitement of doing one of the world’s largest marathons.

Cindy Kuwana

Cindy Kuwana trained with the group last year, but never realized her dream of doing her first marathon as she needed to stop training due to an injury.

“I’ve been training this entire year, with 17 miles being my longest run thus far,” Kuwana said.  “Since being in a side-impact automobile accident this past June, trying to recover from those injuries and doing my marathon training has been tough, both mentally and physically.”

Kuwana needed to take off a month from her training to recover from the auto accident and she describes the layoff as being the most frustrating and a humbling experience.

“I’m just hoping to cross the finish line for my first marathon,” she said.  “Anytime would be a good time since it would be such an accomplishment in itself.  Hopefully I’ll finish around six hours or a little over, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself.

Jennifer Maninga

Another new comer to the marathon is Jennifer Maninga who has finished the Kona, Kauai and Maui half marathons, but never a full 26.2 event.

“I chose Honolulu because of the team that I train with, they always run the Honolulu Marathon,” Maninga said.  “I was compelled to join the team.”

Last year Maninga met the Hilo medical group while in Honolulu and felt the excitement permeating in the air.

“I could feel the excitement, but I also saw the pain and told myself that it would never be me running that distance,” she said.  “Now I know, never to say never!”

When asked what time she’d be finishing in Maninga replied with a wide grin, “I think we have to be in by midnight right?”

“I have a time in mind, but if I speak it, I will feel the pressure to make that time,” she said.  “Just the thought of finishing is pressure enough.”

“Running a marathon is something that I haven’t accomplished in my life,” Maninga said.  “It’s something that I never thought I could do.”

Lenny Baybayan

Another first time marathoner lacing up his shoes in Honolulu will be Leonard Baybayan, Jr. who began his training for the event back in April.

“This past February my wife, two daughters and six year old son walked the Great Aloha run and I told them I wanted to try next year,” Baybayan said.  “So I started my training in April and as my runs got longer my confidence began to grow.”

Baybayan started with long runs of six miles and increased gradually to eight, then ten and went all the way to 22 miles.

When Baybayan asked his family what they thought of his idea to go to Honolulu and run his first marathon his wife said “go” his daughters said “are you crazy” and his son didn’t care.

Like all the other first time marathoners Baybayan hasn’t set a time to finish the 26.2 miles and is just hoping to be able to cross the finish line.

“My personal goal for my first marathon is to reach the finish line and running it from start to finish,” he said.  “I don’t have a set time to finish it in as I don’t want to get discouraged if I don’t achieve that goal and not run again.”

Last weekend Doc Morita and the rest of his group received by mail their Official Running Number Pick-up Cards from the Honolulu Marathon.

“Receiving our packet pick up information has raised our excitement levels in addition to knowing that the marathon is only a few days away,” Morita said.   “I was assigned race number 703 and my wife commented that I must be an old-timer for this marathon as my number has gotten a lot smaller although I don’t run any faster than before.” 

Pat Bigold, the Director of Media Relations for the Honolulu Marathon, provided the 254 names of Big Islanders preregistered to do the race. 

Good luck to all those taking part in the years Honolulu Marathon.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/254-big-islanders-signed-up-to-do-2010-honolulu-marathon/

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments