Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

HPA’s Scully & Keaau’s Barroga winners of Running Scholarship

Scully and Barroga

Nothing gives me greater pleaser than to see young people enjoying life through sports participation.

Over the years I’ve seen Big Island high school sports enjoy an explosion in participation, especially in cross country and track & field.

Six years ago Richard and Virginia Alderson of Hakalau provided the Big Island Road Runners with a large monetary donation with the expectation that each year the club would award $1,000 to one male and one female senior that was headed to college.

The main stipulation for receiving the scholarship award was that each applicant needed to be a runner and through writing a 300 word essay convey their love and passion for the sport.

The Alderson’s, along with BIRR treasurer Dano Banks, and the County’s Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela join with scholarship chair Big Dog to look through the dozens of applications.

Prior to looking over the essays the scholarship chairman will remove the names and schools from the paperwork so that none of the member knows the identity of those who apply.  The chair does not vote except in instances of a tie.

The 2011 selections are Keaau’s Rogelio Barroga and Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Hana Scully.

Barroga will be attending Northern Arizona University while Scully is heading to the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus.

Barroga’s running life started when he was in the sixth grade at Keaau Middle School and he credits his physical education teacher with introducing him to the sport.

“Running was very foreign to me when I entered middle school,” Barroga said.  “I was just another average, anti-social student before I joined the P&R track and field team and I credit that as the dramatic turning point in my life.”

Barroga credits the positive role model P.E. teacher for turning him into the positive and uplifting individual that he has now become.

“I used to be a follower, not a leader,” he said.  “I had low self esteem, but that all changed when I became part of a team as my PE teacher encouraged me to take my middle school running to a whole new level by continuing the sport into high school.”

Barroga took her advice and walked on to the cross country team in his freshman year at Keaau, then joined track & field and even went on to participate in volleyball.

Scully has also been a part of the Ka Makani championship cross country and track & field teams as she also participates in cheerleading and paddling at the high school level.

“All I could hear was the crowd cheering ‘Go Hana’!” Unfortunately, everything I could see was spinning.  I knew it was happening again; my telling me to slow down.  I didn’t listen.  My competitiveness and determination took over and I won the race.  Even though it was the end of my 400-meter dash, it was the beginning of an unexpected journey,” wrote Hana Scully in her essay.

Scully was describing her irregular and slow heart rate that caused her to be connected to a heart monitor in the hospital with a cardiologist giving her the news shortly after that 400 meter race in 2009.

“My biggest fear that day was that I might not be able to participate in school sports,” Scully said.  “I wasn’t going to let this challenge slow me down, but instead make me stronger.”

Scully, of course, is up and running and doing her best in helping to lead the Ka Makani to a team title in track & field last week.

“A heart can do many things,” she said.  “Mine radiates love, health, strength, compassion, and happiness.  I can most clearly feel mine with each beat as I sprint down the track or weave through the trails.  Of all my many blessing I am so thankful I can still relish the joy of running.

Both Barroga and Scully have been supporters of the BIRR over the years and have participated in many of its events.

Barroga is often found doing most of the 5K (3.1 mile) community races hosted on the East side of the island.

Recently, Barroga, participated in the Big Island International Marathon’s 5K race, and then stayed for several hours after the race to help volunteers with a variety of tasks.

“We should all help as much as we can in making for a nice community,” Barroga said.  “It is all part of what we learn in school in helping to make this a better place.”

“I have been a strong supporter of the Big Island Road Runner’s Program, always trying my best to participate in every fun run they put on for the community,” Scully said.  “By receiving this scholarship, I will be one step closer in turning my dreams into reality.  College isn’t getting any cheaper and with this added money I will be a thousand dollars less from taking out a loan.”

Both Barroga and Scully will be honored by the BIRR on Sunday, May 15, with a 5K run/walk starting at Coconut Island at 7:30 am.  There is no entry fee and the public is encouraged to come out and participate.

Post race snack will be provided and a formal awards ceremony will be presented by BIRR president, Alan Ryan.  For more information go to www.bigislandroadrunners.org or call 969-7400.

And someday should you happen to see a happy, healthy runner come jogging through the side roads of East Hawai’i remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Profiles, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Dog’s New Years Day 5K BIG Success

Race Start 1-1-11

Happy New Year!

Hoping this New Year brings the belief that all things are possible in achieving our health and fitness goals.

New Year’s Day saw a large group of eager and excited people assembled at the Coconut Island parking area to start 2011 by doing a 3.1 mile run or walk.

People of varying ages and abilities were making a commitment to themselves to make the New Year a new beginning in their quest to be physically fit.

Many people brought their entire family to start off the New Year for the purpose of having a head start on becoming healthy and fit and to take better care of themselves.

Leona, Nai’a, Kalen & Harlen Fragas

The Fragas family, Leona, Nai’a, Kalen and Harlen were on hand wanting to join like minded people on this first day of the New Year.

“We always are walking around as a family,” patriarch Harlan Fragas said.  “We saw the article about this event in the newspaper and wanted to try something different and to do it together, as a family.”

The Heaukulani family and friends were also among the many folks that joined in for the 3.1 mile event.

“This is a great way to make the start of the New Year even better,” Hilo attorney and soccer coach Charles Heaukulani said.  “I’m hoping I can run a couple more marathons and expand what I do to cross train and get the awesome Hilo Soccer Girls committed to year round fitness.”

Heaukulani family and friends

During the race it was it was the owners of the Big Island Running Company in Kona, Jason and Melissa Braswell, showing the 200 participants why they are experts in the running shoe business.

Jason Braswell ran away from the entire field, leading from start to finish, to win in 17 minutes and 18 seconds, while wife Melissa finished 11th overall and second amongst the women.

“We will find any excuse to come over to Hilo,” Melissa Braswell said.  “This is a great way to start the New Year and it was great that the race started at 9 am which gave us time to drive over this morning.”

Melissa’s goal for 2011 is to run her first marathon in Honolulu in December and Jason’s is to be able to just keep doing what he’s doing and help his wife in accomplishing her marathon dream.

The first place woman, Kim Pierce, separated herself from Braswell in the first half mile and never looked back clocking in at 21:30 and finishing eighth overall.

“Some girlfriends told me about this race and I thought this would be a great way to kick off the New Year,” Pierce said.  “I’m hoping I can run more and surf more in 2011.”

The main reason for the Big Dog in organizing this event wasn’t to showcase those in the lead but to provide a fun venue for all, novice and speedsters alike, in kicking off the New Year in a healthy and fit way.

Gary Kaku, registrar for Hilo Intermediate School, was on hand to do the 3.1 mile walk and his reason for coming was to improve on his health.

“My resolution is to take better care and treatment for my diabetes by walking more and watching my weight,” Kaku said.

Many people were on hand just like Gary Kaku who do not consider themselves athletes, but wanted to participate to get a jump start on making 2011 the best for their own personal fitness levels.

J. Kamelamela

County Corporation Deputy Counsel, Joseph Kamelamela and his wife, were also on hand to enjoy the fitness event.

“I encouraged a bunch of our friends to come out and start the New Year as we wanted to enjoy 1-1-11,” he said.  “It is such a beautiful morning and a great way to start any day.”

Kamelamela makes the same resolution each year, “Work hard and play hard,” he said.

For the Big Dog it was a great way to celebrate any occasion with a large group of friends and acquaintances doing what are important in our lives, exercising for health and fitness.

For those that are wondering, the Big Dog did not succeed in running the entire 3.1 mile distance as I needed to walk a little upon reaching the 2 mile mark.  On Feb. 6 the Big Dog will host the Lover’s 5K run/walk and will attempt once again to jog the entire distance.

State House Representative, Jerry Chang, read a Certificate of Appreciation to all the volunteers and participants in the Big Dog New Year’s Day 5K run/walk that Mayor Billy Kenoi provided.  The mayor wrote, “…There is no better time than the start of the New Year to rededicate ourselves to being more fit for the rigors of our daily lives. Best wishes to all for a good, safe run today and may it be the first of many that will lead to a Happy and Healthy New Year for 2011.”

Mahalo to the loyal and dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors that continue to support Big Dog Productions and help with promoting health and fitness on Hawaii Island.

Related Links:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/photos-from-big-dogs-new-years-day-resolution-5k/


January 3, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame returning to PKP

Jerry Chang, Kimberly Shimabuku and Ellsworth Fontes sign contract

Jerry Chang, Kimberly Shimabuku and Ellsworth Fontes sign contract

Photos of more than 100 inductees into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame will return to the Prince Kuhio Plaza after nearly two years in storage.

    Plans are under way to rededicate a 12’x12’ wall space next to Macy’s Men Shop and across from IHOP in early January with a formal ceremony.  It will be followed a few months later with a new class of inductees.

     The photos of that illustrious group graced the wall of PKP for nearly 8 years before management decided to sell the wall space in February ’08, leaving the Sports Hall of Fame without a home.

    Since that time the photo’s and plaque’s commemorating more than 4,000 years of community service to the Big Island sports community had been placed into storage and in some cases has resulted in mildew damage.

   Over the past six months a group of community volunteers, spearhead by Jerry Chang, state House representative, has meet on a regular basis to bring the photos back for public viewing.

   “I was present at a meeting between board members, Ellsworth Fontes and Ken Fujiyama when they were discussing re-activating the (BISHofF) committee and new leadership,” Chang said.

   “(Fujiyama) made the suggestion that I would be a good candidate because of my long standing relationship with founder Jack Matsui and the sports community on the Big Island,” Chang said.

   Chang volunteered to head the first organizational meeting in order to kick start the process and a new board was selected this past May.

   Chang was selected to serve as the committee’s president with vice president, Pat Aiona, Sr. and Fontes continues to serve as treasurer.  Other board members include Fujiyama, Derek Shigematsu, Brian Iwata, Cora Lee Matsui, Wendell Kaehuaea and Dr. Ernest Bade.

Fontes holds plans to return photo's to wall of fame
Fontes holds plans to return photo’s to wall of fame

Kimberly Shimabuku, general manager at PKP, had also contacted the mall’s owners, General Growth Properties, to provide the BISHofF organization with a special non-profit cost for wall rental space.

    “Each contract for rental in the Plaza goes through the appropriate department committee for approval,” Shimabuku said.

   Shimabuku also explained the process for removing the photo’s from the free wall space.  “We approached Mr. Matsui regarding the need for a sponsor for the wall, although a specific price was not discussed.  A notification letter was sent and the pictures were removed in February 2008 after approximately 18 months of working with Mr. Matsui to find a sponsor or another suitable home,” she said.

   Shimabuku acknowledges PKP’s support for the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame, but says, “Business conditions were such that we need sponsorship for the space.  The Board of Directors has found that sponsorship and GGP was willing to extend a discounted rate.”

   “PKP has asked us to pay $250 per month (plus an additional $10.41 per month in taxes) and we were able to get several $500 donation commitments from various people and community organizations so that we can insure the first year of wall space,” Chang said.

   Chang, along with Clift Tsuji, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi,  and the Big Island International Marathon have all made verbal commitments to the BISHofF committee to help pay for the first year of wall space at the mall.

   Jack Matsui came up with the idea of the BISHofF in a dream that came to him one morning.  “I just woke up from a dream one morning and the idea of recognizing some of the older people in our community came to me,” Matsui said in an previous interview.

   Matsui, 86, is the founder of many sports organizations throughout the island which includes the Big Island Athlete of the Month, Big Island Sports Person of the Year, and several boxing organization.

    “I have known Jack (Matsui) since I was 10 years old.  He was my first coach for boxing with the Hilo Boys Club and he was my basketball and baseball coach for Hukilau (Restaurant) Athletic Club,” Chang said.

   The BISHofF is now in the process of getting a federal non-profit status with the help of County Corporation Counsel Attorney, Joseph Kamelamela and CPA, Brian Iwata, contributing pro-bono on the application process.

   “We expect to get our 501 (3) (c) status by the end of this year,” Chang said.  “In the meantime we need to raise additional money to pay for the damage done to the plaques and photo’s while they were in storage and to help pay for the cost of our next inductee class which will be in early 2010.

   The new contract is only for one year which runs from January 1 to December 31, 2010, at which time PKP will reevaluate its agreement with the BISHofF.

    “For this type of agreement our maximum term is one year.  After a year we hope to see a renewal of sponsorship for the wall,” Shimabuku said.

    In the meantime, anyone who would like to help with the BISHofF to preserve and honor those that have contributed so much to sports here on the Big Island can make a check out to Big Island Sports Hall of Fame and mail it to P.O. Box 11211, Hilo, Hawaii 96721.


October 16, 2009 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment