Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Resolution Run/Walk Story

      Resolutions for 2013  BIG DOG #502 (Jan 30, 2012)

Resolutions are a small commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals in anticipation of the New Year. It is a New Beginning for people who want to commit to it and stick with it. Most resolutions people make have to do with changing their lifestyles for the better. New Year resolutions are made with the hope that people can stick with it for the entire year to enhance their lives.

With that being said the Big Dog went about asking a group of volunteers at his run/walk this past Sunday what their resolutions were for 2013. He also asked a few of the more than 200 people that participated the same question and this is what he got as answers:

Paul Okubo the Big Dog timer had this to say, “You never gave me a chance to say this at the Thanksgiving Day race that
 I am profoundly thankful that all three of my children had the good fortune to have a terrific cross-country/track coach 
named Wayne Joseph. Because of you all three children, now adults themselves continue to jog or run in order to keep fit.”

Steve Pavao was on hand to represent the Big Island Road Runners. Pavao put out the  mile markers for this race. His resolution is to do his part to make the world a better place for everyone.

Keith Aoki from Anheuser-Busch supplied the sports drinks for the runners and he had this to say, “I hope everyone has a safe 2013 and that they remember to drink responsibly when consuming alcoholic beverages.”

David Hammes who volunteered to do the turnaround at the half way mark added: “I am resolving to be more compassionate, caring, and giving to everyone I come in contact with. I am hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon (very unlikely, but one has to dream!)”

Sylas Wright a volunteer at the sign in table from  Seattle Washington said this “

I resolve to be more generous with myself in 2013; to live in the moment and love and appreciate all the good things in my life.

Joe Wedemann another volunteer who brought the water and Gator Aid had this say “my resolution is to help my brother Bob get back on his feet after a long, painful divorce. I am giving him a place to stay, (room, board, food, etc.) all out of the goodness of my heart.

I would also note that he is overweight, out of shape, and type 2 diabetic and that I am helping him get his health back under control so he can enjoy his new life here in Hawaii.”

My family doctor, Internist Aaron Morita who was on hand for the run had this to say about his resolution. “My 2013 commitment is to be more attentive to my wife Pat and take care of her better as she takes great care of me, our family, our home and business,” Morita said.

During the Resolution 5K run it was Jason Braswell of the Big Island Running Company who would have won the race had he not taken a wrong turn leading him way from the finish line and allowing a pair of high school runners to pass him near the finish.  This allowed Stephen Hunter from Hilo High to win the race in a time of 18 minutes 08 seconds. Second place went to Waiakea’s Ian McQuate in a time of 18:10.

“I ran today to help the Food Basket.” Said Hunter

“I guess my resolution for 2013 is to know where the finish line is prior to the race and not allow this to happen to me again,” said a smiling Braswell who finished the race in a time of 18:15.

The finish had been changed when a Police Officer had told runners they couldn’t run through Bayfront because of an on going investigation and the entire course had to be changed to run in the opposite direction.


Taking first place for the woman was Noe Waller (21:29) , followed by Leslie Spinelli  (21:40), taking third place was Mehana Sabato-Halphern.

“I haven’t raced in a very long time. I was terrified to come today.” Waller said. “My resolution

for the new year is to not be afraid to run road races and get back into doing what I love.” Waller said.

This event attracted more than 200 participants and raised over three hundred dollars and trunk loads of can goods for the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

It takes lots of volunteers and community support to step up and be flexible. At the last minute the course had to be re routed due to the closure of Bayfront Highway. The Big Island Road Runners stepped up to make this run/walk possible and at 6 am changed to a new course. Despite the constant rain and change in the course the race was a huge success.

Participants ranged in age from 6 years to 80 years young. Lucas Kay-Wong age 6 had this to say, “I ran with my dad today because he said I would be a better soccer player if I did this race. I had a lot of fun today.

And someday should you happen to come upon a slow jogger resolving to love his wife more and taking one day at a time remember to say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog @ waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


December 31, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , | 2 Comments

Prep Stars Hunter and Langtry win Veterans Day 5K

Langrty, Gandy,Hanson,Hunter, Big Dog

On an overcast typical Hilo morning with a light drizzle more than 150 participants showed up Sunday to take part in the Veterans Day 5K run/walk around scenic Hilo Bayfront.

The annual event got under way with a tribute of the blowing of taps by Paul Arceo, the leader of the Hawaii County Band on trumpet. It provided a somber reminder to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our country. In attendance there were active military, veterans and none military.

There was such a variety of runners and walkers all coming out in support of our military. There were people ranging in age from 5 years old to 90 years young.

Later there would be a reading of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s, proclamation by Jerry Chang thanking those men and women who made sacrifices.  He thanked those who came out to organize the run/walk and continue to honor those who risk their lives in defense of this great country.

In the 5K, the overall winner was a pair of high school runners in Steven Hunter of Hilo and Andrew Langtry of St. Joseph coming in first and second.

Hunter won the race in a time of 17 minutes 33 seconds with Langtry trailed 25 seconds behind.

“I came out today to honor the vets and the service they gave to this country,” Hunter said.  “My dad spent 22 years in the Navy.”

Langtry echoed the same sentiments saying, “I raced today in support of our veterans and to support Big Dog and what he has done for the running community.”

Third was Gabriel DeRego 20:20; and fourth Dyson Sato, 20:22.

First for the women was Pam Gandy, fifth overall, who had just moved back to the Big Island 5 weeks ago from Florida.

  “This was a great way to show my support for the Vets and what they have done for their country,” Gandy said.  “The course along Bay Front was beautiful and I absolutely love the scenery. The weather totally cooperated and was perfect for a run.”

The second overall woman was Heather Rosario, sixth overall, nearly 50 seconds behind Gandy.

Paul Hanson, 76 years old, finished in 41:04, and had spent 21 years in the Air Force. 

Hanson was on his way to Kilauea Military Camp where he would participate in another Veterans Day event in full uniform.

Thanks to volunteers like Faith Nance, who made Gray Ribbons for the participants who represent Brain Cancer as the Pink Ribbons have become known for Breast Cancer.

“I want to make Grey Ribbons as well known as the Pink Ribbons and bring public awareness for survivors and their families of brain cancer, “Nance said.

Also thanks to Keith Aoki of Anheuser-Busch for making the Veterans Day banners and for supplying Vidration Sports Drinks to the finishers.

Thanks to KTA Super Stores for providing a sheet cake in honor of our Veterans

Jerry Chang came forward to provide the refreshments for the third year in a row and this time he was help by Clift Tsuji and Dennis Onishi.

It takes all kinds of volunteers to put on a race and the organizers are greatly appreciative of the many people that have stepped forward to honor our military.

Waiakea High School Key Club provided man power, like they do every year, under the leadership of Kari Sato, to help make this event a success.

Paul Okubo provided the expert timing for this event, like he has done for all Big Dog events over the years.

I am so blessed to have so many friends and sponsors for these events because I wouldn’t be able to host them without the communities outpouring of generosity.

Thanks to a very supportive wife, Randee, who encourages me to hold events like the Veterans Day 5K, waking up early and providing total encouragement and support along the way.  And for this event my daughter Jaclynnn was also on hand with her photo taking skills.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to make the Veterans Day run/walk a huge success.

And someday should you happen to see an Army Veteran with a lot to be grateful for remember to say ‘woof’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”


November 12, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog’s Lovers Day 5K on tap for Feb 19, 2012


   Coming up Sunday, Feb. 19, is the Big Dog Lover’s Day 5K (3.1-mile) run or walk hosted by Big Dog Productions.

   The event will start from a new location at Hilo’s BAYFRONT PARK near the canoe hale at 7 a.m. and is FREE.  All are welcomed, regardless of fitness level and ability.

   Signup will begin at 6:30 a.m. and this course is a dress rehearsal for the Big Island Marathon’s 5K run/walk.  Post race refreshments will be provided.  Keith Aoki of Anheuser/Busch will be providing Vidration Sports Drinks to all finishers while supplies last.

  For more information call 969-7400 or email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

February 3, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Dog’s Resolution Run or Walk, on New Year’s Day, Jan 1st, 2012 and it’s FREE


Big Dog’s New Years Day (Jan 1, 2012) 5K Run/Walk

Start 2012 out right by resolving to improve your health and fitness needs. The 5K (3.1 mile) run or walk will start at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day, from the parking area of Coconut Island.

The event is FREE – just show up prior to 9 am and sign in.  Groups wearing team shirts will have their photos taken and put on the Big Dog’s web site with the largest group receiving special recognition.

Post race refreshments by Big Dog Productions and complimentary Vidration Sports Drinks by Keith Aoki of Anheuser-Busch Hawaii, while supplies last.

For more information call 969-7400

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Honoka’a Jazz Band Director, Gary Washburn, Staying Fit

Gary Washburn

There are many different ways to stay in shape and to keep your body physically fit.  Each week this column features people who are active and healthy.  Swimmers, runners, walkers, cyclist, yoga students and even an occasional basketball player have shared their stories with the Big Dog.

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing the Honokaa Jazz Band perform and was impressed with their music, and discovered that band instructor Gary Washburn was also in top shape.

Prior to Washburn’s 34 years with the Department of Education he played a variety of various sports while growing up.

“In Intermediate School I played baseball,” Washburn said.  “In high school I played basketball and baseball, but was junk because I didn’t like contact sports and I was afraid of the ball.”

Washburn found his calling as a music teacher and today has one of the most recognizable high school bands on the Big Island.

“I always try to have fun and encourage the kids to have fun,” Washburn said.  “Mistakes are okay if you are trying hard.”

One of the secrets to Washburn’s success in the band room is that he preaches the concept of ‘team’.

“I teach them to work as a team, to practice hard and to remember to represent themselves, their school and the community the best way they can.”

This master teacher has transformed a once very stressful job into a something less stressful.

“Teaching is as stressful as you make it,” he said.  “In the first few years it was really stressful, now three decades later, it is still somewhat stressful.”

For every performance, and there are many, Washburn worries about everything from:

Did the students remember what I told them? What to wear? Where to meet?  What time?

Did they bring their horn, music and brains?  How will they play? How is their attitude?

But everything works itself out because Washburn is organized and he knows what he has planned and what his students are going to accomplish.

Besides teaching full time Washburn also has a 5 acre farm which he tends to 100 banana trees, 75 pineapple plants and a vegetable garden.

“I am also a full time musician and we play gigs around the island,” he said.

But what impressed me the most is Washburn works as a wrangler for the Waipio Ridge Stables and much of that work accounts for his great conditioning.

If you’re a tin horn, like me, let me give you an idea of a wrangler job description.

As a wrangler Washburn takes care of the horses that people take rides on.  He feeds grooms, clean their hooves, brushes, sprays for flies, and saddles sometimes as many as 20 horses.

“After we take people on a 3 to 5 hour ride I will help get them off the horses and will return to the stable and the process reverses itself,” Washburn explains.  “That means taking two 50 pound bags of alfalfa cubes out to the herd and distributing it into feeding containers.

And why does Washburn take on the responsibilities of being a wrangler?

“It is physically hard work and the reason I do it is to stay in shape,” he said.  “It certainly is not for the money.”

Washburn also gets an additional work out in during the school day by climbing a steep hill to his band room six to ten times a day.

“The hill to the band room is 50 to 75 yards long and is a steep climb,” he said.  “Students complain all the time, of course, but I enjoy the walk because it gets me out of my classroom which has no windows and it also allows my brain to clear and my ears to rest.”

Often those treks to his band room include moving musical equipment from keyboards, to amps and speakers, to name a few.

For diet Washburn eats lots of vegetables, fruits, tofu and drinks loads of water.

“I am primarily a vegetarian and my wife is very good about giving me healthy meals, bless her heart and mine,” Washburn said. 

Of course genetics plays an important role in health and lifespan and Washburn has been fortunate in that area.

“My dad lived until he was 94 and my mom is presently 92 and still kicking hard,” he said with a grin.  “Both worked hard and stayed very active.”

Washburn will invest a great deal of time getting to know his students, their likes and dislikes, and he uses that information to entertain their interest in learning more about their goals.

“Stimulate the student’s creativity so they will go and find answers themselves instead of depending on someone else to supply the answers,” Washburn said.  “I stress fun and pride in creating music and I try to provide a basic vocational education so that the students who want to continue with music can.”

Gary Washburn is more than a successful master music instructor for the Honokaa Jazz band.  He is a contributing member of our community that not only loves music, but finds physical activity in a variety of ways.

We are all blessed to have him and the Honokaa Jazz Band on Hawai’i Island.

And on Friday should you happen to see a Vietnam Vet jogging along the coast line of Hilo Bay remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Veterans Day 5K run/walk on Friday, 11-11-11, starting at 7:30 am from the parking area of Coconut Island. Post race refreshments will be provided by State House Representatives Jerry Chang and Clift Tsuji.   Finishers will also receive Vidration sports drink provided by Keith Aoki of Anheuser-Busch Hawaii, while supplies last.

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

November 7, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment