Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Exciting Conclusion to EMS 5K race

EMS 5K overall winners, Stone & Halford

Cousins Brett Shea and Jackson Halford battled for top honors in the 11th annual Emergency Medical Services 5K run held Sunday at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

Shea from Denver, Colorado and Halford of Volcano, along with Jason Braswell of the Big Island Running Company in Kona went toe to toe during the 3.1 mile race to make for an exciting race to the finish.

Shea led for most of the out and back race until being run down by Halford in the final 200 yards.

“In the final stretch, coming off Suisan Bridge, I was able to catch and pass him with the finish line in site,” Halford said.

Halford, a distance runner for Waiakea High School, had earlier in the month placed third at the HHSAA track & field championships in the 1500 and the junior Warrior stayed in shape over the past few weeks to meet the challenges of EMS event.

“Last year I was 4th overall in this race, but this year I continued to train since the state championship and never really felt tired today,” Jackson said of his winning time of 17 minutes and 14 seconds.

For his hard work Halford was able to shave 14 seconds of his personal best 5K time. 

Shea clocked in at 17:17 with Braswell finishing third in 17:21.

For the women it was Marianne Stone of Orchidland winning in 21:40 over Rosa Erck, 22:20; and Melissa Schad, 22:23.

“We recently moved to Hawaii from Missouri and I was quite surprised that I won,” Stone said.  “It was a very slow time for me as usually my 5K’s are in the sub 20 minute range.”

Stone is expecting to undergo knee surgery next month and hasn’t been running as many miles as she would have liked.

“This was my first run in Hawaii and I’m still in shock that I came in first for the women,” she said.

More than 800 runners and walkers converged at Liliuokalani Gardens on Sunday to take part in the Annual Emergency Medical Services fitness event.

“We had 801 registered participants, a record for this event,” an elated race organizer, Firefighter Jesse Ebersole said.  “All of this is in conjunction with National EMS week held around country where we showcase many of the services that we provide to our community.”

EMS keiki run

Participants had a choice of doing a 2 mile walk or a 3.1 mile competitive run along scenic Hilo Bayfront.  Later in the muggy morning youngsters under the age of 10 had fun doing a non-competitive mini run within the Liliuokalani Park grounds with a bright yellow EMS helicopter taking center stage on the keiki course.

Over the years EMS organizers have raised approximately $80,000 with the money going to help EMS personnel battling cancer.

“This year the money will go to three of our Hawaii Fire Department Firefighters battling cancer and to the American Cancer Society of Hawaii Island,” Ebersole said

The EMS also included a ‘public safety’ division which was open to police, fire, DLNR, corrections and the like employees.

For the second year in a row firefight Ian Smith and DLNR employee Lisa Hadway took top honors.

Smith, who is at the Waikoloa fire department, not only won the Public Safety Division he also won the stroller division as he pushed his 7 month old daughter, Emi, the entire way finishing in 19:54.

Sandwiched between Smith and Hadway was Hawaiian Paradise Park firefighter, Joe Wedemann who clocked in at 22:14.

“I’ve done 9 out of the 11 EMS runs,” Smith said.  “It’s not only a fun event, but it is also for a very good cause.”

Hadway is no stranger to the winner’s podium as she has won the Public Safety Division 5 out of 6 times she has entered.

“I didn’t run the year I was pregnant, in 2009,” she said.  “And last year I pushed a stroller and won both divisions, but this year without the stroller,  my time was 7 minutes faster at 22:27.”

Hadway finished as the fourth overall woman in the race as she looks to be even more competitive without the stroller.

“We’d like to thank the community for coming out strong in support of our event,” Ebersole said.  “We’d also like to thank the many generous sponsors who helped to make the event possible.”

Ebersole cited the LIVESTRONG Foundation who provided wristbands to all the participants and an autographed LIVESTRONG Jersey signed by Lance Armstrong that will be auctioned in September during the Sayre Awards Dinner.

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/ems-5k-run-301-finishers-top-161-results/

May 30, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baron of Baja – Tim Withers, wins again!

He’s been called the “Baron of Baja” and for good reason as this Pepeekeo resident continues to dominate the pro class series in the Mexican Baja Peninsula.

   Tim Withers recently returned from Mexico where he won the San Felipe 250 held on March 13 over the rugged dessert sand dunes where not much grows from the soil but rocks.

   Riding his Honda 450X motorcycle the 53 year old dominated the Pro Class 50 division by winning the 250 mile race by more than an hour over his closest competition.

  “San Felipe is the roughest area in Mexico and probably the roughest course I’ve ever rode in,” Withers said.  “In the days prior to the race there was one motorcycle death and another person was seriously injured and needed to be flown out by helicopter.”

  Withers, along with Jim O’Neal, Andy Kirker and Steve Williams (all but Withers is from Southern California) comprised a relay team that rode a single bike over some of the roughest terrain in the world.

   “I had the second leg in the race, some 30 miles from the start,” Withers said.  “My section was in one of the most desolate areas and covered close to 90 miles.”

   The race included a variety of class vehicles from trucks to dune buggies and dirt bikes and was a constant battle between natures harsh elements and man and his machine.

   In the final results nearly 40 percent of the field received a DNF (did not finish) and Withers was the first to admit that just completing the rugged 250 mile course was an accomplishment in itself.

   “There were people taking spill and getting broken bones, flat tires, engine trouble and the like,” he said.  “We were just fortunate that we could go full throttle and come out of it without a scratch.”

   Withers riding team won their division finishing in 6 hours 8 minutes and 40 seconds with an average speed of 40.36 miles per hour.

   “This course will wreck you and it will wreck your machine,” Withers said of San Felipe. 

   For Withers this has become his ninth consecutive San Felipe win which places him as one of the top world level off road champions.

   “I train to win and I work hard in the off season to prepare for these races,” Withers said.  “At my age I am constantly trying to reinvent myself to work hard and stay focused on what I do.”

   Withers also draws from some of the best minds in the field as he is coached by Chris Carmichael, who also coaches Lance Armstrong, and is trained by Jason Tullous.

   “I use the Carmichael Training System,” Withers said. “I also surround myself with people that are really good and I draw motivation from those people.”

   Withers continues to maintain a high level of fitness throughout the year with weight training (Robert Roos at Penn Training Center)and by logging numerous hours peddling his bike.

   “I like the training part and it is still a lot of fun for me,” he said.  “I do a lot of bicycling and cross training to be at the top of my game on the motorcycle.”

   At San Felipe Withers needed to use caution and good judgment to avoid injury while pushing the pace as fast as the terrain allowed.

   “Everyone wants the Number One status in the Baja Series of Racing,” Withers said.  “San Felipe was the first leg in the 2010 series.”

   The triple series points come from the March San Felipe race followed by the Baja 500 in June and the Baja 1000 in November.  Withers has won the overall point series title seven times in the 40 Pro Class and once in the 50 Pro Class.

   “It doesn’t get any easier as the course changes with the weather conditions from year to year,” Withers said.  “This year we had a little rain prior to the San Felipe race which made it nice to practice on, but once the buggies and trucks got on the course to practice it tore everything up and made it difficult for us.”

   “There is a lot of pressure to win and sponsors only want to support winners,” Withers said.  “I’ve been fortunate to be sponsored by Moose Racing over the past 12 years.”

   Withers has been riding since age 10 and offers the following advice to those youngsters looking at making it into motor cross racing:

   “They need to keep going and keep trying,” Withers said.  “Do whatever you can to be the best that you can be, strive for nothing less and keep it fun.”

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Off Road Motorcycle Racing, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UHH Prof is one of island’s top Cyclist

Cyclist Steve Lundblad

Cyclist Steve Lundblad at Logan Pass, Glacier National Park

 Sometimes in life things happen for a purpose.  Such was the case for cross-country and track runner, Steve Lundblad.

    Lundblad grew up in Central Washington State, in a town called Yakima, and excelled in both sports and academics.

    “I participated in many outdoor activities growing up,” Lundblad said.   In junior high and high school Lundblad ran on the cross-country team and participated in various events while on the track and field team, eventually concentrating on the high jump.

    “I continued jumping in college until I started to spend more time in the training room than on the track.  That’s when I began competing at the collegiate level in bicycle racing, which was a club sport,” he said.

Steve Lundblad
Steve Lundblad

Lundblad’s personal best in the high jump was 6 feet 6 inches when he competed at Harvard University.  It was at Harvard that Lundblad stumbled on bicycle racing and was coached by three time Olympian and national road champion, John Allis.

   After living in various locations to attend graduate schools, Lundblad and his wife Nancy, returned to Yakima for an additional 10 years. 

   A friend from college, Karen Nakamoto, would always encourage the Lundblad’s to move to Hilo.  “It took several years of convincing before we made the decision to live in Hilo,” Lundblad said.

    Lundblad’s wife took a job as the medical director of the Hilo Medical Center (she no longer works there) and he joined the faculty in the Geology Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he serves as an assistant professor.

   “It is great teaching geology in an area with active volcanoes.  I also work with Peter Mills, a UHH archaeologist, tracing the origin and exchange of stone tools by pre-contact native Hawaiians.  We analyze them for geochemical signatures, which relate to the locales of the origination of the rocks,” Lundblad said.

    Lundblad’s running days ended during the early 1990’s when he suffered a badly broken foot.  “I spend most of my time these days cycling, in part to my brittle joints as well as to enjoy the beautiful surroundings here on the Big Island,” he said.

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong

In 1991 Lundblad competed in the Texas state championship road race with a young kid by the name of Lance Armstrong.  “Lance was still a relative unknown but becoming the “kid” to watch.  Later that year he (Armstrong) became the national bicycling road race champion, while I went back to graduate school,” Lundblad said.

    The Lundblad’s also rode up the famous Alpe d’Huez climb during the 2003 Tour de France.  “It was quite an experience to ride up the hill with hundreds of thousands of people lining the roads.  They were there waiting to watch the world’s best cyclists climb the same road at unbelievable speeds just a few hours later,” he said.

    Lundblad was also a regular cross country skier when he lived during the winter months in Washington State.  “Cross country skiing is an activity that is mostly limited to my vacations now,” he said.

   But this past February Lundblad did compete in the American Birkebeiner cross country ski race held in Wisconsin with world renowned skier Bjorn Daehlie of Norway.  “Training for the cold and snowy race was a bit of a challenge here in Hilo,” Lundblad said.

   The Birkebeiner race was a challenging 54 km (33 miles) event and Lundblad was only able to get in a few days worth of snow skiing prior to the race.  “I spent several days in Hilo on my roller skis getting interesting looks from people,” he said.

    Daehlie participated in the event as a way to raise money and awareness for MS, which his mother has, and he finished second overall.  Lundblad finished somewhere in the middle of the pack of over 7,000 skiers.

    At age 46 Lundblad is lean and a picture of good health.  Due to his regular exercise routine Lundblad doesn’t have to worry about weight which leaves room for him to eat a variety of foods.

    “I am lucky to not worry too much about how much I eat, as my weight doesn’t really fluctuate very much.  I try to enjoy a balanced diet, but generally need to eat a lot of food, so there is room for plenty of everything.  It’s terrific to live here in Hawaii with fresh fruits and vegetables all year at the farmer’s market and the garden,” Lundblad said.

   Rarely does a day go by that Lundblad isn’t on his bike.  He has found a group of friends to ride with a few days a week, spending about two hours per ride.  “During the summer some of us rode a bit more to get ready for competitive events like the Sea to Stars race which leaves Bayfront in Hilo and climbs to the visitor center at 9000 feet on Mauna Kea,” he said.

   Over the Labor Day weekend Lundblad was in Honolulu to compete in the rigorous Dick Evans Memorial Road Race which took cyclist 112 miles around Oahu.  Lundblad finished 14th out of 181 starters in a time of 5 hours and 14 minutes.

    Lundblad was very fortunate to find something he truly loves to do after breaking his foot more than 15 years ago.  He was also very fortunate to have found good mentors during his early cycling days that taught him how to ride safely and efficiently.

     “For folks who are interested in cycling for fitness, my advice is to find people who ride regularly and go with them.  It will be more fun, you will learn a lot, and there is more incentive to participate regularly if you know someone else will be there with you.  We are always looking for new people to join our group and we’ll get you started on the right pedal!” Lundblad said.

    You can contact Steve Lundblad at slundbla@hawaii.edu.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Cyclist, Profiles | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment