Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Wedemann’s Amazing Adventure

Fire Fighter, Joe Wedemann, goal setter and good friend

Fire Fighter, Joe Wedemann, goal setter and good friend

Dr. Joseph Murphy said, “Our subconscious mind can be compared to a garden – if we leave it unattended, the weeds will grow wild.”

    Setting goals in our everyday lives is a great destroyer of those “weeds” and helps us develop a healthy “garden.”

    Longtime friend and County of Hawaii Firefighter, Joe Wedemann, is a great example of a person that is constantly setting goals for himself and acting on them.

   I’ve known Wedemann from his humble days when he worked in the jewelry department at Liberty House that was once located in the Prince Kuhio Plaza.

   Wedemann set a goal then of making into the Fire Department and fulfilling a childhood dream.  This was no easy task for a man in his 30’s, at the time, but Wedemann persevered and overcame obstacles to make it.

   During his pre fire department days Wedemann recruited me to help him run his first marathon, a 26.2-mile effort, as we spent many weekends running from our homes in Paradise Park, out to the Mall, and back to HPP again.

   After achieving a series of successful marathons Wedemann set his sights on qualifying and then finishing, his first Ironman World Triathlon.  He has since completed three Ironman’s.

   So it was no surprise for me when I heard that this 40 something year old had decided to do a bike ride around the Big Island in a single day, a distance of 215 miles.

   Wedemann set his goal date for Father’s Day and had spent all his days off from the department to go on long rides in preparation for his adventure.

   Several of Wedemann’s friends volunteered to ride part of the way with him as they would provide support along the route.

   The group of five gathered at Hilo Bayfront on Father’s Day at 3 a.m. “We got rolling at 3:20 a.m. and started smelling the sweet smell of pancake syrup and bacon as we passed Ken’s Pancake House,” Wedemann said.

   “I was surprised to see so many cars in the parking lot of Ken’s.  The weather was nice all the way up to Glenwood where we were treated to some London style fog and a light drizzle as the sun attempted to break through.”

    Wedemann was joined initially by fellow riders Adam Busek, Jeremy Butts, Robert Van Geen and Michael Hrynevych.

    “We all stayed together to the 30 mile marker where we had a brief stop for water.  Jeremy (Butts) said aloha at that point as he planned on keeping us company to Volcano,” Wedemann said.

Working out on a stationary bike, Joe Wedemann is in picture perfect health
Working out on a stationary bike, Joe Wedemann is in picture perfect health

    Along the way Wedemann was joined by friend Mark Mangabin and Tanner Whitman who followed in a support vehicle as they supplied the water and nutrition for Wedemann and his friends.

    “Descending down from Pahala was pretty effortless until we reached Whittington Beach Park, just before Naalehu,” Wedemann said.

   Wedemann reached Naalehu around 7 a.m. and the decent from Volcano to Pahala would be the last real break of the day.

   “Once we got into Pahala it was getting pretty hot and the eventual steep hills began to separate the rest of the guys riding with me,” he said.

   At 125 miles Busek was the only rider left with Wedemann as the duo had ridden together up through Holualoa.  “Once we hit Palani Adam (Busek) left, as he was meeting his wife for lunch in Kailua.”

   Wedemann rode solo up to Waimea, all the while battling the high gust of winds most of the way uphill.

   “After a short bathroom break in Waimea, my friend, Alan Ryan joined me for the last 56 miles to Hilo.  At this point I was getting pretty tired.  Thank God the winds started to subside,” Wedemann said.

   Wedemann reached Hilo Bayfront at 6:30 p.m. just before the pouring rain.  “Thank God for giving me the strength, ability, motivation, and my wife (Veronica) who continues to surprise me with her loving support for me and my adventures,” Wedemann said after his amazing ride.

   I admire people with goals that keep raising the bar on themselves in an effort to enjoy life and to utilize their gifts to their fullest potential.

  “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.  It’s as simple as that,” Earl Nightingale wrote.

  Joe Wedemann is just an average person with an amazing appetite to challenge himself far beyond what most of us would consider reasonable.


July 27, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments