Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Giving back in Life the secret to success – BIRR Big Dog 5K run/walk

Winston Churchill said “you make a living by what you get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Truer words can never be spoken as we reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving.

I’ve been blessed over the years with many friends and supporters and have never found myself short of money to buy food but there are those not so lucky.

That is why I‘ve been so honored to be the first ever recipient of the Big Island Road Runners Club Thanksgiving Day 5K run/walk.

The BIRR was looking at a way to give back to the community by combining a joint effort to raise money or food for those less fortunate through the Salvation Army. Over 300 runners and walkers participated on Thanksgiving Day and were asked to bring a can good or to make a monetary donation.

Over $641 was raised and 6 large bins of canned goods went to the Salvation Army during this most critical time of the year.

Despite having Stage 4 terminal brain cancer I am regarded as fully functional and that in itself is indeed a blessing.

As I reflect on the many things I am thankful for I have to say I appreciate all the many people that care about me.

You see to be functional means I have my wits about me. It means I look forward to waking up every morning at 5 am.  I am still able to do my five to seven mile walk each day. I can prepare for what the future has in store for me.  For some people the end comes instantly, like an accident or a heart attack. For me, I know my time here is limited and I have started to plan for my final days.

I look forward to each day and prepare better for it.  I have a deeper enjoyment toward life.

Each day gives me hope and brings me a deeper appreciation for those things that I normally take for granted, like my loving wife and now care giver, Randee.

So I’m honored that the BIRR would make me a part of their Thanksgiving run/walk as well as making it a benefit for the Salvation Army as a means to raise money and food for those that have so little during this holiday season.

During the 3.1 mile race it was Hilo High’s Stephan Hunter coming in first overall for the men in 17 minutes 11 seconds with Waiakea’s Ian McQuate 1 second behind.

“The entire race we were exchanging the lead,” Hunter said.  “I had to put on a late kick with 100 meters to go to win the race.”

When asked what he was thankful for on this day Hunter said, I am thankful that my family is doing well and that my brother is coming home for the holiday.”

McQuate echoed Hunter’s sentiment and is thankful for his own family and friends.

Following in third place overall was Joe Barcia in a time of 17:55.

“I am thankful for family and friends and especially that my daughter got up early to come down and be a part of the wonderful event,” Barcia said.

In fourth overall was Sven Loeschengruber (17:58), fifth was St Joseph’s Andrew Langtry (18:06) according to Rick Otani timer for the BIRR event.

Dano Banks who was on hand to do the 2 mile walk with his wife Marti said “I am thankful for my friends, family and good health.”

For the women it was a pair of Hilo High girls taking first and second place. They also happen to be the best of friends, Carmen Garson Shumway in a time of 20:38 and Mehana Sabado-Halpern 10 seconds behind.

In third for the women was Heather Rosario (21:38) fourth Lory Hunter (21:52) fifth Eqberiela Benito (22:05).

Garson-Shumway noted that she came out to do this run in support of the Big Dog and so did Sabado-Halpern and for raising donations for a great cause the Salvation Army.

So on this typical liquid sunshine day in our hometown of Hilo many folks came out to enjoy a fun filled community event. They all shared the same sentiment of wanting to give back in record numbers to those less fortunate.

And someday should you see a very thankful walker/jogger come climbing up Shower Drive in the early morning hours remember to say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”


November 26, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Billy “The Ghost” Barnett wins Waikaumalo 7 mile challenge

 Big Island Road Runners
Waikaumalo 7 Mile Challenge
February 27, 2011 @ 7:30 am
Waikaumalo Park, Ninole, Hawaii

Billy “The Ghost” Barnett prepares for start of 7-mile challenge

Pictured on far right wearing red shorts, Barnett is undefeated in 2011 races

7 Mile Run       Pace
Plc Name Division   Time (min/mi)
1 Billy Barnett <<< Overall >>>   40:39 5:48
2 Keoni Ucker Open   43:01 6:09
3 Chris Mosch Open   44:03 6:18
4 Justin Pang Open   45:08 6:27
5 Isaiah Sato Open   45:54 6:33
6 Paul Mauser Open   46:33 6:39
7 Nick Hagemann Open   47:11 6:44
8 Nick Muragin ++ Master ++   47:38 6:48
9 Lyman Perry Master   48:12 6:53
10 Keith Marrack Master   49:24 7:03
11 Steve Pavao Master   52:46 7:32
12 Robyn DeBenedet <<< Overall >>> F 52:56 7:34
13 James Imai Open   53:08 7:35
14 Derek Dominguez Open   53:10 7:36
15 Kirsta Andrew Open F 53:35 7:39
16 DJ Blinn Master   54:56 7:51
17 Lory Hunter ++ Master ++ F 55:56 7:59
18 Rob Van Geen Master   57:21 8:12
19 Ray Ibarra Master   57:26 8:12
20 Maka’ala Cruz Open   58:21 8:20
21 Melissa Braswell Open F 59:14 8:28
22 Nina Hagemann Open F 1:00:18 8:37
23 Barbie Nakamura Master F 1:01:24 8:46
24 Emily Kingery Open F 1:02:16 8:54
25 Harris Kaneshiro Master   1:02:30 8:56
26 Donna Wong-Yuen Master F 1:04:00 9:09
27 Charlie Bostwick Master   1:06:24 9:29
28 Andrea Hess Master F 1:07:15 9:36
29 Marti Banks Master F 1:07:38 9:40
30 David Hammes Master   1:07:41 9:40
31 Kim Furumo Master F 1:08:48 9:50
32 Lindsay Englund Open F 1:09:02 9:52
33 Tiffany Lindsey Open F 1:09:24 9:55
34 Richard Grothmann Master   1:09:48 9:58
35 Daria Cunningham Master F 1:11:15 10:11
36 Morgen Bahurinsky Master F 1:14:51 10:42
37 Betty Ben Master F 1:15:46 10:49
38 Kimi Jackson Master F 1:15:47 10:50
39 Lee Collins Master F 1:19:56 11:25
40 Bob Scales Open   1:21:15 11:36
41 Rick Otani Master   1:26:03 12:18
42 Claire Shigeoka Master F 1:34:06 13:27
43 Marie Kuramoto Master F 1:34:06 13:27
4 Mile Run       Pace
Plc Name Division   Time (min/mi)
1 Stephen Hunter Open   28:30 7:07
2 Carmen Garson-Shumway Open F 30:27 7:37
3 Timon Skinner Open   34:00 8:30
4 Aleksandra Beloborodova Open F 37:08 9:17
5 Dawn Patterson Open F 37:28 9:22
6 Leslie Terada Open   38:03 9:31
7 Bobby Nakamura Master   40:00 10:00
8 Keleala DeCosta Open F 40:51 10:13
9 Cherie Berg Open F 41:09 10:17
10 Norman Skinner Master   44:30 11:07
11 Dixie Newman Open F 48:48 12:12
12 Richard Alderson Master   49:24 12:21
13 Rihei Grothmann Open   52:43 13:11
14 Jordan Hirae Open   52:43 13:11
15 Sharon Ibarra Master F 1:01:15 15:19

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HPU Harrier, Shannon White, Wins Turkey Trot

HPU cross country runner, Shannon White, on left

Hawaii Pacific Cross Country star and former Keaau Cougar athlete, Shannon White, came back to the Big Island for Thanksgiving and won the BIRR Turkey Trot.

White is also a former member of the Mules state cross country HHSAA championship team and a good friend of the Waiakea Warrior program and the Big Dog.
Big Island Road Runners Turkey Trot 5k Results  
  Men Time Women Time
1 Shannon White 18:43 Robyn DeBenedet 21:30
2 John Fratinardo 18:51 Sally Marrack 22:08
3 Todd Marohnic 19:04 Dena Rae 23:21
4 Nick Muragin 19:26 Donna Wong Yuen 25:09
5 Jesse Ebersole 19:51 Esther Kanehailua 26:01
6 Jordan Hirae 20:55 Dawn Patterson 26:49
7 Keith Marrack 21:10 Peggy Regentina 27:06
8 Kauila Wong Yuen 22:21 Marti Banks 28:20
9 Rihei Grothmann 22:38 Fern Costales 28:25
10 Greg Lum Ho 22:58 Lynne Brauher 28:28
11 DJ Blinn 23:55 Lily Keliipaakaua 28:37
12 Kelly Freitas 24:28 Heather Rosario 28:37
13 Joel Truesdell 24:57 Robin Bauman 29:33
14 Robert Belcher 25:19 Dulce Barton 29:37
15 Andrew Langtry 25:32 Halia Evans-Bautista 31:04
16 Edgar Tuliao 26:02 Maria Fratinardo 31:11
17 Rick Otani 28:16 Lee Collins 31:26
18 Harvey Nakasone 28:23 Hiilei Wong Yuen 32:44
19 Jack Brauher 28:28 Leah Ishigo 32:45
20 Firman Tehero 28:36 Lorie Saludares 34:35
21 Charlie Bostwick 28:55 Korry Pacheco 34:50
22 Stan Fortuna 28:55 Karen Uy 35:23
23 Richard Grothmann 29:24 Pumai Evans-Bautista 35:29
24 Ryan Camero 31:29 Colleen Fratinardo 35:39
25 Stote Farnham 32:01 Joselyn Evans-Bautista 37:44
26 Robert Saludares 34:31 Kainoa Ariola 42:46
27 Christopher Knell 42:03 Robin Day 45:47
28 Aaron Knell Walk Michelle Knell 46:30
29     Kekai Wong Yuen Walk

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dano Banks – Overcoming Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Big Dog and Dano Banks

We’re just a few days into the New Year and this is a great time to look to having a bright and healthy future.

If you’ve been hampered by age related aches and pains or if you are just recovering from illness or surgery, 2010 may bring an entire new perspective filled with hope.

Being healthy is something many of us take for granted, until illness strikes.  Exercise, eating healthy, staying positive in actions and thoughts are all good steps in providing ourselves the best chance of a long and productive life.

One of my closest and best friends, Dano Banks, has spent nearly all of his adult life living healthy.

Banks has taken on great physical obstacles such as running a marathon, 26.2-miles, and even running an ultra marathon from Waimea to Hilo, 62-miles in one day.

Part of Banks motivation to take good care of himself was the loss of both his parents at relatively young ages.

“My dad died at 51 as his kidneys failed over a few months,” Banks said.  “It is a tortuous way to die.  He was a smoker, Camels, down to the nub.”

Banks mother died at age 62 with Alzheimer’s and other complications.  “I guess with my dad dying first when I was 19, I’ve had this eerie thought that I too would not live to a ripe old age.  I’ve thought for many years that it would be great to make it to 60,” he said.

This fear of dying at an early age prompted Banks to take extra special care of himself.  Besides regular physical exercise Banks also follows a healthy diet with no beef products, the use of soy milk, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But as irony would have it, just six weeks before turning 60, Banks was struck with some very unusual, unexplained signs and symptoms.

“I was doing my usual morning routine this past June when I started to get some pain in the left leg.  By 9 a.m. I am getting pains and cramps which immediately escalate into excruciating pain with my writhing on the floor in between the bouts of cramped muscles,” he said.

Banks wife, Marti, came home from work to take her husband to the Emergency Room in Hilo where two doctors ruled out Cauda Equina, an impingement on the nerves.

Dano Banks

“They had no idea of my problem and gave me pain pills and stool softeners and sent me home,” Banks said.

The next morning the pain returns, this time in waves spread about 30 to 45 minutes apart accompanied by uncontrolled urination and bowel movement.  The pain became too overwhelming for Banks to even walk and it was back to the ER in Hilo.

A spinal tap was ordered which revealed elevated protein fluid, one of the only true markers for Guillain-Barre syndrome.  The diagnoses led to a medivac to Queens Hospital on Oahu and the long process of plasmapheresis (the removal of blood, spin it to remove the plasma which has the antibodies that have gone awry and destroying the nerve, and return with albumin to Banks body).

“Here I was in mid-June stuck with this syndrome/disorder in the hospital and I’m thinking that I’m just 1.5 months away from my 60th birthday and am I actually going to make it?,” Banks said.

The good news is that after two weeks in the hospital Banks was allowed to return home to begin the long process of rehabilitation to his now frail and improvised body.

In August he returned to his job with the Department of Education as a resource specialist at the Hilo Annex District Office.

Seven months after returning home Banks has made steady strides towards full recovery, which can take up to 18 months.

“I haven’t been able to return to running yet and I still walk with a gimped gate,” he said.  “My left leg and foot continue to have decreased feeling.  I have no tendon reflex in my left leg.”

In early November Banks tried running for the first time, 2-miles, from his home to the Post Office.  “I was limping along trying to go at full speed effort which meant I was going a little faster than I can walk.  I have no left leg power due to the tendon still being compromised,” Banks said.

Banks continues to stretch daily, walks as much as he can and continues to maintain a healthy diet.

With the New Year just eleven days old Banks is a happy person and is on the slow road to recovery.  “I have no idea how I contracted Guillan-Barre and it brings to mind an old Woody Allen line from the “Sleeper” movie,” he said.

“In the movie Allen is brought out of being frozen for a number of years and when told all of his friends have died he immediately says….”that’s impossible, they all ate brown rice.”

Keep eating your brown rice, and exercise on a daily basis as we should all be giving ourselves the greatest gift possible, that of having good health.

In 2010 Banks faces the challenge of regaining the life he once had and I’m placing my money on his full recovery.

Happy New Year!

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , | 2 Comments