Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Kau Fun Fest has many activities for the Entire Family

Rock wall climbing one of the many activities at Kau Fun Fest

Raising money through health and fitness sporting events is the goal of a service group helping people in South Hawai’i Island.

O Ka’u Kakou, a community service organization, is doing a grass root fundraising project in an effort to raise $1.3 million for a new community health center that would service Kau and the surrounding communities.

The new event, being billed as the ‘Southernmost Goodwill Games in the U.S.A.’ or the Kau Family Fun Fest, is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, with proceeds going to the Bay Clinic for a new facility.

“We’re trying to put on multiple health and fitness events to help raise money to build a much needed new health facility in Kau,” event director Raylene Moses said.

Moses and her crew of volunteers are planning on hosting a day filled with a variety of events which include a half marathon, 10K, and 5K run/walk along with archery, basketball, Portuguese horse shoe tournament and much, much more.

“We’re expecting a thousand or more people to enter one of our many activities,” Moses said.

For runners and walkers alike the half marathon and associated races will use the old cane field road in Kau that was once used to haul sugar cane between the tiny communities of Naalehu and Pahala.

“The course provides our race participants with some of the most scenic views on this side of the Big Island,” Moses said.  “The route runs from mauka to makai and runners and walkers are treated to some of the most breathtaking coastal landscapes.”

Bay Clinic, along with a network of volunteers will host a health expo which will have a live auction led by my Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“We will have many things for the entire family,” Moses said.  “Live entertainment, keiki activities, Jan Ken Po, are just some of the things that will be going on in conjunction with the road races and various athletic competitions.”

For the youngsters activities include a jumping castle, bungee jumping and rock wall climbing, according to Moses.


“We will have something for everyone and we’re hoping that families will come out and participate,’ Moses said.

The event, sponsored by O Ka’u Kakou, will start at the Naalehu Park.  Packet pick up for the run/walk begins on June 10 from 3 to 8 pm and again on race day at 6 am with the race starting an hour later.

“If people doing the race would like to see a map of the course they can go online at http://www.bayclinic.org/downloads/KFFFraceroute.pdf,” Moses said.

In addition to the many activities Bay Clinic will also be providing health screenings and the public is encouraged to take part in this free service according to Moses.

O Ka’u Kakou board president, Wayne Kawachi, hopes that this event will bring more public awareness to the community on the needs for health services in the area.

“I know we won’t be able to raise anywhere near the needed $1.3 million,” Kawachi said.  “But anything we do raise is more than what we had to begin with.”

Kawachi heads the nine member, all volunteer board, which is organized as a service group to the community.

“We live in a economically disadvantaged community and we need to help our neighbors anyway we can as this project is just one of many that we have and are doing.” Kawachi said.

“Our intentions are good as this new facility is a great need for us and will double the services currently being provided in our community,” Moses said.

Currently the Kau/Pahala community is being serviced in an old two story house which Moses calls inadequate.
Moses, like many people on the O Ka’u Kakou board, is a resident of the area and wants to see medical services be brought up to speed.

“Our board was started six years ago as a non-profit with the original concern of keeping track of development in the Kau area,” Moses said.

Through another fund raising project O Ka’u Kakou was able to raise $80,000 to help purchase a van for the Kau Hospital Charitable Foundation to help transport patients and seniors to various health appointments.

“What better way to raise money than through health and fitness activities,” Moses said.  “I’ve never undertaken anything of this size or magnitude before, but we’re excited about all the positive things that can come from this.”

Entry fees for the runs and keiki activities go up after May 11 and again on race day, so Moses ask participants to register early.

Applications can be downloaded by going to http://okaukakou.com or by dropping by one of the Bay Clinics here on the Big Island.  On line registration is also available by clicking on the race360.com link on their web site.

“One hundred percent of the money generated from hosting this event will go toward the construction of a new Kau Family Health Center,” Moses said.

For more information on volunteering, sponsorship, vendor opportunities and participation contact Moses at (808) 265-8251 or email her at kaufamilyfunfest@gmail.com.

“I don’t have much experience doing an event of this size, but what better way to get the community together than through health and fitness activities,” Moses said.


May 16, 2011 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Veteran’s Day Extra Special to Big Dog

Veteran's on hand for the Vet Day 5K run/walk in Hilo

Last year my wife, Randee, asked me how I wanted to spend my birthday.  “Should we take a trip, spend an evening at a five star hotel or go on a cruise?” she asked.

After thinking long and hard about what really makes me happy and a birthday occasion special, I replied, I’d like to put on a Veteran’s Day run/walk and have all the participants bring something for the Hawaii Food Basket.

Veteran’s Day is a special day to me not only because I’m a Vietnam Vet, but because Nov. 11 happens to fall on my birthday.

Last year more than 100 people showed up to pay tribute to the men and women who have made sacrifices to keep this country free. This year nearly 200 people participated in the run/walk and another 25 plus people came out to volunteer.

“This is a great event,” State House Representative, Jerry Chang said.  “We are here to honor those that served our country and to contribute to our Hawaii Island Food Basket.”

Dr. Joseph D’Angelo

Chang, a veteran himself, gave the opening remarks prior to the start of the race and was followed by Dr. Joseph D’Angelo, who returned last year from a tour of duty in the Middle East.

“Last year I spoke of running in an environment of freedom and not from mortar fire,” D’Angelo said.  “This year I speak about gratitude and the importance of continued family support.”

D’Angelo pointed out the appreciation the troops have of receiving care packages from home. He also spoke of the love for the soldiers when they are gone and upon their return.

“I extend my gratitude to all who support our men and women in uniform as well as supporting the families who remain back home.”

At the start of the 5K run a pair of University of Hawaii at Hilo cross country runners, Zach Johnson and Keoni Ucker, zoomed into the lead followed by Jason Braswell of the Big Island Running Company in Kona.

“I went out fast and tried to keep up with Zach (Johnson) during the first mile,” Ucker said.  “Once I took the lead I separated myself from everyone else as I pushed hard and was never seriously challenged.”

Ucker won in a time of 16 minutes 6 seconds, with Braswell trying to play catch up.

“My Dad is a vet and I wanted to honor him by being here today,” Ucker said.  “In fact both my parents came out to watch me run and this was a way to say thank you to my Dad.”

For Kona’s Jason Braswell and wife Melissa running the race was a good opportunity to be with likeminded people who share a common interest.

“We wanted to be part of this great event and show our support for our Veteran’s,” Braswell said.

Braswell was in the pack with Ucker and Johnson during the first mile and tried to catch Ucker once he separated.

“I was trying to stay with him (Ucker) but wasn’t making much headway,” he said.

Braswell also enjoyed the Hilo weather saying that it was a lot easier to run.

“The weather conditions here were perfect, with no wind, which made for great racing conditions,” Braswell said of his second place finish in 16:36.

Johnson hung onto third, 16:56; and was followed by Justin Pang, 17:20; and Chris Evans, 17:28.

For the women it was another pair of UHH harriers that pulled away from the rest of the ladies field.  Vulcan Kaylene Peric, 19:35; beat out teammate Krista Andrew, 20:01; and was followed by Robyn DeBenedet, 20:07; Melissa Braswell, 21:25; and Lory Hunter, 21:38.

“I wanted to see how well I could do today and to compare today’s time with my time when I last ran this course in August,” Peric said.

Peric finished almost a full minute ahead of her previous time and was pleased with her efforts.

“I’m especially pleased to be a part of this race that honored our Vets and to be able to donate something to the food drive,” she said.

Nine members of the Coast Guard Kiska

Nine members of the Coast Guard Cutter, Kiska, anchored in Hilo were on hand to run the 3.1 mile course.

“We are active duty service members and we have just returned from one year in Iraqi waters,” Lt. Commanding Officer Craig Dente said.  “We wanted to be part of this event that recognizes our military veterans.”

Following the run/walk participants were treated to a bananas, papayas and cookies supplied by Jerry Chang and his group of volunteers.

Hunter Bishop

Hunter Bishop from Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office read a message from the mayor which spoke of our observation of Veterans Day to honor the unselfish dedication of those who have honorably served the cause of freedom in our nation’s armed forces.

“Your ability to compete in this wonderful event is made possible by the sacrifices of those countless veterans whom we honor,” the mayor wrote.  “We recognize and salute the veterans among you, as we also honor our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and mothers and fathers, who continue to serve and protect our nation throughout the world today.”

Members representing a variety of labor unions were also on hand and included representatives from HGEA, UPW, ILWU, SHOPO, HSTA, the Carpenters Union and others in support of our Veterans.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association, headed by Rae Yamanaka, had the largest member group participating and won a special Big Dog award.

The event raised a total of 356 pounds of food and $293 in cash and checks for the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

Mahalo Hilo for your continued support of our troops.

And someday should you happen to see a proud vet come jogging around the Eastside of Hawaii Island remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

Related Links:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/vet-day-5k-reaps-benefit-for-the-hawaii-island-food-basket/




November 15, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mendoza hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event in Hilo

Lorraine Mendoza

Coming up on Saturday is the YWCA Hawaii Island’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a Men’s March to Stop Sexual Assault, Rape and Gender Violence.

The event starts with registration at 7:30 am at the YWCA Ululani Campus in downtown Hilo.

Event Chairperson, Lorraine Mendoza, is no stranger to community activities as this active 57 year young grandmother is well known for her organizational skills and roll as a community advocate.

Born and raised on the Big Island, Mendoza grew up in Papaikou and Hakalau and has lived in Pepeekeo for the past 29 years.

“I’ve never moved away from East Hawaii and consider myself a real live opihi that is sticking to this rock,” Mendoza said with a wide grin.

A 1971 graduate of Hilo High School, Mendoza received her Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Hawaii Community College and went on to have  a professional career before becoming a “domestic engineer” three years ago.

“I stopped working three years ago and could say I’m a domestic goddess, but that would be stretching it!” she said.  “During the past three years I’ve become more and more involved in various community organizations and activities.”

Mendoza currently serves on the Hamakua Community Development Plan Steering Committee, the Rural South Hilo Community Association, the Pepeekeo Community Association, the Hamakua Community Development Corporation and is a former member of DBEDT’s Community-Based Economic Development Advisory Board, and a host of other past and present boards and associations.

“I get involved because it’s important to me that I am actively contributing to the enrichment of the community I live in.  Teaching by example, perhaps one day my children and grandchildren can say my mom worked on that and she was a part of getting it done,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza also knows that diet and exercise play an important role in her continuing to give back to the community and in her having a long lasting relationship with her grandchildren.

“My doctor tells me all the time that I should exercise more,” Mendoza said.  “Although I am currently taking a very low dose medication for my high blood pressure, I don’t want to have to increase it, ever.”

Mendoza knows what she needs to do to improve her health, but often gets sidetracked and will put her exercise at a lower priority than the work she has planned for the betterment of our community.

“At this stage in my life, osteoporosis is one of the major reasons to exercise in order to strengthen my bones and maintain agility,” Mendoza said.

“The overall benefits to my general health and well-being will enable me to be around for my family and friends.  I want the memories, laughter and joy of spending time with my grandchildren and I want them to also have fond memories of their ‘mama,” she said.

Mendoza realizes that exercise and diet are the keys to continue living a happy and productive life and she knows what she has to do to ensure that this can happen.

That is why Mendoza will eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meat while consuming more fish.

“I will drink lots of water and will eat smaller portions.  I read more about foods that are healthier and beneficial and the reading forces me to make a conscientious effort to include changes in my lifestyle,” she said.

Mendoza will park farther away in parking areas while doing her shopping and she will take the stairs whenever possible, while adjusting her eating habits to accommodate different foods.

“I am guilty of hearing the mantra of exercising and eating the right foods, but often I react with the ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ response,” Mendoza admits.

Mendoza realizes that the possibility of her tomorrow may never arrive as the clock keeps ticking and the years continue to melt away.

“It is a realization, coupled with my selfish need to be around to watch and enjoy my grandchildren grow up, that pushes me to make the commitment to just do it,” Mendoza said.

For this weekend Mendoza is focused on putting on a quality event for the YWCA Hawaii Island’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

“On Saturday, Mayor Billy Kenoi and men from all walks of life will protest sexual assault, rape and gender violence on our island by walking one mile in women’s shoes through downtown Hilo,” she said.

Mendoza and her group will be doing on site registration from 7:30 to 8:30 am and shoes will be available for those that need to borrow.


“Awesome red, white, black high heels were brought in for this event for walkers to borrow.  Also available are other shoes and sandals along with feminized rubbah slippahs for the faint of feet,” Mendoza said.

Of course, men can bring their own shoes and decorate them if they want to, according to Mendoza.

“We encourage all men to sign up as a team of four or as individuals and make the statement, loud and clear, we are against rape, sexual assault and gender violence,” she said.

Awards and trophies will be presented to the top three teams and individuals who bring in the most pledges, according to Mendoza.

For more information email wam2010@ywcahawaiiisland.org or call 935-7141.

And someday should you happen to see a healthy dog jogging against rape, sexual assault and gender violence, remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | Events, Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Dog’s 5K Run/Walk Kicks Off Sports Hall of Fame Day

5K winners Kaylene Peric and Keoni Ucker

Sunday, August 22, was proclaimed by Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi as Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day. 

A trio of events highlighted the day in which tribute was paid to those who have been inducted and those to be inducted into the BISHF.

The morning started out with a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk with the start and finish line in the parking area of Moku Ola.

University of Hawaii cross country coach, Jaime Guerpo, was on hand along with a group of Vulcan harriers which used the event as a preseason tune up.

 “This race is a good measuring stick to see where my runners are at and whether or not they have been training during the off season,” Guerpo said.

Leading the way for most of the race was UHH star and former Christian Liberty Academy harrier, Keoni Ucker, who made Coach Guerpo proud.  Ucker was challenged during the first half-mile of the race by teammate Zach Johnson.

“I had not been training as much as I wanted to during the summer,” Ucker said after the race.  “I don’t want to peak to early prior to the season and I’m satisfied where I’m at right now.”

Ucker won the race with a finishing time of 16 minutes and 11 seconds, nearly a full minute ahead of Johnson who clocked in at 17:08.

UHH had seven men and five women racing as they swept most of the top spots in the overall race results.  Former CLA and UHH standout Justin Pang took third, 17:11; Andrew Holbrook, 17:13; and Scott Hunter was fifth in 17:23.

Hunter runs track and field for Central Washington University where he competes in the pole vault and decathlon events.  On Saturday the former Hilo High grad won the Rain Forest Funs 5K in 18 minutes.

For the women it was UHH tennis player, Kaylene Peric, finishing 19th overall, while taking first for the ladies division in 20:25.

“I’m originally from Michigan, but I’ve been attending UHH and study in the pharmacy department,” Peric said.  “I don’t really race, but I like to run and today I just wanted to see what I could do.”

Peric plans on being a walk on for the Vulcan’s cross-country team this year as she finds the flexibility afforded her in the team’s practice schedule is more conducive to her school schedule.

Following Peric for the women was Kirsta Andrew, 21:22; Nina Hagemann, 21:45; Lory Hunter, 21:48; and Melissa Braswell in 22:21.

The youngest member of the group was 8 year old Romeo Tebelan from Kalanianaole Elementary School who traversed the course in 38:26.

Marisa and Harlina Manley

Also on hand were family members of the late Hamilton Manley, a basketball legend who was later in the day to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

“My dad always used to have us involved in a variety of 5K and 10K running events,” Harlina Manley said.  “My daughter, Brittany, and I flew in from California to be part of my dad’s induction into the Sports Hall of Fame.”

“We used to do races together as a family including the Saddle Road Relay,” Marisa Manley, widow of Hamilton said.  “Today brought back some emotional moments for us as we feel connected with Hamilton through doing these races.”

Hamilton Manley’s sons, Isaac who lives on the Big Island, and Harlan from Oregon, also were part of the day’s events honoring a man that gave so much to his family and community.

Later in the morning the venue moved to Prince Kuhio Plaza where seven new members joined the already 114 previously selected individual Big Island sports heros. 

The seven people that were inducted into the BISHF 12th class were Richard Nakano, Karate; Mo Mathews, swimming; Harold “Russian” Furtado, track & field;   Manny Veincent, outrigger canoe paddling;  Ruth E.K. Walker, Aikido; Hamilton Manley, basketball;  and Francis “Bo” Saiki, baseball/softball.

The BISHF day concluded with a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens where county and state proclamations were given out, along with individualized plaques.

Related Post with race summary and photos at:  http://bigislandrunningcompany.com/Big_Island_Running_Company/Blog.html

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame 5K run/walk on Aug. 22

Big Dog will host a Free 5K run/walk on Sunday, Aug. 22

August 22 is Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day

The Big Island Sports Hall of Fame will induct seven members into its 12th class with a trio of events on Sunday, August 22.

That day has been proclaimed by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi as “Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day.”

The day kicks off with the Big Dog’s Sports Hall of Fame 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk starting at 7:30 am from the entrance to the Moku Ola (Coconut Island) parking area.  The event is free and open to the public.  Contact the Big Dog at 969-7400 for more information.

The seven people being inducted are Richard Nakano, Karate; Mo Mathews, swimming; Harold “Russian” Furtado, track & field;   Manny Veincent, outrigger canoe paddling;  Ruth E.K. Walker, Aikido; Hamilton Manley, basketball;  and Francis “Bo” Saiki, baseball/softball.

The BISHF will hold a photo unveiling at the Prince Kuhio Plaza on at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon. 

Luncheon tickets are now on sale to the general public with limited seating. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  For more information on obtaining luncheon tickets contact Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519 or at Ellsworth Custom Cycles at 969 Kinoole Street.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment