Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Original Hilo Marathon (1975-1987) Remembered

Marie Kuramoto with her original 1986 Hilo Marathon award

A few weeks ago I wrote a story about Michael Georgi, a three time winner of the Big Island International Marathon, and his return to Hilo to run in the 13th Annual 26.2-mile race.

   In that Georgi story I mentioned that he ran the original Hilo Marathon three times during the 1980’s and in 1985 Georgi won the race with an amazing time of 2 hours 32 minutes and 4 seconds.  I wrote that the course was never certified and may have been a little short, which according to Bob Culnan, is incorrect.

  “I thought you would like to know that the Hilo Marathon of the 80’s was certified,” Culnan said.  “I did the bike riding with the calibration wheel in 1984 and received a handmade ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ certificate for the measuring and marking of the 10th Annual Big Island Marathon and Half-Marathon.”

Bob Culnan

Culnan’s volunteer certificate was signed by the 1984 race director, Laurie Lannan, along with signatures by Judy and Lee Howard, Betty Healy, Donald Romero and Cher Hillier.

   Culnan remembers that the original Big Island Marathon started and finished on Banyan Drive, went through Pu’ueo, by the community college, then around Banyan out to Keaukaha, back around Banyan and out to Bayfront then had one more loop to Keaukaha with the finish line in the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel’s parking lot.

   The original Hilo Marathon race went on for 13 years, from 1975 to 1987, and attracted some of the most famous Hawaii runners of the day.

   People like Harry Yoshida, Stewart Miyashiro, Bob Standard, Bob Hillier, Andy Levin, Connie Comiso, Rueben Chappins, John Kelly, Giovanni Bartolini, Paul Ryan, and Hilo’s own Marie Kuramoto and Mille Cooke were in their heyday of running.

   “I remember pacing Harry Yoshida on my bike to the winning time and the first Big Islander to finish,” Culnan said.  “In 1984 I also measured a half marathon (13.1-miles) course which became part of the race.”

   Culnan can also recall escorting on his bike Georgi, Yoshida, Bob Hillier and Connie Comiso to wins.  “After the Hilo Bike Club stopped their volunteering I took over and can remember escorting Connie to her only sub 3 hour race,” he said.  (Comiso, a nurse from Honolulu, set the women’s course record in 1985 with a time of 2 hours 59 minutes and 27 seconds.)

   Many other participants had fond memories of Hilo’s hometown race of yesteryear, but some of the details were a bit fuzzy with the passing of 30 years.

   “I still have the award I won in 1986 that states 12th Annual on it,” Marie Kuramoto said.  “I have a photo of us ladies, all five of us, receiving this pretty Big Island carving just for participating in the marathon.”

   Key people that helped put together the marathon race during the 70’s and 80’s were then Big Island Road Runner club officers Dwayne Kanuha, Larry “Fats” Loa, Jerry Hirata, Don Romero, Nick Baligit and Don Ahuna.

   “We saw three different phases of this race,” Hirata said.  “Different people came forward and helped during different periods of time, most of them are now long gone.”

   Part of the stimulus for the marathon getting organized in Hilo came during the mid ‘70s with the popularity of the Carol Kai bed races that were partly sponsored by the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and had the support of Lorraine Inouye, known as Lorraine Jitchaku back then.

   “The bed race in Hilo was an original for the neighbor island,” Inouye said.  “The activities (for the bed race) were the same as the ones on Oahu and it brought some business into the hotel. The course ran from Banyan, near the HELCO plant and ended at the intersection of the entrance near Coconut Island.”

   Inouye, at the time, was the Assistant Manager and Director of Sales for the Big Island Properties of Hawaiian Pacific Resorts, which included the Hilo Lagoon, Hilo Hawaiian and Kona Lagoon Hotels.

   “We were looking for different activities that would bring more visitors to the Big Island and decided to sponsor the Big Island Marathon,” Inouye said.

   Inouye, although not the race director, spent lots of time during the early years helping to organize the race.

   “I can remember Lorraine and I staying up in the middle of the night folding T-shirts and assigning running numbers,” Bob Quitiquit said of his late 1970’s involvement.  “It was a lot of work and during its peak we must have had around 600 total runners.”

   The race, which was held in July of each year, had its growing pains with a slow start, a peak in the early ‘80’s before suddenly dropping off in numbers with a loss of interest by 1987.

   In the 1987 race, won by Hilo’s Robert Standard in 2:39:07, only 53 marathoners crossed the finish line which marked the end of an era.

   “I still have fond memories of the Big Island Marathon,” Kuramoto said.  “In 1982 it became the first marathon I ever did along with Millie Cooke and it was such a thrill for me.  I love running in my home town.”

   Kuramoto is the only woman to have run all of the current 13 Big Island International Marathons and at 60 plus years of age shows no signs of letting up.

   “I may be getting slower, since those early days, but I have the endurance to continue running marathons,” she said.

   “The original Hilo Marathon was my first back in 1982 as I had just started running at that time,” Kuramoto said.  “I can’t believe that 25 to 30 years has already passed me by.”

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Big Island International Marathon Results

                                            The 13th Annual                 
                       Big Island International Marathon
        

      Official Overall Results by: JTL Timing Systems – www.jtltiming.com
                                   03/21/2010

                                    Marathon   

 Plc Name                      Division      Residence           Time    Pace

   1 Billy Barnett #7          25 – 29      Volcano, HI         2:50:20  06:30
   2 Jason Braswell #4         30 – 34      Kailua-Kona, HI     2:51:29  06:32
   3 Andrew Taylor #2          30 – 34      Kaneohe, HI         2:52:49  06:35
   4 Reka Batai #26            25 – 29    F Pecs-Baranya, Hung  2:53:13  06:36
   5 Akihiko Futaki #86        50 – 54      Tokyo, Japan        2:56:37  06:44
   6 Tadashi Morishima #159    40 – 44      Kanagawa, Japan     3:00:13  06:52
   7 Herman Rafol #266         45 – 49      Kailua-Kona, HI     3:04:52  07:03
   8 Simon Gog #89             25 – 29      Ulm, Germany        3:05:07  07:03
   9 Douglas Murphy #162       40 – 44      Nashville, TN       3:11:25  07:18
  10 Ralph Schultz #237        45 – 49      Ewa Beach, HI       3:12:09  07:20
  11 Dan Bintley #37           45 – 49      Hilo, HI            3:13:15  07:22
  12 Doug Andrews #19          35 – 39      Kailua-Kona, HI     3:13:47  07:23
  13 Michael Daly #67          25 – 29      Hilo, HI            3:14:35  07:25
  14 Johnny Landeza #5         45 – 49      Aiea, HI            3:14:49  07:26
  15 David Miller #156         35 – 39      Honolulu, HI        3:14:55  07:26
  16 Daniel Biehl #36          45 – 49      Fort Wayne, IN      3:16:54  07:30
  17 Koji Kaneko #116          45 – 49      Saitama-Ken, Japan  3:18:00  07:33
  18 Yoko Yamazawa #231        40 – 44    F Tokyo, JA           3:18:01  07:33
  19 Michael Georgi #3         55 – 59      Honolulu, HI        3:18:46  07:35
  20 Akemi Ueda #214           30 – 34    F Honolulu, HI        3:23:06  07:45
  21 John Edwards #75          60 – 64      Ladysmith, CA       3:24:12  07:47
  22 Mel Vigilla #216          40 – 44      Keaau, HI           3:25:16  07:50
  23 Goichi Kusano #126        45 – 49      Hokkaido, Japan     3:26:02  07:51
  24 James Woodhull #226       50 – 54      Honolulu, HI        3:26:44  07:53
  25 John Simmons #242         20 – 24      New London, IA      3:27:38  07:55
  26 Tatsuro Toiya #211        25 – 29      Hokkaido, Japan     3:28:10  07:56
  27 Akiko Tokuno #212         30 – 34    F Kanagawa, Japan     3:31:00  08:03
  28 Patrick Stich #200        35 – 39      Waialua, HI         3:33:28  08:08
  29 Sally Marrack #6          35 – 39    F Hilo, HI            3:36:21  08:15
  30 David Snodgrass #197      40 – 44      Wahiawa, HI         3:36:46  08:16
  31 Choy Bacor #24            30 – 34      Hilo, HI            3:39:40  08:23
  32 Mark Swanson #204         45 – 49      Mansfield, TX       3:39:50  08:23
  33 Jeffrey Nakasone #165     50 – 54      Mililani, HI        3:39:54  08:23
  34 Carl Schmitt #195         35 – 39      Boulder, CO         3:41:16  08:26
  35 Gilles Laborde #127       40 – 44      Wailuku, HI         3:41:50  08:28
  36 Mason Akers #15           30 – 34      Hilo, HI            3:42:15  08:28
  37 Lory Hunter #111          45 – 49    F Hilo, HI            3:42:32  08:29
  38 Ryan Lamarca #128         25 – 29      Mcbh, HI            3:43:51  08:32
  39 Yumi Hirose #107          30 – 34    F Funabashi, Japan    3:45:23  08:36
  40 Asahi Yoneyama #233       40 – 44      Mie, JA             3:45:39  08:36
  41 James Finley #78          20 – 24      Kaneohe, HI         3:48:29  08:43
  42 Gretchen Adams #14        35 – 39    F Waialua, HI         3:49:04  08:44
  43 Georgina Pulman-Olzaski # 45 – 49    F Haleiwa, HI         3:49:24  08:45
  44 Kyoko Hata #99            30 – 34    F Yokohama, Japan     3:49:38  08:45
  45 Laura Palijanska #174     25 – 29    F Honolulu, HI        3:49:50  08:46
  46 Kriss Hinders #103        35 – 39    F Ewa Beach, HI       3:50:57  08:48
  47 Jack Vaughn #215          25 – 29      Kailua-Kona, HI     3:51:22  08:49
  48 Rob Mcwilliam #153        60 – 64      Gillies Bay, CA     3:51:24  08:49
  49 Kathryn O’grady #168      50 – 54    F Port Moody, CA      3:52:47  08:53
  50 Hirono Takjashima #257    35 – 39    F Toyama, JA          3:54:29  08:56
  51 Daniel Jesser #105        55 – 59      Kailua-Kona, HI     3:54:34  08:57
  52 Akira Shirai #240         55 – 59      Hokkaido, JA        3:55:24  08:59
  53 Steven Pavao #178         50 – 54      Hilo, HI            3:55:35  08:59
  54 Roger White #221          35 – 39      Wahiawa, HI         3:55:52  09:00
  55 Les Omura #10             50 – 54      Honolulu, HI        3:56:32  09:01
  56 J Ashford #22             50 – 54      Waikoloa, HI        3:56:38  09:01
  57 Hugh Morita #160          55 – 59      Aiea, HI            3:56:42  09:02
  58 Katherine Krul #124       30 – 34    F Waialua, HI         3:56:54  09:02
  59 Dennis Bolger #41         35 – 39      Honolulu, HI        3:57:48  09:04
  60 Malia Hebert #268         30 – 34    F Honolulu, HI        4:00:52  09:11
  61 Jaxan Goodsky #90         40 – 44      Honokaa, HI         4:01:21  09:12
  62 Mikael Molinder #158      20 – 24      Stergatland, Switz  4:01:38  09:13
  63 Ed Martin #142            60 – 64      San Antonio, TX     4:01:56  09:14
  64 Wily Woo #225             30 – 34      Pearl City, HI      4:05:16  09:21
  65 Cary Hitchcock #109       25 – 29      Honolulu, HI        4:06:29  09:24
  66 Gary Marr #138            55 – 59      Honolulu, HI        4:07:13  09:26
  67 Amanda Frost #82          25 – 29    F Honolulu, HI        4:07:16  09:26
  68 Wendy Deweese #73         40 – 44    F Kailua-Kona, HI     4:09:06  09:30
  69 Victor Eisen #76          45 – 49      Pahoa, HI           4:10:33  09:33
  70 Yoshihiko Fukazawa #83    20 – 24      Hokkaido, Japan     4:11:14  09:35
  71 Doug Neveu #167           45 – 49      Mesquite, TX        4:11:16  09:35
  72 Nick Muragin #261         40 – 44      Ninole, HI          4:13:15  09:39
  73 Ed Cassebier #57          45 – 49      Honolulu, HI        4:13:19  09:40
  74 Jackie Stephens #199      50 – 54    F Queen Creek, AZ     4:13:48  09:41
  75 Thomas Yee #232           35 – 39      St. John’s, CA      4:15:14  09:44
  76 Blaine Kristo #123        35 – 39      Kailua, HI          4:15:51  09:45
  77 Mario Abramson #12        45 – 49      Wailua, HI          4:15:58  09:46
  78 Brad Davis #68            45 – 49      Kaneohe, HI         4:16:00  09:46
  79 Frank Prestwood #181      40 – 44      Honolulu, HI        4:17:34  09:49
  80 Mark Masuyama #145        65 – 69      Hilo, HI            4:17:46  09:50
  81 Michael Hamilton #96      55 – 59      Keauhou, HI         4:17:54  09:50
  82 Rebecca Wright #229       25 – 29    F Colorado Springs,   4:17:58  09:50
  83 Rod Brown #52             45 – 49      Sandy, UT           4:17:59  09:50
  84 Sean Kelly #270           30 – 34      Honolulu, HI        4:18:46  09:52
  85 Renee Wilson #258         30 – 34    F Kailua-Kona, HI     4:18:47  09:52
  86 Bram Denhaan #71          45 – 49      Haiku, HI           4:19:12  09:53
  87 Tetsuya Yoshida #234      30 – 34      Tokyo, JA           4:19:15  09:53
  88 Raul Ramirez #185         40 – 44      Kailua-Kona, HI     4:19:20  09:53
  89 Richard De Cample #69     60 – 64      Renton, WA          4:20:27  09:56
  90 Andrea Huston #112        30 – 34    F Honolulu, HI        4:20:40  09:56
  91 Anne Wiersma-Olson #222   45 – 49    F Edmonton, CA        4:20:49  09:57
  92 Mutsumi Yamashita #230    40 – 44    F Honolulu, HI        4:21:12  09:58
  93 Maria Emmerich #271       25 – 29    F River Falls, WI     4:21:19  09:58
  94 Harvey Nakasone #163      50 – 54      Hilo, HI            4:23:57  10:04
  95 Rudy Arzaga #21           30 – 34      Hilo, HI            4:24:36  10:05
  96 Bud Quitiquit #183        60 – 64      Kailua-Kona, HI     4:25:18  10:07
  97 William Sherman #238      50 – 54      Ft. Walton, FL      4:25:24  10:07
  98 Todd Schoonover #245      40 – 44      Coudersport, PA     4:26:43  10:10
  99 Paul Bursey #55           55 – 59      Honolulu, HI        4:26:47  10:10
 100 Stephanie Woodson #227    20 – 24    F Honolulu, HI        4:27:30  10:12
 101 Sharyl Masuyama #146      35 – 39    F Ewa Beach, HI       4:27:46  10:13
 102 Lisa Bryant #53           50 – 54    F Kailua-Kona, HI     4:28:02  10:13
 103 Kenji Katayama #265       40 – 44      Hyogo, JA           4:29:03  10:16
 104 Craig Smith #50           50 – 54      Springfield, IL     4:29:53  10:18
 105 Jamie Stokes #201         25 – 29    F Kurtistown, HI      4:31:43  10:22
 106 Lonnie Smith #196         50 – 54      Anderson, IN        4:32:50  10:24
 107 Thomas Craven #63         60 – 64      Honolulu, HI        4:33:32  10:26
 108 Heather Mccafferty #148   40 – 44    F Ewa Beach, HI       4:33:33  10:26
 109 Aida Ferguson #77         40 – 44    F Pahoa, HI           4:33:40  10:26
 110 Anna Abdul #11            35 – 39    F Kurtistown, HI      4:34:27  10:28
 111 Linden Villena #217       30 – 34      Hilo, HI            4:34:34  10:28
 112 Alfredo Aromin #20        55 – 59      Aiea, HI            4:35:59  10:32
 113 Cody Tehero #209          20 – 24      Pepeekeo, HI        4:36:13  10:32
 114 Tamara Barkowsky #29      35 – 39    F British Columbia,   4:36:59  10:34
 115 Pankaj Patil #175         30 – 34      Colorado Springs,   4:37:49  10:36
 116 Rosemarie Ornellas #172   45 – 49    F Elbert, CO          4:39:20  10:39
 117 Ken Ornellas #171         50 – 54      Elbert, CO          4:39:20  10:39
 118 Don Zimbeck #236          65 – 69      Ocean View, HI      4:39:58  10:41
 119 Masamichi Watanabe #219   60 – 64      Ohiba, Japan        4:40:08  10:41
 120 Anna Hindi #104           50 – 54    F Albuquerque, NM     4:40:15  10:41
 121 Laureen Martin #141       45 – 49    F Pahoa, HI           4:41:50  10:45
 122 Jennifer Mcgee #151       35 – 39    F Waipahu, HI         4:43:14  10:48
 123 Renee Bergeron #279       30 – 34    F Waipahu, HI         4:44:19  10:51
 124 Dj Blinn #101             60 – 64      Hilo, HI            4:44:35  10:51
 125 Dana Sherrod #239         45 – 49    F Plano, TX           4:45:11  10:53
 126 Leslie Paulet #177        35 – 39    F Manatoba, CA        4:49:17  11:02
 127 Kaori Yoshida #235        30 – 34    F Tokyo, JA           4:50:19  11:04
 128 Charles Bostwick #43      50 – 54      Mt View, HI         4:50:50  11:06
 129 Brian Goodyear #91        60 – 64      Honolulu, HI        4:50:51  11:06
 130 David Weber #220          50 – 54      Elk Grove, IL       4:51:11  11:06
 131 Lava People Perea #179    55 – 59      Kailua-Kona, HI     4:51:57  11:08
 132 Imelda Tamayo #206        30 – 34    F Hilo, HI            4:53:38  11:12
 133 Les Martisko #143         65 – 69      Pepeekeo, HI        4:54:00  11:13
 134 Matthew Smeltzer #244     30 – 34      Whitefish, MT       4:54:12  11:13
 135 David Hammes #97          55 – 59      Hilo, HI            4:55:03  11:15
 136 Sarah Rabe #184           30 – 34    F Waipahu, HI         4:55:19  11:16
 137 Aya Hirose #106           25 – 29    F Hokkaido, Japan     4:57:57  11:22
 138 Michael Hasselbring #98   55 – 59      Hawi, HI            4:58:57  11:24
 139 Yoko Hayano #100          45 – 49    F Hilo, HI            5:01:01  11:29
 140 Haruko Takase #205        45 – 49    F Tokyo, Japan        5:01:26  11:30
 141 Christine Wolf #224       55 – 59    F Keaau, HI           5:02:31  11:32
 142 Charles Sakoda #193       55 – 59      Hilo, HI            5:03:17  11:34
 143 Matthew Masuyama #147     35 – 39      Hilo, HI            5:04:39  11:37
 144 Patrick Mckone #152       45 – 49      Oshkosh, WI         5:10:27  11:50
 145 Hope Braceros #45         25 – 29    F Hilo, HI            5:12:33  11:55
 146 Marko Reumann #187        35 – 39      Dubo Is, PA         5:12:40  11:56
 147 Lani Manatay #137         35 – 39    F Hilo, HI            5:13:18  11:57
 148 Jeffrey Kosbie #122       25 – 29      Chicago, IL         5:13:50  11:58
 149 Phebe Satterfiele #194    40 – 44    F Gray Court, SC      5:14:37  12:00
 150 Mark Sturwold #202        50 – 54      Bartlett, IL        5:15:08  12:01
 151 Masahisa Uwakubo #263     40 – 44      Tokyo, JA           5:15:55  12:03
 152 Richard Otani #173        50 – 54      Hilo, HI            5:17:59  12:08
 153 Lynne Brauher #9          45 – 49    F Keaau, HI           5:19:28  12:11
 154 Caitlin Brown #51         1 – 19     F Winston-Salem, NC   5:20:31  12:14
 155 Stan Fortuna #80          60 – 64      Hilo, HI            5:22:46  12:19
 156 Laura Langerwerf #129     25 – 29    F Sacramento, CA      5:24:33  12:23
 157 Jessica Bold #42          25 – 29      Conyers, GA         5:25:35  12:25
 158 Tim Bold #40              35 – 39      Conyers, GA         5:25:35  12:25
 159 Ayako Usui #264           30 – 34    F Tokyo, JA           5:25:51  12:26
 160 Toyonari Kondo #259       20 – 24      Aichi, JA           5:26:48  12:28
 161 Morgen Bahurinsky #25     60 – 64    F Hilo, HI            5:27:50  12:30
 162 Chika Tsukamoto #262      25 – 29    F Tokyo, JA           5:31:17  12:38
 163 Katharyn Balbach #27      20 – 24    F Loveland, OH        5:31:35  12:39
 164 Maria Rushing #191        25 – 29    F Mililani, HI        5:32:56  12:42
 165 Daniel Gerasimowicz #88   25 – 29      Alexandria, VA      5:32:58  12:42
 166 Lisa Bowers #44           25 – 29    F Kaneohe, HI         5:34:30  12:46
 167 Cowman A-Moo-ha #13       65 – 69      Kailua-Kona, HI     5:37:07  12:52
 168 Rodney Chang #269         60 – 64      Honolulu, HI        5:37:22  12:52
 169 Toshiki Nakasone #164     20 – 24      Tokyo, Japan        5:39:42  12:57
 170 Michael Denley #72        50 – 54      Lakeville, MN       5:41:22  13:01
 171 Evelyn So #198            30 – 34    F Nyc, NY             5:41:55  13:03
 172 Flavia Grose #95          35 – 39    F Stockton, CA        5:43:10  13:05
 173 Filiesha Lerand #131      55 – 59    F Volcano, HI         5:45:57  13:12
 174 Stephan Kitagawa #121     55 – 59      Hilo, HI            5:46:53  13:14
 175 Joe Loschiavo #39         60 – 64      Kamuela, HI         5:50:10  13:21
 176 Amy Murphy #161           45 – 49    F Severna Park, MD    5:53:56  13:30
 177 Masayuki Tetsuka #144     20 – 24      Tokyo, Japan        5:54:23  13:31
 178 Bettie Wailes #218        65 – 69    F Winter Park, FL     5:55:28  13:34
 179 Angela Sinn #243          25 – 29    F Honolulu, HI        5:56:01  13:35
 180 Karl Heinz Dovermann #74  60 – 64      Honolulu, HI        5:56:52  13:37
 181 Betty Ben #32             60 – 64    F Hilo, HI            5:57:27  13:38
 182 Steven Rushing #190       25 – 29      Mililani, HI        5:58:54  13:41
 183 Marie Kuramoto #8         60 – 64    F Hilo, HI            5:59:52  13:44
 184 Ryan Branson #47          1 – 19     F Hilo, HI            6:00:01  13:44
 185 Masaoki Nagashima #260    35 – 39      Tokyo, JA           6:00:27  13:45
 186 Rumi Kirii #120           30 – 34    F Toride-Shi, Japan   6:03:30  13:52
 187 Carol Goslin #92          65 – 69    F Kansas City, MO     6:04:26  13:54
 188 Preston Luta #267         25 – 29      Kealakekekua, HI    6:05:25  13:56
 189 Mary Mcdonald #150        55 – 59    F Conway, AR          6:09:39  14:06
 190 Douglas Nelson #166       55 – 59      Kailua-Kona, HI     6:22:26  14:35
 191 John Chun #59             25 – 29      Mililani, HI        6:25:10  14:42
 192 Dean Burri #54            45 – 49      Clearwater, FL      6:27:43  14:47
 193 Chuck Brady #46           45 – 49      Kapaa, HI           6:40:32  15:17
 194 Matteo Belli #31          35 – 39      Pahoa, HI           6:44:44  15:26
 195 Edmund Loy #132           30 – 34      Honolulu, HI        6:53:00  15:45

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three Time BIIM Champion, Michael Georgi, Returns

Jason Florimonte, 2009 BIIM winner. Photo by Tim Wright

Preparations are underway for the 13th Annual Big Island International Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K scheduled for Sunday, March 21.

   The event was the brainchild of Roland Higashi, former owner of Creative Arts, and George Miyashiro who owned Jack’s Tours.  The two businessmen elicited the help of running Guru Karl Kunz and the Big Dog to help make their vision happen.

   “We wanted to help stimulate the visitor industry for Hilo and thought that runners from Japan and elsewhere would find us an attractive place to visit,” Higashi said.

   The inaugural Big Island International Marathon (26.2-miles) race was held in 1997 and the winner was Michael Georgi of Honolulu.

  Georgi, a Punahou Social Studies Teacher and longtime track and cross-country coach, ran the certified marathon course in 2 hours, 41 minutes and 15 seconds at age 45 and returned the following year for his second consecutive victory.

   Georgi became a regular fixture in the Hilo race running eight of the first nine BIIM’s while finishing first three times, a BIIM record, third three times and fifth twice.

   “The first eight miles of the course took its toll on me during my last two appearances (2006 and ’07),” Georgi said.  “After the 2007 race I decided to take a hiatus from doing this course.”

   Now at age 57, after taking a two year break from the BIIM, Georgi has decided to challenge the course once again.

   “I like doing the BIIM because of the beauty of the first eight miles,” he said.  “I much prefer the BIIM to the Honolulu Marathon due to the scenery and lack of crowds.”

   The Honolulu Marathon will typically have more than 20,000 runners at the starting line compared to the BIIM which has 250 marathoners and another 350 half-marathoners beginning at the 6 am start in Pepeekeo.

   During the 1980’s Hilo hosted a smaller marathon that ran totally within the Hilo district which saw Georgi win in 1985.

   “I ran the original Hilo Marathon twice during the 1980’s,” Georgi said.  “I finished second in 1982 to Ruben Chappins with a time of 2:29:55 and returned in 1985 to win in 2:32:04.”

   The original Hilo Marathon course was a double, out and back loop that went from Bayfront out to Richardson Beach Park twice.  The course was relatively flat and was never certified and some say it may have been a tad bit short of the 26.2-mile requirement.

  Since 1997 the BIIM has been measured precisely by HELCO engineer, Curt Beck, and the race has obtained a USATF certificate making it a legitimate qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon in April.

   Add in a bunch of rolling hills from Pepeekeo to Honolii and the BIIM is a challenging marathon that takes runners through some of the most beautiful areas in paradise.

   Georgi currently owns two age group records when, at age 45, he ran 2:41.15 (45-49 age group record) and at age 52 he finished in 2:56:58 (50-54 age record) to go with his three overall BIIM victories. 

   Now, at age 57, Georgi has his sights on breaking the 55 to 59 age group record currently held by Texan, Larry Linchovsky, with a time of 3:16:48.

    “My realistic goal is to finish the marathon respectably and uninjured,” Georgi said.

   When Georgi laces up his shoes for the start of this year’s marathon he will be joined by 250 other 26.2-mile enthusiast plus another 350 half-marathon runners.  Both races sold out three weeks ago and has made BIIM one of the most attractive small marathons around.

   “We’re going to have to see if we can increase the participants’ spots for the 2011 race,” Higashi said.  “We will try to increase at a slow, reasonable rate, as to minimize the impact to our community.”

   In conjunction with the three races hosted by BIIM on Sunday there will be a Carbo Load Dinner Party at the Moku Ola room of the Hilo Hawaiian on Friday starting at 6 pm.  The all you can eat pasta party cost $21 at the door and includes a hula show and lucky number giveaways. 

   Then on Saturday the BIIM will host a Health and Fitness Expo from noon to 6 pm at the Hilo Hawaiian.  Vendors from around the island will be on hand with free samples.

   Ki Mana Academy Massage will be giving free massages, Island Naturals free samples, and more.

   For more information on any of the events hosted by the BIIM call 969-7400.

One of my favorite quotes on running in a 26.2-mile marathon comes from Martine Costello when he said, “You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line.  It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.”

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Marathon Running, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment