Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

HPA’s Scully & Keaau’s Barroga winners of Running Scholarship

Scully and Barroga

Nothing gives me greater pleaser than to see young people enjoying life through sports participation.

Over the years I’ve seen Big Island high school sports enjoy an explosion in participation, especially in cross country and track & field.

Six years ago Richard and Virginia Alderson of Hakalau provided the Big Island Road Runners with a large monetary donation with the expectation that each year the club would award $1,000 to one male and one female senior that was headed to college.

The main stipulation for receiving the scholarship award was that each applicant needed to be a runner and through writing a 300 word essay convey their love and passion for the sport.

The Alderson’s, along with BIRR treasurer Dano Banks, and the County’s Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela join with scholarship chair Big Dog to look through the dozens of applications.

Prior to looking over the essays the scholarship chairman will remove the names and schools from the paperwork so that none of the member knows the identity of those who apply.  The chair does not vote except in instances of a tie.

The 2011 selections are Keaau’s Rogelio Barroga and Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Hana Scully.

Barroga will be attending Northern Arizona University while Scully is heading to the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus.

Barroga’s running life started when he was in the sixth grade at Keaau Middle School and he credits his physical education teacher with introducing him to the sport.

“Running was very foreign to me when I entered middle school,” Barroga said.  “I was just another average, anti-social student before I joined the P&R track and field team and I credit that as the dramatic turning point in my life.”

Barroga credits the positive role model P.E. teacher for turning him into the positive and uplifting individual that he has now become.

“I used to be a follower, not a leader,” he said.  “I had low self esteem, but that all changed when I became part of a team as my PE teacher encouraged me to take my middle school running to a whole new level by continuing the sport into high school.”

Barroga took her advice and walked on to the cross country team in his freshman year at Keaau, then joined track & field and even went on to participate in volleyball.

Scully has also been a part of the Ka Makani championship cross country and track & field teams as she also participates in cheerleading and paddling at the high school level.

“All I could hear was the crowd cheering ‘Go Hana’!” Unfortunately, everything I could see was spinning.  I knew it was happening again; my telling me to slow down.  I didn’t listen.  My competitiveness and determination took over and I won the race.  Even though it was the end of my 400-meter dash, it was the beginning of an unexpected journey,” wrote Hana Scully in her essay.

Scully was describing her irregular and slow heart rate that caused her to be connected to a heart monitor in the hospital with a cardiologist giving her the news shortly after that 400 meter race in 2009.

“My biggest fear that day was that I might not be able to participate in school sports,” Scully said.  “I wasn’t going to let this challenge slow me down, but instead make me stronger.”

Scully, of course, is up and running and doing her best in helping to lead the Ka Makani to a team title in track & field last week.

“A heart can do many things,” she said.  “Mine radiates love, health, strength, compassion, and happiness.  I can most clearly feel mine with each beat as I sprint down the track or weave through the trails.  Of all my many blessing I am so thankful I can still relish the joy of running.

Both Barroga and Scully have been supporters of the BIRR over the years and have participated in many of its events.

Barroga is often found doing most of the 5K (3.1 mile) community races hosted on the East side of the island.

Recently, Barroga, participated in the Big Island International Marathon’s 5K race, and then stayed for several hours after the race to help volunteers with a variety of tasks.

“We should all help as much as we can in making for a nice community,” Barroga said.  “It is all part of what we learn in school in helping to make this a better place.”

“I have been a strong supporter of the Big Island Road Runner’s Program, always trying my best to participate in every fun run they put on for the community,” Scully said.  “By receiving this scholarship, I will be one step closer in turning my dreams into reality.  College isn’t getting any cheaper and with this added money I will be a thousand dollars less from taking out a loan.”

Both Barroga and Scully will be honored by the BIRR on Sunday, May 15, with a 5K run/walk starting at Coconut Island at 7:30 am.  There is no entry fee and the public is encouraged to come out and participate.

Post race snack will be provided and a formal awards ceremony will be presented by BIRR president, Alan Ryan.  For more information go to www.bigislandroadrunners.org or call 969-7400.

And someday should you happen to see a happy, healthy runner come jogging through the side roads of East Hawai’i remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


May 9, 2011 Posted by | Profiles, Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pacemaker helps Virginia Alderson live a Normal Life

Virginia Alderson

Ah, the many miracles of modern medicine.  Many of us, me included, don’t realize the advances that medicine has taken over the past few decades, unless of course, we need such procedures.

Another procedure that has remarkably changed the lifestyles of many people is the invention of an implantable pacemaker which relieves the symptoms of a slow, irregular heart rhythm.

But before the internal device was developed an external pace maker, the size of several decks of cards was invented by engineer, inventor and developer, Earl Bakken in 1957.  Bakken today lives on the Big Island and has become a contributing supporter to the North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Pace Makers have changed and saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the world and has given them the gift of returning to a normal life.

For Virginia Alderson the choice of getting a Pace Maker was made for her in 2006, at the age of 54.  It was during a routine doctor’s visit that Alderson was placed into the emergency procedure.

“I had the symptoms of shortness of breath, weakness, and a feeling of pressure in my chest,” she said.  “So I went in to see my doctor and an EKG was ordered.”

The EKG confirmed Alderson’s doctors concern, that she had what is called an intermittent “heart block.”

“Two chambers of my heart did not harmonize with the upper beating and the lower forgetting its job,” Alderson said.

Her doctor placed her directly into an ambulance and sent her to the emergency room at Hilo Hospital where a pacemaker implant was done the next morning.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to consider or decide on getting a pacemaker,” she said.  “But it also meant that I didn’t have the time to think or worry about it either.”

If Alderson did not get the pacemaker her heart could have failed to pump enough blood to her brain which may have caused her to possibly pass out or even have a stroke.

“I feel very fortunate that the technology exists today and that they have created a device that keeps my heart beating as it should,” Alderson said.

Alderson had the choice of being “put under” or to have a local anesthetic and chose to stay awake during the procedure.

“It was explained to me that my recovery could be quicker with a local,” she said.  “It felt a little creepy, being aware of the procedure, especially when they thread the leads into the heart chambers (little wires that shock the heart chamber to make it beat).”

The surgery took nearly three hours and Alderson was in the hospital for three days.

“Because of my symptoms I felt better after the surgery than I did going in,” she said.  “Recovery was pretty rapid.

Alderson grew up in California in the small town of Felton which is located in the sand hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains near Monterey Bay.

“At a young age us kids had the run of the neighborhood, with lots of other kids to play with,” she recalled.  “It was a safe place where the adults looked out for us.  All summer long we played softball games in a vacant lot.”

Although not particularly athletic Alderson was outdoors most of the time, weather permitting.

“My backyard had some fun stuff built by my German father,” she said.  “We had a jungle gym, a knotted rope swing and a tree house in a giant oak tree.  We even had a crude version of a zip line that all the kids in the neighborhood loved.”

Today, at age 57, Alderson continues to stay active and there aren’t any activities that she had to forgo due to having the pacemaker implanted.

“Sometimes, when exerting myself during some particularly extreme effort, I do feel my heart really pounding,” she said.  “But I think it would do that anyway even without the pacemaker.”

Alderson will walk or use her elliptical exerciser almost daily and she will work outdoors doing a variety of heavy yard work several days per week.

For diet she continues to eat natural foods, sprouts and whole grains which she brings with her from her youth, during the 1960’s.

“I was influenced by a background of exposure to mostly health foods,” she said.  “It’s pretty easy here, in Hawaii, to eat mostly fresh, local foods, due to the long growing season and the variety of foods available.”

Alderson will also limit her intake of meat and alcohol and she has never smoked.

“I would recommend to any person considering a pacemaker implant to have a very frank discussion with their doctor.  A person’s medical condition has to be thoroughly evaluated and options discussed.  Since pacemakers are so common now and relatively low-risk the decision to get one has no appreciable down-side,” Alderson said.

Despite her healthy lifestyle she and her husband Richard, continue to strive to improve on their diet, while learning new ways to reduce stress and increase daily exercise.

“My basic philosophy is to live well, with honor, honesty and integrity,” she said.  “Love and appreciate life, people, the land, while contributing something positive to my community.”

December 6, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Big Dog’s Vet Day 5K Results from 100 to 198

Walkers enjoy the morning at the Vet Day 5K

100)      Nozomi Haiola    36:56

102)      Cutter Kiska        37:18

103)      John Quitorianao 38:05

104)      Rusttee-Ann Johansen 38:09

105)      Kamuela Johansen    38:13

106)      Richard Alderson      38:17

107)      Keoki Brandt, Jr.       38:26

108)      Kawika Kaleohano   40:08

109)      Kaitlyn Odell            41:37

110)  Stacie Odell             41:38

111)  Nicole Aguinaldo    41:39

112)  Jennifer Silva          41:39

113)  Robin Day               42:12

114)  Brandy Hunter      42:22

115)  Ken Rosen              42:33

16)  Dixie Keouhiwa     42:41

117)  Gerald DeMello    42:41

118)  Larry Kiefer            42:58

119)  Dixie Newman       43:25

120)  Jeannette Sutton   43:30

121)  Marla Hank             44:32

122)  Cheryl Kiefer         45:05

123)  Wendy Nathaniel  45:26

124)  Malcolm Makua    45:34

125)  John Charest          46:02

126)  Cori Shikuma         46:05

127)  Aiden-Jay Shikuma 47:03

128)  Pat Kaneshiro         47:06

129)  David Kohara         47:17

130)  Kainoa Ariola         47:39

131)  Adrel Vicente        47:40

132)  Makana Kohara    47:41

133)  Kari Morimoto      48:20

134)  Carol Myrainthis  49:05

135)  Violet Tanimoto   50:19

136)  Norbert Lindsey   50:20

137)  RJ Odell                  50:32

138)  Mary Ann Mandaloiz 50:49

139)  Kassie Odell          50:51

140)  Myhraliza Aala     50:55

141)  Anthony Lam       50:57

142)  Carolina Lam       50:59

143)  Gil Anguay           51:01

144)  Coco Anguay       51:02

145)  Jeanette Ishigo   51:17

146)  Jessica Julian      51:59

147)  Nikki Nottingham 51:59

148)  Sam Hernandez  52:02

149)  Emmy Hernandez 52:03

150)  Laurie Yoneda      52:08

151)  Albert tomori       52:21

152)  Kiska                       52:22

153)  Mia Takai               52:27

154)  Hiilani Lapera        52:39

155)  Keala Lapera          52:39

156)  Lorraine Hubbard  52:40

157)  Thora “Toots” Asato 53:59

158)  Paul Asato                   53:59

159)  Marlene Hapai         59:10

160)  Mel Takai                1:00:00

161)  Donna Kohara        walker

62)  Don Nishioka          walker

163)  Wendy Davis          walker

164)  Gordon Ignacio Jr. walker

165)  Edwin Kagawa        walker

166)  Donna Tengan        walker

167)  Kaitlyn Tengan       walker

168)  Archie Hapai          walker

169)  Gordon Ignacio     walker

170)  Ray Kottke             walker

171)  Esther Kottke        walker

172)  Emma Kato            walker

173)  Patti Andrade-Spencer walker

174)  Candace Ames        walker

175)  Michael Springer   walker

176)  Kim Springer          walker

177)  Rae Yamanaka      walker

178)  Kawaile Leohiilawe   walker

179)  Gary Kaku                  walker

180)  Sam Ishigo                 walker

181)  Pearl Kailimai           walker

182)  Cameron Anderson   walker

183)  Lillie Davis                   walker

184)  Hannah Hendershot  walker

185)  An additional 14 walkers did less than the 3.1 mile distance and are not reported

See Video of the Event:  http://www.hawaii247.com/2010/11/11/big-dog-5k-race-honors-veterans-and-helps-the-hungry/

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog at the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships

Big Dog with wife Randee at the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships

Thanks to Richard and Virginia Alderson both Big Dog and Mrs. Big Dog  got to attend the Red Bull World Championships of Cliff Diving held on private property just outside of Hilo.  The Red Bull Company were great host as they provided food, water and an unlimited supply of Red Bull to those fortunate enough to get a wrist band to attend.    To better view the photos simply click onto them to enlarge.

September 12, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , | 2 Comments

Weiss and Chock win BIRR Scholarship

Sai Weiss

A few days ago members of the Big Island Road Runners scholarship committee met to look over the many applications sent in by prep runners seeking the one of two $1000 cash awards that is to be presented this year.

   Thanks, in part, to a generous gift provided by Richard and Virginia Alderson the BIRR, since 2006, have been giving away cash scholarships to at least two deserving high school seniors from the Big Island.

   Past winners include:

  2006 – Hilo’s Stefano Barbis and Malia Williams

  2007 – Hilo’s Sarah Chitwood and Konawaena’s Eamon Harrity with a half scholarship to Christian Liberty’s Keoni Ucker

   2008 – Keaau’s Nick Hagemann and Jamilia Epping with a half scholarship to CLA’s Nick Ucker

   2009 – Keaau’s Amy Eriksson and Waiakea’s Bryce Harada with a half scholarship to Kamehameha’s Kaitlyn Yamamoto

   What is impressive is that all of the past awardees were scholar athletes and most went on to run cross-country in college.

   Barbis, Williams, Hagemann, and both Ucker’s currently run for Jaime Guerpo and the University of Hawaii at Hilo Vulcan’s, while Yamamoto was a walk on at UH Manoa this past season and claimed the important number seven spot for the Rainbows.

   This year the scholarship committee chaired by Big Dog, with voting members Dano Banks, Joseph Kamelamela and the Alderson’s meet to look over the qualified applicants and read over their essays on how running has influenced their lives.

   “It wasn’t an easy decision,” Virginia Alderson said.  “There were many good applicants who are scholar athletes that have been involved in many community service projects.”

    After careful review the scholarship committee selected Hilo’s Sai Weiss and Waiakea’s Kaitlyn Chock.

   Both Weiss and Chock ran cross-country and track all four years at their respective schools and both are academically gifted with Weiss carrying a 3.5 grade point average and Chock a 3.9 GPA.

Kaitlyn Chock

Besides running Weiss is also a 1st degree black belt in Aikido.  “Sai has been our aikido student since he was about 8 years old,” Sensei Robert Klein said.  “To understand the context of his accomplishment, in the thirty years our dojo has existed, there have only been three teens who received a black belt from us while still in high school.”

   Chock is also a gifted athlete winning Waiakea’s Most Outstanding Athlete award in cross-country and track for the past two years.  The multi talented Warrior also helped anchor her swim team in both relay events.

   Both Weiss and Chock are Key Club members and have chaired various community activities from helping with the Big Island International Marathon, to volunteering with Special Olympics track & field events.

   “We are so pleased that there are so many fine young and men and women in our public school system and Sai and Kaitlyn are two fine examples,” Richard Alderson said.

   “The only problem we have had with Sai over the years is that sometimes he can’t attend our aikido class and events because he’s busy with those troublesome track meets,” Sensei Klein said with a smile.

   Weiss has been accepted to Southern Oregon University and Chock will be attending the University of Oregon, Robert D. Clark Honor’s College.

   “I am very surprised and humbled by this scholarship,” Weiss said.  “The money will help finance my education and I would like to thank my coaches, parents and fellow athletes in helping me get to where I am today.”

   Weiss plans on majoring on Environmental Studies and Business while Chock plans on entering Liberal Arts.

   “I’m excited that I was selected for this scholarship,” Chock said.  “Thanks to my Dad as he has always been my motivation to try hard.”

   The BIRR which was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1973 has been promoting health and fitness through running and walking events in East Hawaii will recognize Weiss and Chock in a formal ceremony at the end of their Scholarship 5K (3.1-mile) fun run/walk on Sunday, May 23.

   The Scholarship Run/Walk starts at 7:30 am near the entrance to the Moku Ola (Coconut Island) parking area. 

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment