Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Robert Otsubo the ‘man’ all about one on one coaching

Robert Otsubo

When I used to coach, both cross country and track & field for more than two decades here on the island I had a reputation as being strict but fair.

Something like the late Ken Yamase which I emulated as he became a role model for me.

Strict but fair!   I was a no nonsense coach and I learned from the best.

That didn’t stop the boys from coming out for cross country at Waiakea.  In fact my last year of coaching the Warriors I has 64 boys turn out for the team.  That same year we lost the Big Island Interscholastic Championship to the then perennial league champion Hawaii Preparatory Academy by a mere 2 points.

Which brings my thought back to that year, it was 1999, and for coming so close I was named Waiakea’s Coach of the Year.

Every year prior and every year since I had athletes that would quit on the team and it was nothing that I’d take lightly.  I figured that if you were a quitter you’d always be a quitter and amount to nothing in life.

One young person proved me wrong and it was from this person that I learned a real lesson on how to coach.

The year was 2004 and during that time I became a real coach. 

I saw one of my cross country runners, a kid that had quit the team several times before, at the starting line of the Big Island Marathon, attempting his first 26.2 mile race.

Robert Otsubo I thought, what possibly motivated you to take on such a task?  And are you going to quit this too?

During his first three or four miles into the race I found myself actually coaching him, talking with him, getting him to slow down from his adrenaline rush and save himself for what was ahead.

I talked with him the entire way and shared valuable knowledge about the course which I had done myself many times before.

I became a coach that day and Robert Otsubo became a MAN.

At mile 22 I told Otsubo to go ahead and have a strong finish, which he did coming across the finish line in 3 hours 29 minutes and I was two minutes behind.

We both came across that finish line because he came back for me, holding each other’s hands high to signal victory while Otsubo set the new course record for those 18 and under.

It stands today as one of my proudest coaching moments as I believe that is what ‘real coaching’ is all about and I have a new found respect for Otsubo, the MAN.

Later he would write “thank you for teaching me so much about running, motivation, determination and commitment.” 

Otsubo is currently in the military and deployed to far off Kyrgyzstan where he recently ran his first half marathon a distance of 13.1 miles.

Otsubo enlisted a year after graduating from college, in 2010 and his current military occupation is ‘Aircraft Hydraulics Specialist’.

“I have a great appreciation for the discipline the military take pride in,” he said.  “I rather dislike machines – ironically my MOS (military occupation specialty) – and am trying to cross train, but my learned discipline is what keeps me going.”

“This was a true competitive race,” Otsubo said.  “In seven years, I was more than just deciding I was just overdue for a good race.”

Otsubo used his first half marathon as a training gauge of how fit he is because his Air Force career is important to him.

“I haven’t gone more than one week without running since 2003,” he said.  “Aside from running, I swim, and when I’m home I love surfing.”

Otsubo short term goals are to score a perfect on his upcoming physical fitness test, which is a requirement for him to enter into Combat Rescue Officer field.

As for diet Otsubo tries to stay clear of processed, high calorie and sugary foods.

“I try to make sure most of my meals consist mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains,” Otsubo said.  “I stopped drinking soda in high school and I’ll stick to drinking water 95 percent of the time.”

But deployment also means struggles with what he consumes.

“Depending on where I am and what I have access to, this can take a bit of creativity to eat healthy,” Otsubo said.

It is people like Robert Otsubo that make coaching all that worthwhile and now he serves his country, a noble young man like so many of the others, both men and women who serve.

Otsubo is one of the many reasons I will continue to host the Big Dog Family Veterans Day 5K run/walk on November 11, from Coconut Island starting at 7:30 am.   All those in the military are free including those wearing a grey ribbons or pins of HOPE to show their support for brain cancer survivors and their families.

“When I’m having one of those homesick days, I’ll read a running story on line at the Tribune-Herald web site and it takes me back to those days at Waiakea and reminds me of my roots,” Otsubo said. 

Someday should you see a grateful American thanking the many service members for their service remember to ‘smile’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.


November 5, 2012 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog’s Vet Day 5K Top 50 Results

UHH cross country team supporting Vet Day 5K

BIG DOG’s Veterans Day 5K – Results of Top 50:

1)      Keoni Ucker       16:06

2)      Jason Braswell  16:36

3)      Zach Johnson    16:56

4)      Justin Pang        17:20

5)      Chris Evans        17:28

6)      Garrett McAllister  17:54

7)      Andrew Langtry 18:04

8)      Paul Mauser       18:15

9)      Todd Marohnic  18:34

10)  Mathew Crowell 18:57

11)  Louie Perry         19:02

12)  Nick Muragin     19:25

13)  Bill McMahon   19:28

14)  Jesse Ebersole   19:31

15)  Michael Wozniak 19:32

16)  Kaylene Peric      19:35

17)  Alex Vu                19:48

18)  Stewart Miyashiro 19:53

19)  Robert Otsubo    19:59

20)  Stephen Hunter  20:01

21)  Kirsta Andrew     20:01

22)  Robyn DeBenedit 20:07

23)  Steve Pavao        20:17

24)  Zinder Villena     21:09

25)  Derek Dominquez 21:17

26)  Melissa Braswell 21:25

27)  Christian MCardle 21:32

28)  Max Panoff         21:37

29)  Lory Hunter        21:38

30)  Todd Shumway   21:47

31)  Nina Hagemann  21:53

32)  Shalila DeBourmont 22:07

33)  Stewart Hunter      22:18

34)  Greg Lum Ho        22:32

35)  Sean Crocker        22:41

36)  Carmen Garson-Shumway 22:55

37)  Ray Ibara             22:59

38)  Kauila Wong Yuen 23:00

39)  Liliana DeSmitchen 23:00

40)  DJ Blinn              23:09

41)  Dena Rae           23:16

42)  Joel Tessier       23:17

43)  Robert Talbot   23:26

44)  Kayley & Kaleb Moniz ( 1 mile with grandma Marie)

45)  Quincy Lambert     24:20

46)  Kelly Frietas          24:46

47)  Lindsey England   24:51

48)  Harris Kaneshiro  25:04

49)  Conrar Murgin      25:11

50)  Andrew Langtry    25:17

With nearly 200 finishers the Big Dog will post the results in 4 seperate listings.  The next group 51-99 will be posted shortly.

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

Big Dog’s Sports Hall of Fame 5K Results

Start of Big Dog's Sports Hall of Fame 5K

Big Dog’s Sports Hall of Fame 5K Results:   Times are correct but spelling of names may be wrong, so please let me know.
Keoni Ucker 16:11
Zach Johnson 17:08
Justin Pang 17:11
Andrew Holbrook 17:13
Scott Hunter 17:23
Nick Hagemann 17:31
Jerry  Noruyn 17:44
Don Bintley 18:17
Rick Michaels 18:24
Louie Perry 18:30
Garrett McAllister 18:41
Mike Daly 19:03
Alan Ryan 19:08
James Imai 19:24
Derek Dominguez 19:32
Robert Otsubo 19:44
Andrew Langtry 19:47
Ray Whitford 20:03
Kaylene Peric 20:25
Brian Yannutz 20:36
Williamson Marshall 20:50
Paul Mauser 21:09
Kirsta Andrew 21:22
Zandrix Acob 21:32
Jaime Guerpo 21:34
Nina Hagemann 21:45
Lory Hunter 21:48
Melissa Braswell 22:21
Anic Helms 23:04
Donovan Macanas 23:09
Kaylee Rapoza 23:11
Nadia Ramirez 23:15
Dena Rae 23:19
Steve Pavao 23:36
DJ Blinn 23:36
Don Zimbeck 24:25:00
Roy Yamada 24:29:00
Liliana Desmither 24:49:00
Napua Lapere 25:24:00
Michelle Guitard 25:25:00
Michelle Whitford 25:52:00
Jon Kunitake 25:52:00
Kaeo  Mateo 25:59:00
Luis Acob 26:03:00
Arnold Swark 26:06:00
James Shauli 26:40:00
David Hammes 26:49:00
Shannon Curtis 27:08:00
Charlie Bostwick 28:46:00
Stan Fortuna 30:33:00
Jenny Hulica 30:30:00
Paul Deeter 32:19:00
Christine Bird 32:53:00
Richard Alderson 33:21:00
Searle Grace 33:26:00
Jerry  Chang 33:59:00
Betty Makua 34:30:00
Richard Crowe 34:38:00
Rachel Clute 35:23:00
Mykelah Daly 35:35:00
Romeo Tebelan 38:23:00
Briette Corpuz 38:26:00
Malcolm Makua 41:04:00
Bruce Tebelan 43:55:00
Marisa Manley 52:22:00
Harlina Manley 52:22:00

August 22, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments