Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Hilo’s Trudy Sleightholm finding ‘My Time’ to exercise


One of my favorite American poets is Maya Angelou who said, among other things, “This is my life, it is my one time to be me.  I want to experience every good thing.”

Following along Angelou’s sage advice is Hilo’s Trudy Sleightholm who knows what she wants in her life and makes time for it.

“Running has always been my ‘me time’,” Sleightholm said.  “I have always been athletic to some degree throughout my life and I have always come back to running.”

Sleightholm was born in Kona, but raised in Hilo and started playing basketball from the fifth grade to her junior year in high school.

In high school Sleightholm discovered cross country and track & field along with joining the swim and soccer teams.

It was through cross country that Sleightholm found something she could take with her and do by herself.

“Right out of high school I went to Oahu for college,” she said.  “I lived at the University of Hawaii dorms and I would run from my dorm room to the Punahou gym, maybe 25 minutes away, workout and then run back to the dorms.”

Sleightholm’s break from school work to the gym was considered her ‘me time.’ 

“Running has always been my ‘me time’ as I always felt so good afterwards,” she said.

After college Sleightholm continued her running and included yoga.

“I took a liking to bikram yoga, which is a very intense type, but I always felt so energized after,” Sleightholm said.  “I would go to a yoga class in the morning before work, then after work go for a run along Kapiolani Park.”

Yoga, along with running, according to Sleightholm became a way of life as she fell in love with staying fit.

“I did the Great Aloha Run a couple of time, but just never pushed myself any further than that 8.5 mile distance,” she said.

Five years ago Sleightholm moved back to Hilo and opened her own business, a salon.

“Being a business owner can be very hectic, but it is also very fulfilling,” Sleightholm said.  “I wouldn’t have it any other way now that I am my own boss.”

Being her own boss gives Sleightholm a little more ‘me time’ which is advantageous to a 33 year old with a three year old child.

“I am allowed a little more freedom to take care of things on my own schedule,” she said.  “My days are very long though as I juggle my time with my daughter, working and running, but I love every second of it.”

Since returning to Hilo Sleightholm has done less yoga and more running until a knee injured forced her to make the reverse switch.

“I injured my knee  last October in the Nike Women’s half marathon,” she said.  “That was an awesome run, but my knees could not handle it.”

Sleightholm worse fears began to arise from her knee injury.

“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to run anymore and I just didn’t want to hear that,” she said.

Sleightholm went to ashtanga yoga classes three to four times a week, while trying to lightly jog.

“I wasn’t going to let my fire for running burn out,” Sleightholm said.  “I was in training for the Honolulu Marathon last year and I did not want to give up.  I trained as hard as I could and took all the extra vitamins to try to help my knees and joints heal.”

Sleightholm stubborn, never give up attitude, helped her to finish the 2010 marathon with two of her friends, Misty Pacheco and Summer Mochida.

For the 2011 marathon Sleightholm managed to put in the training necessary for a successful 26.2 mile run.

“My knee has given me a little stress, but I have been running through it,” she said.  “No pain, no gain!”

Running has also helped Sleightholm maintain a healthy weight as she admits to having a sweet tooth and a carefree diet.

“I have the sweetest tooth I know as I love sweets, which is why I stay active,” she said.  “I don’t really watch what I eat, but I do eat healthy.”

Sleightholm doesn’t like soda, doesn’t drink alcohol and stays away from red meat.

“I love to eat salads,” she said.  “I tend to eat more pasta and drink lots of water or Gatorade before doing my long runs.”

Sleightholm also discovered the value of keeping track of her mileage on a daily basis as she can now see her progress recorded.

“I logged most of my runs on jog tracker and it totaled 1045 miles from May 2011,” she said.  “After seeing my logged runs I wished I had logged all of my runs from January 2011.”

Sleightholm believes that her workouts have contributed to her good health.

“I am grateful to not having any health problems,” she said.  “Running and yoga has kept me stronger inside and out.”

And someday should you happen to see a healthy senior having some ‘My Time’ by  jogging through the streets of East Hawaii remember to smile, say ‘woof’ and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

And here’s wishing all of you the very happiest, healthiest New Year.  Be safe, be kind to others and remember to exercise and eat healthy.

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Islanders Gearing Up for the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday

Davin Padilla

On Sunday morning than 200 Big Island residents will be getting up before the crack of dawn to run the Honolulu Marathon, many of them for the very first time.

The Honolulu Marathon has become the launching ground for many first time marathoners. More than 40 percent of the more than 22,000 people toeing the starting line will be doing their maiden 26.2 mile run, walk, jog or crawl in the pre dawn hours.

“My expectations for this first marathon is to essentially do my personal best, to perform as well as, if not better than on practice runs,” Hilo’s Davin Padilla.

Padilla is a math teacher at Hilo Intermediate School where he teaches 8th grade pre-algebra.

“I was inspired by my principal, Esther Kanehailua, whose first marathon was in Honolulu a couple of years ago,” Padilla said.

Since July 2010 Padilla has logged a total of 804 miles over 129 activities.

“Of those 804 miles, 401 miles were done over 44 activities from my 33rd birthday in June of this year till now leading up to Honolulu,” Padilla said.


Padilla’s friend and training partner, Trudy Sleightholm, will be joining him in the race, but Sleightholm will be doing her second consecutive Honolulu.

“When I did the race last year I didn’t know what to expect, but now I’ll be better prepared,” she said.  “I really just love the time outside running, taking in all the awesome scenery and enjoying time with friends who share the same passion as I do.”

Sleightholm is anxious about doing her second marathon in Honolulu as she will be joined by numerous friends.

“I am so excited to run this year’s race, more friends are doing it and taking a liking to the runners high,” she said with a grin.

This year, with a little more experience under her belt, Sleightholm decided to train harder for the marathon challenge.

“I’ve been running six times a week and I did longer runs,” she said.  “I ran three 19 milers and I did a 20 miler and two 21 milers.  I kept my mileage higher to stay stronger.”

Padilla made his marathon announcement on Facebook for all of his friends to see.

“I’m not trying to boast,” he said.  “The announcement was a way to keep myself accountable.  I know I have the heart and drive to do it.”

Cheryl Kiefer
Dove George

Cheryl Kiefer of Keaau will also be trying a marathon for the first time.

“I’m doing the Honolulu Marathon because it’s been a goal of mine to do a marathon before I turn 60,” Kiefer said.  “I’ll be 60 the day after Christmas, so this is the year to fulfill my dream and my goal.”

Kiefer will be joined at the race by her daughter, Dove George.

“Dove and I plan to do the race together, as she is doing it for my birthday,” Kiefer said. “We are planning on just walking as neither of us has ever done a marathon.”

“I’m doing it because it is my mom’s birthday and it is hard to say NO to my mom,” George said.  “I am not excited about doing 26.2 miles, as I’m dreading it actually.  I’ll try to stay with her for as long as I can as this is the only reason for me to it.”

As for a goal George is just hoping to finish the race with no after effects.

“I’m just hoping that I won’t be super sore the next week,” George said.  “I’ll try to run part of it just to get it over with faster, but will stay with my mom no matter what.”

Joe & Veronica Wedemann

The marathon usually drains all the energy out of a runner by mile 22 and for those that didn’t properly train there will be a slow walk up Diamond Head on their way to the finish line at Kapiolani Park, according to Hawaiian Paradise Park Firefighter, Joe Wedemann.

Wedemann should know as he has finished 11 marathons with a personal best time of 3 hours and 24 minutes.

“To avoid hitting the wall runners would have needed to prepare properly by running a 20 or 22 miler four to five weeks prior to race day,” Wedemann said.

Wedemann will be joined by his wife Veronica who will be doing her fourth marathon with a personal best time of 4:10.

“I enjoy doing this race, primarily because my wife is in it,” Wedemann said.  “We did some long training runs together and we enjoy the time we spend running as quality time.”

Wedemann advises first time marathoners to relax during the opening miles of the race.

“Probably the most important advice to a first time marathoner is for them not to go out too fast in the first 6 miles, so that they can have some gas in the tank for the last 6 miles,” he said.

Veronica Wedemann prepared throughout the year to run the marathon.  She built up her mileage during the past six months to avoid the misery which is accompanied by hitting that invisible wall.

“My training throughout the year was 5 to 10 miles per week and I built up to 45 miles per week in the six months prior to race day,” she said.

“I like the Honolulu Marathon because with so many people doing it I can get distracted and forget how much pain I am in,” she said.  “This year I am hoping to finish around 4 hours 30 minutes.”

The race has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for Hawaii each of the last six years and is totally self-supporting, receiving no subsidy from the Hawaii Tourism Authority according to marathon media consultant Pat Bigold.

“We are the 10th largest marathon in the world and last year we had 20,168 finishers,” Bigold said. 

This year’s race is expected to exceed 24,000 in registration and of that number 8,879 will be first time marathoners with nearly 6,000 of those coming from Japan, according to Bigold.

The Honolulu Marathon will provide a complete list of Honolulu Marathon finishers to the Tribune which will be published in a timely manner.

December 10, 2011 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment