Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“Run the Coast of Old Hawaii”

The 13th edition of the Big Island International Marathon will be held in Hilo, Hawaii, March 21, 2010. With options ranging from a full marathon to a 5-k, the event offers something for everyone, from the serious competitor to the weekend warrior. The event boasts a course that runs “along the Pacific Ocean, past exotic waterfalls, over narrow bridges and lava beaches.”

Race Director Wayne "Big Dog” Joseph encourages early registration with an Early Bird Special second to none. Register by November 1, 2009, and receive 50% off your registration fees.

For more event details, including a course map and past results, visit

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

... And We're Finally Open for Business.

The first couple of weeks of unemployment were nice. I was able to settle into my new home, decompress from the past six years at a high-powered law firm, watch a lot of Magnum, P.I., and do some fishing. But after two more weeks, I was starting to get a little antsy. It was just in the nick of time that we closed on our deal to purchase the Big Island Running Company.

Our first day of business was 9/9/09. (I leave any conclusions about the significance of that date to you, dear reader.) There's still a ton of work to be done; I've been busy setting up our website, getting a grasp on and replenishing inventory, and getting known and networked in Kailua-Kona. It's been long hours, but it's also been a whole lot of fun. Please come visit us soon. To entice you to visit, here are some pictures of the store.

The front of the store:

A couple of shots of the interior:

The obligatory view-from-the-front-door shot. I dare say that there's not a running store in the world that can beat this:

And one last shot:

Race Report: 2009 Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon

On September 13, 2009, I was fortunate to be a part of a relay team competing in the inaugural Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon. The relay team I was on was put together by local bike gurus BikeWorks, who was also a sponsor of the race. Let me start off by saying that it was an awesome event--tons of aloha, and the race was really well-run. It was an olympic distance triathlon. For those not familiar with the format, that means it was a 1.5 km swim, a 40km bike, and a 10k run.

It started out with the swim. Here are a couple of pictures of the calm before the storm, all of the swimmers getting set to do their thing:

Once the swim was off, our swimmer, Nick Garrett, got down to business. He absolutely killed the swim in a blazing 19:55. To put that in perspective, he was almost 1:30 ahead of anyone else in the field, which included two pro triathletes.

I don't have any pictures of the actual T1 (the transition from swim to bike) because I had already left to get setup in T2 (the transition from the bike to the run), but here's a picture I took of T1 before the race:

Once Nick got out of the water the [figurative] baton was passed to Kevin Murar, our cyclist, who again set a blistering pace on the bike. I don't have any pics of him because I was getting setup for the run, but they probably wouldn't have come out very well anyway because Kevin was flying.

Here's a picture I took of T2 before any of the cyclists had arrived:

Once Kevin sped into T2, it was my turn. I won't try to describe the stunning run course because local pro triathlete Bree Wee did a far better job than I could ever do in her blog. By the time I got out on the course it was about 8:20 and on its way to hot. It was a challenging course, covering a variety of terrains, from road to lava path, to golf course, and it had some absolutely spectacular views. My teammates gave me a big cushion headed into the run, and that's a good thing because I really used it. I warned them ahead of time that I was out of shape, and I made good on that proclamation running a pokey 43:35. Still, with teammates' help we were able to post a total time of 2:05:50, good for a comfortable win in the relay division. Full results are available here.

My camera was mysteriously dead post-race, but here's a shot of the finish line that I took in the morning while it was being set up:

The post-race party was fitting for a race as great as Lavaman. There was a bountiful lunch spread, a band, and tasty brews from Kona Brewing Company. It was a top-notch event from start to finish.

Much mahalo to everyone who worked so hard to make the inaugural Lavaman Keauhou the success that it was!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Upcoming Event: Lavaman Keauhou Triathlon

On September 13, Jason from the Big Island Running Co. will be competing as part of a relay team in the inaugural Lavaman Keahou Triathlon. There is a nice article on the race in today's West Hawaii Today. The relay team I'm a part of was set up by the folks at BikeWorks. I am definitely not in top 10-k form, but I'm hoping I'll be able to hold the lead that I know my teammates will provide. I'll try to get a race report and some pictures up in the next few days.

In other news, the Big Island Running Co. officially opened for business under its new ownership on 9/9/09. Some pictures are up on our website, but I'll be putting together a "now open for business" post with plenty of pictures soon. Aloha.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Excuse me…Fart what?

Have you ever been at a race of hanging out with some running buddies and overheard the word “fartlek” and wondered why they were discussing flatulence? Fartlek is a Swedish term that translated means “speed play.”

Okay, but what is a fartlek? A fartlek is a regular run interspersed with bouts of speed, or an informal speed workout. This can be as simple as sprinting to a telephone pole and then jogging to the next, then repeating this exercise. In high school, my coach had us run fartlek workouts that he referred to as “Minutes”. We would run a minute “on” or up-tempo and then a minute “off” or at an easier effort. The timed intervals could increase or decrease so that a standard “Minutes” workout would look like this:

1-2-3-3-2-1, meaning 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off, etc.

During cross country season, “on” minutes can be defined as 5-k pace and “off” minutes are training run pace.

These informal speed sessions are great early season workouts for veterans or for beginners, just exploring the benefits of speed work, because fartleks are based on perceived effort rather than distance and pace.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finally Some Success Fishing

Since I've been over here on the Big Island, I've spent quite a bit of time shore fishing. I considered myself a pretty good fisherman back on the mainland, but fishing out here is a whole new ballgame. My first three fishing trips resulted in a total of one fish that was a puny little guy about 4 inches long--not much bigger than the bait he went for, so he definitely gets points for effort! Today, I was finally able to get a couple of decent fish.

Here's a picture on the way into the spot I've been trying:

And a crab molt out on the lava:

I think that the first fish that I caught was some kind of wrasse, but I'm not sure on the specific identification. He put up a decent fight, but I was able to keep him from getting tangled up in the reef. Check out the front teeth on this guy!

Here he his next to my size 10 slipper to give some perspective on size:

The next fish I caught was a pinktail triggerfish--not too hard to identify this one. It put up a great fight. I was surprised to see how relatively small it was when I got it in because the way it was pulling at first, I thought I had a much bigger fish.

These triggerfish have a face only a mother could love:

Lucky for these two fish that I haven't yet moved to the cleaning and cooking phase of my Hawaiian fishing education, so it was strictly catch and release today. The trigger was probably too small to eat, but the wrasse was a definite candidate for a couple of nice fillets on my grill.

I'll leave you with a couple more photos from my new favorite fishing spot, the first looking north:

and the second looking south: