Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lavaman Keauhou 2010

Before you know it, it's going to be time for another weekend and another race. So I think that means it's about time I get the Lavaman Keauhou recap up. For those who don't know, Lavaman triathlons are Olympic distance events (1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run) that are held twice a year - once in Waikoloa in the spring and once in Keauhou in the fall. (Our recap of the Lavaman Waikoloa event can be found here.) The Waikoloa event has been going on for several years, but last year was the first event in Keauhou. Because it's a fairly new race, it's still growing and has a very intimate, family-like feel.

The race starts out with a swim in Keauhou Bay. The other nice thing about the race for us this year was that the start was less than half a mile from our apartment. So we took a nice leisurely walk to the start, passing through T1 as we went.

In addition to all of the individual athletes, this year there were 31 relay teams in the event as well. Jason was recruited for a relay team with high school swimmer Leahi Camacho and local cycling legend Gary Shields. Although Jason had a bum knee the week before and Gary was feeling a little bit under the weather, they were aiming for the win. (My job for the day was photographer. I took a lot more pictures than I can put on the blog, so you can find them all here.)

So Leahi took to the water with all the other swimmers and relay teams. The high school girls are some of the fastest swimmers on the island, so we knew she'd be one of the first people coming in. First out of the water was JP Friend, the swim relay member for Bike Works' men's relay team.

A couple of other people followed after him and about a minute later, Leahi came in, fourth out of the water!

She tagged off to Gary who took off on the bike leg. After watching her come out of the water, we started walking back up the hill so that Jason could head to the run start and I could take some pictures of the bikers. Before we made it too far, we had to stop and snap a picture of the sign Chitwin's kids made for him:

I love seeing how supportive all the families are of their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, etc. when they are out racing!

From Keauhou Bay, the cyclists had to climb all the way out and up King Kamehameha III Road - a brutal 1+ mile climb. They then headed on Kuakini/Queen K to the Natural Energy Lab and back to the Keauhou Beach Resort via Alii Drive. The pictures I got of the bike course were at the start of the great climb up King Kam III:

Eddie O (on the left) was the bike leg for Lava 105.3's relay team.

Jessica Abner - she finished second in her age group!

Jim Moore

Michael Traub

After I finished taking pictures of the bikers, I headed down to Keauhou Beach Resort to watch the bike-run transition. I knew Gary would be one of the first few bikers in, and I had to make sure I made it in time. Shortly after I arrived, Penn Henderson came flying in on the bike:

A few minutes later (which seemed like an eternity), other riders starting trickling in. Gary was the second one to come in:

So Jason headed off on the run. The next group of riders in were Luis De La Torre and Sam Corace. They were neck and neck, as you can see from their picture coming out of transition:

I was able to snap more pictures of runners coming out of transition, however, the biggest problem is that they all have porta-potties or dumpsters in the background! The spectator area was definitely not set up to capture good pictures at that part of the course. So after a while of the non-scenic photos, I started heading to the finish line to catch the winners. I was taking my time, chatting with people and not paying strict attention to the time. Jason was pretty far behind Penn when they left the transition area, so I didn't think he would catch him. But when I was about 50 yards from the finish line, I heard the announcer announce the first runner in - and it was Jason! I had to sprint to get in a position to get this picture:

So their relay team came in first! Here's a picture of the trio (I think Jason would like to apologize to Leahi for having to stand next to his sweaty, stinky body right after the race finished):

Less than a minute later, Penn came across the line as the individual winner! He had a great race all around and is looking to be in good shape for Ironman.

Next in was Luis De La Torre, who did manage to catch Sam Corace on the run. Sam finished in fourth, with Greg Price coming in third. As more men and more relay teams came across the wait was on to see who would be the women's winner. At the transition area, Rani Tanimoto was in first place, followed closely behind by Andrea Bess. But the run is Rani's strong portion and she pulled away for the win:

After she won, we heard the good news that Penn and Rani had recently gotten married. So the newlyweds swept the race. Congratulations to both of them for a great race and for their marriage!

Andrea Bess held on for second place, with Rebecca McKee finishing third.

Andrea Bess

In the relay, the Bike Works' teams won both the men's and women's divisions. The Lava 105.3 team also won the special (self-appointed) media division). Full results from all the races are available at lavamantriathlon.com.

For the next hour or so, I hung around the finish line, trying to get good pictures of the finishers. Here are some:
Kris Kiser, followed closely by...

his wife, Kym Kiser!

Allison Alterman, winner of the 16-19 age group

Bill Nicot, part of a mixed relay.

Dene Sturm

That headdress had to be hot on the run.

Charlie Camacho (Leahi's father) completed the race individually.

Danny Jesser, Lava 105.3's relay runner

The sign must have worked! Chitwin finishes the race.

Congratulations to all participants! Up next is the Run for Hope, this Saturday morning (September 4) at 7 a.m. at the Four Seasons Hualalai. I hear this is a beautiful race, with an exceptional post-race party and breakfast. Plus, proceeds benefit a good cause - cancer research in Hawaii. We'll be at the race, so there will NOT be a group run this weekend. Hopefully we'll see you at the Run for Hope!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running on Faith Recap

Yesterday marked the official release of Kona resident Jason Lester's new book Running on Faith. To celebrate that release, Jason hosted a 5k/10k race, as well as a book signing at Coconut Grove Marketplace. The race was organized by TriFreaks out of Seattle and sponsored by Zoot, Big Island Running Company, The Vitamin Shoppe and the Never Stop Foundation. Since Jason was running the 5k, I had to watch over the store, so I wasn't able to get many pictures. Luckily, Jano Soto took some great shots, so the photos in this post are all his. Mahalo Jano!

When originally envisioned, the race was going to have an entry fee. However, thanks to some course rearrangement and additional sponsor support, they were able to offer the race for free. And as everyone knows, people in Kona love a free race! Although only about 100 people were registered prior to this week, almost 200 additional people registered in the two days before the race, for a total of approximately 280 runners!

The course started at Coconut Grove and went south on Alii Drive. The southbound lanes of Alii Drive were closed for the race, making a nice wide running area. The 5k turnaround was at Alii Gardens Marketplace, while the 10k turnaround was at Magic Sands Beach. The race started at 6:30 in the evening, so many of the runners got to experience a night run. Special thanks to PATH for providing some blinking lights for the 10k runners!

Jason Lester poses in front of the start/finish line before the race.

Jano's wife Paola ran the 10k.

Runners head down Alii Drive.

Finish Line

Awesome finish line shot!

Official race results have not been provided yet, but we will try to post those as soon as we get them. From what I remember from last night, Jason won the 5k, with Andy Holbrook coming in second (in his third race in 4 days!). Third place went to Brandt Mabuni, with Ray Whitford taking fourth place. For the ladies, the top three places went to cross country runners from Kealekehe High School and Makua Lani Christian School. In the 10k, Justin Butler finished first, Chris Tremonte was second and Mattijs VanMaasakkers (another honeymooner!) finished third. For the women's 10k race, Monica Price was first, Kym Kiser finished second, and Angel Mabuni was third.

Post-race, participants hung out and listened to music provided by Eddie O, enjoyed pizza, popcorn, chips and salsa, and free smoothie samples from Tropical Frozen Yogurts, and got their autographed copies of Running on Faith. It was great to see so many people out enjoying this night running event, especially all the first time racers! Hopefully this will be the first of many races for them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big Dog's Sports Hall of Fame 5K

After a great Saturday in Volcano, we were up early again to head to Hilo for Big Dog's Sports Hall of Fame 5K. I wasn't exactly sure how a 5K would end up the day after a half marathon, but we wanted to support Big Dog's event. Jason was still out with a bum knee, and my knee was hurting from the end of the half marathon. But I warmed up and decided to give it a shot. And we weren't the only one going for the double - Ray and Michelle Whitford, Andy Holbrook, Jon Kunitake, Steve Hunter, Lory Hunter, Steve Pavao, DJ Blinn, Alan Ryan and probably more were also racing both days.

Lots of high school and UH-Hilo cross country runners were out for the event as a training session, so it was a pretty young crowd. The course started on Coconut Island off of Banyan Drive and followed Banyan Drive out and up the Suisan Bridge and then followed the Bayfront towards the lighthouse and back. The course is a common one in Hilo and nice and flat. Big Dog gave us the race instructions...

and we were off...

About 16 minutes later, UH-Hilo runner Keoni Ucker was back in with the win, followed by Zach Johnson and Justin Pang.

Andy Holbrook (below in the Run Big singlet) finished in fourth. He flew in from Tennessee on Friday night, ran the half marathon on Saturday morning, Big Dog's 5K on Sunday and is planning on also completing the Running Faith event this Tuesday evening! What a vacation!

Andy was followed by several more runners, making the scenic turn around Liliuokalani Gardens.

Alan Ryan followed his half marathon up with a nice 5K as well.

About a minute later, Ray Whitford made the turn. That's him in the back of the picture. Jason got so excited when realizing Ray had a chance to go under 20 minutes that he started yelling at Ray and forgot to take any more pictures. Ray came in at 20:03, just missing the 20 minute mark, but still a good 50 seconds faster than his (recent) 5K PR.

Looking at the results, the first place woman, Kaylene Peric, came in right behind Ray, but Jason must have still been screaming, because we don't have any race photos of her. But here's a picture of her accepting her award:

In second place for the ladies was Kirsta Andrew:

followed by Lory Hunter tracking down Nina Hagemann, with Nina coming out 3 seconds ahead.

I came in next. I hadn't looked at my watch in a while, so I had no idea what my time would be. To my great surprise, I crossed the line in 22:21 - a 20-second PR! I should run two races in a row all the time - or maybe I should be wondering what I would have run for the 5K if I hadn't run the half marathon the day before! And I think I lost a couple of seconds when my hat was blown off by a truck during the run. I managed to grab it, but had to throw it on backwards to finish the run.

More finishers kept coming along past the beautiful gardens.

Steve Pavao and DJ Blinn had two nice recovery runs with their 5K on Sunday.

Jon Kunitake led Michelle Whitford in to the finish. I heard, but didn't see, that they were both extra polite at the finish line and couldn't figure out who should cross the finish line first. The results show them with identical times - nice job!

Richard Alderson and Malcom Makua finish strong:

After the race, Big Dog passed out the awards and door prizes from Big Island Running Company and discussed the rest of the day's festivities. Yesterday marked the induction of 7 people into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame, complete with a luncheon, county and state proclamations and commemorative plaques. Unfortunately we had to get back to Kona and couldn't stay for the ceremonies. But you can read Big Dog's recap of the day, including full race results, on his blog. Also, additional pictures of the 5K are posted here.

Mahalo to Big Dog as always for a great event!