Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peaman's Birthday Bonanza!

After all the excitement of Christmas on Saturday, the party kept on going with the celebration of Peaman's birthday on Sunday, December 26. And what better way to celebrate than a swim/run event, complete with slime, silly string and whipped cream?

Before things got messy, we had to get the athletics out of the way. The race was a 1/2 mile swim, followed by a 3.9 mile run. The ocean was rolling that morning, so there wasn't a lot of excitement to get in the water. I was going to complete the whole event, and Jason was doing a relay with Peter Parisi (so no actual race pictures). This was actually the first Peaman event that I ever did last year, and it was amazing to see how much had changed in a year. Last year we maybe recognized 1 or 2 people - this year, we knew a majority of the participants! And I felt a lot more comfortable getting in the water, too.

Peter Parisi was one of the first people out of the water, so Jason was out fast on the run course. He made it back for a total time of 35:29. About that same time, I was getting out of the water. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I did pass Jason when he only had 1-mile to go on the run and I still had three. The swim wasn't my fastest, but I think it was somewhere around 22 minutes. After a slower-than-usual transition, I was out on the run. The run went pretty well and I think I came in around 30 minutes, for a total time of 52:23. That's over a three-minute improvement from my first time at this event last year and 1-minute improvement from when I did the same distance in February last year. Although my swimming is still my weak point, I'm happy with the progress I've made in a year. If I could ever make it to swim more than once or twice a week, though, then I might really see success!

Full results from all the distances are here.

After the race was over, it was time for the real party to begin. Katie Moore was there doing some Zumba dances with the crowd. Lots of people got into it and I even went out for a song or two, even though I had no idea what I was doing!

A little bit earlier, the kids had a blast covering Peaman with slime, silly string and whipped cream. Although, judging from the photos below, they had as much time getting each other dirty as Peaman.

We managed to avoid becoming too much of a sticky mess, although Peaman did not! The picture below was taken right after Peaman awarded the Perpetual Pea - to us! The Perpetual Pea is at the store on the counter, so come by and rub it for luck anytime before the next Peaman event! Thanks to Peaman for the award and to everyone else for all of your support over the past year!

Up next is Big Dog's New Year's Resolution 5k in Hilo on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Then the weekend after that, Big Island Road Runners is presenting a Resolution Run on Saturday, January 8. The neat thing about this event is that races are being held simultaneously in Hilo and Kona. We'll be out at the Kona event and hope to see everyone there! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Jingle Bell Run

The 2010 Jingle Bell Run was a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays and cap off an active and fun year (although it's really not over, since there's one more Peaman event next week)! The race was also the goal race for our Couch to 5K Program!

This race, like most others in Kona, was a laid-back, free, fun event with a 5k race, as well as a 1-mile distance. Hosted by Rani "The Roadrunner" Tanimoto-Henderson and her many volunteers, the event ran from the pier, south on Alii Drive. The 1-mile turnaround was at Bubba Gump's, while the 3.1 mile turnaround was near the Green Flash (partially up hill #2 on Alii Drive).

Everyone was encouraged to dress up for the holidays and many people took that to heart. There were tons of Santa hats and reindeer antlers and noses. Here are some photos of the day and the various costumes. More photos can be found here.

I don't think you can really tell in this picture, but the babies had on Christmas outfits with striped socks!

Ms. Claus with the sleigh and reindeer won first place in the costume contest.

And here are some pictures of our amazing Couch to 5k Group - most of them plan on continuing on and training for other races!

In the men's race, professional triathlete Chris Lieto won the men's 5k distance, while setting a new course record of 16:18. That won him a Fair Winds snorkel cruise! Awards were given to the top 6 male and females overall in both distances. Following after Chris Lieto were Karl Moats (17:23), Brandon Fell (18:03), Jordan Littell (18:08), Brandt Mabuni (18:46) and Alan Ryan (18:48). In the women's 5k, I held on for first in 21:33, Zoe Sims was second in 21:55, Monica Scheel was third in 22:27, Shirley Pratt was fourth in 22:50, Cecilia Woodbury was fifth in 23:53 and Ann Griffin came in sixth in 23:57.

For the 1-mile distance, the winners were a mix of kids and adults. For the men/boys, it was Cody Bergfalk in first with a new course record of 5:32, followed by Kaiden Lieto (7:49), Elijah Reid (8:14), David Bowden (10:01), Dax Aho (10:26) and Jack Jeremiah (12:29). For the women/girls, Sidney Vermuelen won in 8:08, followed by Koren Kobayashi (8:09), Belinda Herd (8:41), Faith Yamakawa (9:18), Ciara Blaber (10:32) and Tayvhe-Lei Kaupu-Galon (11:01). Full results from the races are available here.

The post-race was when the event really got going. I don't know how she did it, but Rani had tons of great prizes to give away - coffee, Starbucks schwag, snorkel cruises, restaurant gift certificates, massages and more! The first prizes went to the costume winners, with the sleigh and reindeer coming in first, Tasha the reindog in second and the guy in the Santa Claus beard in third.

Rani then dedicated the Special Recognition Award to a truly deserving individual - Peaman. The time and effort that he puts in to planning monthly free events is astounding. And he's been doing it for twenty years - through various health ups and downs as well. Mahalo plenty to Peaman for everything he's done for the community!

The surprise award of the day for us was the Community Member award. Rani started talking about the recipients of the award and it was like one of those new CFL lightbulbs going off (you know the ones - they need some time to warm up). Slowly I started to realize that she was talking about Jason and I! We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the past year+. We love being a part of this community and truly enjoy all the events that we get to attend, race, volunteer at, etc. Thank you all for being so welcoming!

The next awards were for the outstanding participants in the Couch to 5k program. While everyone that participated in the program did a great job, these two stood out. Matt Sutherland made it to all but one of our group runs, even when he was the only one with our leader, Maggie. And Michelle Heid battled some injury issues when she first started, but by the end of the program she was running extra days on her own. Congratulations to them!

We'd also like to thank Maggie Leite for all she did to keep everyone motivated and ready to run. She was the perfect group leader! I know many of the participants want to keep training because of her.

Congratulations to all of the finishers and many mahalos to Rani for putting on such a great event! Next weekend is the last Peaman event of the year - Peaman's Birthday Bonanza, a 1/2 mile swim and 3.9 mile run. Mele Kalikimaka!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Honolulu Marathon 2010

This past weekend we left the Big Island for the biggest race in Hawaii, the Honolulu Marathon. The event regularly draws 20,000-25,000 runners, although the numbers were closer to 20,000 this year. So, although it's not quite as big as the Chicago Marathons that Jason has run before, it's quite a bit different than anything we see on the Big Island.

The weekend started off with a trip for Jason to the expo. Although he was tempted to try the bean curd juice, I don't think he wanted to upset his stomach two days before the race. After picking up his number, it was off to a carbo load dinner with the Big Island Road Runners, Runners Hi and Marathon Maniacs gangs.

Jason spent Saturday with his feet up getting ready for the race. After I got into town, we headed out for a quick high-carb dinner, before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the early morning ahead.

Jason was up and moving by 3:00 a.m., while I took a little extra time and got up around 3:45. We both walked over to the start, which was about a mile or so away. It was a little bit surreal to see thousands of runners getting ready for a race that was going to be in the dark for another two hours. Because of that, I didn't get a lot of great pictures, but I did get a couple of the masses at the start. As Jason and I fed our way into the chute, we saw a couple of people that we knew who were running the race. After wishing them and Jason good luck, I had to work my way out of that mass of people - a reminder to me to stay out of the chute if I'm not running! I was worried I was going to get trampled because I couldn't get out in time!

After finally getting out of the chute, I started heading back to our hotel and eventually the finish line. I was able to hear the race start, though, and snap some pictures of the fireworks, too.

Once I made it back to our hotel, I hung out at the 5 mile marker to watch the leaders and the rest of the crowd come through. One of the guys next to me commented that the leaders came through almost two minutes slower at that point than they had last year. I didn't think much about that at the time, but definitely remembered it later. I saw Jason pass by a few minutes later, with a pack of about 5 other runners, right on the pace he was aiming for.

From then on, I kept scanning the crowd trying to catch a glimpse of people I knew from the Big Island. Early on I was able to see Alan Ryan, Todd Wanke, and Sam Brown. Once the crowd started getting thicker, though, it was a real challenge to pick people out. I definitely didn't get any photos at that point because I didn't have enough time to grab the camera when I would see people (and it was still really dark). But I spent quite a bit of time out there and kept picking out people like Lisa Bryant, Steve Pavao, DJ Blinn, Marie Kuramoto, Ricci Racela, Elaine Estess and Marvis Hanano. I know I missed plenty, though. And I spotted several "Run Big" shirts on people that I didn't recognize!

The stream of people that kept coming was amazing. The crowd of people who were going to complete a 7-hour marathon was more packed than the crowd that was going to complete a 4-hour marathon! And I saw plenty of interesting costumes, too, including Minnie Mouse (who I've seen run the Chicago Marathon before), a swan, Yoda, Darth Vader, and lots of Santas! After awhile, I started walking to the finish to watch the leaders come in. On the way, I snapped a couple of photos of pre-dawn along Waikiki.

At the finish line, the sun was just beginning to rise over Diamond Head, pretty stunning scenery.

As I waited at the finish line, one of the big topics of conversation from the announcers was the high level of humidity - 97%. Apparently this was having an effect on everyone, including the leaders. They were at a pace that was going to be significantly slower than last year. I was also following Jason through repeated phone calls to my parents (thanks, mom and dad!) and saw that he was slipping off his pace a bit, so I figured the humidity was getting to him, too.

Eventually, the winner starting heading down to the finish line. Nicholas Chelimo won with a time of 2:15:18. Considering he had already run a 2:07 marathon this year, the course conditions had to be challenging.

For the women, Belainesh Gebre was the first woman to cross the finish line in 2:32:13 and was eventually declared the winner. A little controversy surrounded her race, since she was not an invited athlete and ran the race with her boyfriend pacing her and providing her with water. Although a violation of the rules, the race director's discretion allowed her the victory.

A little while later, I saw Jason coming down the home stretch.

He looked extremely tired, but extremely happy to be done. And he did manage to outkick the guy you can see behind him at the end. Although his time was far off from what he was hoping for, he did place 3rd in his age group (40th overall) and was the first Big Island finisher. He also immediately swore off doing any more marathons, but by that afternoon he was planning his Hilo Marathon strategy.

We would have loved to hang out longer at the finish line, but Jason was exhausted and needed to get some food, so we headed back to the hotel pretty quickly. We were able to catch a couple of people later on in the day, though. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying Waikiki.

Congratulations to all of the finishers of the Honolulu Marathon, whether it was your first or your hundredth! You all did great!