Sunday, July 31, 2011

Run Big Hats are Here!

The long wait is over! After many repeated requests for a "Run Big." hat, they have finally arrived!

These lightweight running hats are made by KC Caps with a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool. They come in three colors - white, gray, and pink. An elastic pull in the back adjusts the hat to fit most head sizes.

The front of the hat features a sublimated "Run Big." logo, while the side panel has the Big Island Running Company logo with Kona, Hawaii (below).

Priced at $19.95, they are a necessity for anyone who wants to Run Big! Stop in today to check them out! Also, keep an eye out for the "Run Big." visor which should be arriving soon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bike Works Beach and Sports 5K/10K 2011

After my experiences swimming the past two weeks, it was nice to finally get into a running race again. (As I typed that, I realized that the Kona half marathon was only two weeks earlier, but with races usually every weekend, it seemed longer than that.) Anyway, last year was the first time for this event in Waikoloa. Both Jason and I ran the 10K last year and on a hot and windy course decided that this year we'd tackle the 5K instead. As we did our warm-up both of us were glad we made that call.

Both the 5K and 10K ran along the main road through Waikoloa Beach Resort and back, which definitely has more hills than you would think. Jason started out the race by watching another guy pull 30 seconds ahead in the first mile, so he had to work pretty hard to reel him back in. But at the end of the day, Jason came in first in 17:43, followed by Bruce Berkeley in 18:25 and Heimana Donnatin in 19:04. For his efforts, he also won a gift certificate for some Oakleys!

For the ladies, Pascale Fasciano pulled away at the start and the rest of us could never catch up. She finished in 22:08. I was second in 22:19 and Melissa Schad was third in 23:04. So no Oakleys for me, but I did get a gift certificate for some Sanuk sandals. Full results for the 5k are here.

Go Jenny!

Andrea Cobb

Garrett Oka with Stanley Ray and Blair

In the 10K, Todd Edgell from West Virginia took first in 37:59, while Tai Scarborough was second in 39:03. Coming in next was the first female, Rani Tanimoto, in a fantastic time of 39:35, just ahead of Kona Marathon champ Valeria Sesto who finished fourth in 41:28. Full results from the 10K are here.

10K Female Winner Rani Tanimoto

Second place woman Valeria Sesto

Lee-Anne Lowery-Gorman

I hope she didn't run the whole race with kids on her shoulders!

Mahalo again to Nori Becker who took some great photos for us. In addition to the ones in this post, more can be found here. Here are some of the local runners who won some age group awards!

Mike DeCarli

Michael Woodbury

Rob Van Geen

Lisa Bryant

Jon Kunitake

Mahalo to BikeWorks and the volunteers for another great event. Up next is Peaman's Red, White & Blue Biathlon this Sunday at Kailua Pier. It starts at 8:03 a.m. and is a 1/2 mile swim and 3.5 mile run. I'll be on the mainland, so good luck to everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swimming v. Running

Many of you may know that I've tried picking up swimming in the last year and a half. To say it's been challenging is probably an understatement. There's just something about swimming that is not intuitive to me. I can do it and won't drown, but don't count on me to go fast. I'll blame it on the fact that I didn't really swim growing up.

But summertime is a time for swimming on the Big Island. After skipping out on all the races last summer and this year's Cinco de Mayo swim, I decided to bite the bullet and try out the Hapuna Roughwater Swim on July 3 and then followed it up with King's Swim at Kailua Pier on July 9. The Hapuna swim was great - beautiful day, calm ocean conditions, clear water. I also was able to stay out of people's way and find some feet to swim with. I was hoping to finish under 40 minutes and ended up surprising myself and finishing in 30:26 (still well towards the back of the pack, though).

Of course, all the kids on the Big Island are born with fins and gills, so they were all at the front of the swim. Here are some of the winners:

Makena Becker

Marissa Bryant-Manago

Full results from the Hapuna swim are here. Mahalo to all of the volunteers and organizers for putting on a great swim event!

Then last weekend was the King's Swim in Kona. Full results from the King's Swim are here. This swim is a 1.2 mile swim to the King's Buoy out in the pier. It was another beautiful, sunny day, but a little on the choppy side in the water. Again my goal was to come in under 40 minutes. This time I didn't quite get it, finishing in 40:39. The swim was a little tougher here, but the post-race party was amazing. Tons of baked goods that more than replaced the calories I worked off on the swim; tons of awards to 5-year age groups; and tons of raffle giveaways! I didn't win anything, but will definitely try again next year.

Overall, the swims were great experiences, but I still prefer running (good thing for my business!). Although maybe if I get faster I might enjoy the swims a little more. We'll see!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kona Marathon 2011

Wow - it's really been a week and a half since the Kona Marathon races. Where has the time gone? Jason reminded me it's time to get a blog post up on the races, since he's already posted about his race from July 4 (make sure to read his post here, too!). So here's our belated recap of the Kona Marathon weekend.

The fun and excitement started on Thursday afternoon with a talk story session with Frank Shorter before the group run. Frank signed autographs and talked about his experiences as an Olympic gold and silver medalist. Then he joined the group on the group run. Many mahalos to Frank for returning to Kona and taking the time to hang out with us!

On Saturday, Big Island Running Company had a booth at the Kona Marathon Health and Fitness Expo. We also shared the booth with Frank Shorter and Eddie O Designs. Eddie O Designs was offering race shirt customization on site, which was a great deal for runners. If you're interested in having your race shirts customized, come by the store and check out what he can do for you.

We had a good day at the expo, with the big sellers being our logo shirts and nutritional products. Special thanks to all of our helpers, including Rose Lorica-Ombac and my family members - Mom, Dad, Randy, Greg, Diane and Catherine. We couldn't have had such a successful day without you!

Unfortunately between packing up from the expo and closing down the store for the day, we weren't able to make the Carbo-Load dinner on Saturday night, but we hear that was a great success.

But we were up bright and early for the race starts on Sunday morning. Jason and I made it down in time to watch Frank Shorter address the runners and make the official start announcement for the marathon. After those happy runners started off, we did our last minute preparations for the half marathon. At 6 a.m., it was our turn to get started by Frank Shorter, who (surprise, surprise!) actually jumped in to run the half marathon, too!

Jason started a successful day for our training group by going ahead and winning the half marathon in a time of 1:17:53. He was followed in second place overall and first female by Bree Wee in a time of 1:20:53. Coming in third was Thomas Meeker of Mattawan, Michigan in 1:22:53. (Does anyone else think it's interesting that the top three all finished at 53 seconds in their respective times?) Full results from the half marathon are here. Thanks to a great running partner in Chitwin San Tun, I managed to cross the line in 1:46:06, good for 11th woman, but still 7th in my very competitive age group.

Here are pictures of some of our group members who completed the half marathon. Sorry if we missed you, the morning was a little hectic! There are also more photos available here.

Chris Prater (and 10ker Danny Becker)
Jarle Nordstokka

Chitwin San Tun

Al Doran

Kellie Kurashige

Sandy Miller (honorary Oahu member)

Kristina Sawaya and Lee-Ann Heely

Maggie Leite

Our running group also had big participation in the 10K. Locals Penn Henderson and Rani Tanimoto took the overall men's and women's titles in the 10K race. All the other results are here. Here are some photos of the 10K group:

Mercedes DeCarli

Kevin Prater

Matt Sutherland and Jen McCord

Christine DeCarli and Kim Marr

Becky Prater

Kym Tagawa

Cherry Ward

Garrett Oka (and Jason)

Paul Incardona

Jenni Rhodes

In the 5K, Cody Bergfalk came in first overall in a time of 18:26. The women's winner was Kristiana Van Pernis in 22:23. 11 members of our group completed the 5k, too! Results from the 5K are here and some pictures are below.

My dad, Randy Minas!

Age Group Award Winner Faith Yamakawa

Age Group Winner Duke Becker

Last, but not least, three members of our group completed the full marathon distance. Marathon regulars Danny Jesser and race founder Jon Kunitake were joined by first time marathoner Peter Ballerini. Overall, the race was won by Justin Gillette for the fourth time and by newcomer Valeria Sesto. Full results from the marathon are here.

Peter Ballerini

Jon Kunitake
After a brief rest following the races and awards, it was time for the Big Island Running Company training group post-race party! This year we moved to a bigger location in Kahaluu and pretty much filled up the pavilion.

Special awards were given out to people who came the closest to matching their guess for their race time, including Jen McCord and Kellie Kurashige who both came within 2 seconds of the times they guessed! There were also secondary awards given to those who came in the fastest compared to the times they guessed. Finally, four individuals received special recognition - Peter Ballerini for completing his first marathon after starting running a year and half ago; Jason Heady for being the original member of our training group even when he was the only one coming; Chris Prater for going the extra (5) mile(s) and helping Uncle Jon finish the race after he had already completed the half marathon and Rose Lorica-Ombac for all her help chipping in at the race expo.

It was a great year for our training group and congratulations to everyone who completed the races! Special thanks to Mizuno for sponsoring the group and providing training shirts, to Domino’s Pizza in Kona for supplying pizza for the post-race party, to Eddie O for printing our training shirts and some prizes, and to Marvis Hanano for donating some prizes!

Our group runs continue, so come out and join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. A lot of our members are continuing to train for one of the Rain Forest Runs in Volcano or other local races throughout the summer, so there are plenty of people to keep you motivated!

Race Report: Peavine Falls Run

The Peavine Falls Run is a classic Birmingham, Alabama race.  It takes place in the very beautiful Oak Mountain State Park, just south of Birmingham.  Always run on the Fourth of July, this race is never short on heat or humidity.  It is also not lacking for hills.  The course runs up the road to Peavine Falls (which is now entirely paved; in the past it was dirt), which is a climb of about 550 feet over 3.5 or so miles.  You then turn around at the blessed water stop at the top and head back down.  When you're about a mile from where you started, you turn onto a rolling, wooded section of singletrack and head for the finish.  The total course is about 8.2 miles.  Because of conditions and terrain, this is always one of the more challenging races around and is quite popular with those who like challenges and the insane.  Falling into at least one of those categories, Erica and I could not resist the race.  (Both of us have done this race several times in the past, yet still keep coming back.)
Race morning was about what you would expect for Birmingham on the Fourth--probably around 80 degrees with full blast humidity.  Soon after the gun (and the pre-race prayer asking God to take pity on the poor runners about to run up the hill), I settled into 4th place and got ready to do some climbing.  I managed to reel one suffering soul in during the climb to the top but found myself about 1:30 back of the lead two at the turnaround.  As you might guess, the trip down was a lot more fun than the slog up, but I gave up more ground to the leaders.  I finished in 52:19, which was good for 3rd place.  As I crossed the finish line, the announcer told me and the finish line observers that third place was good for $50,000.  Since this race cost only $5 to enter and had a field of about 400, I quickly surmised that the race organizers had found a way to tap into federal bailout/stimulus funds.  It turns out, instead, that I had actually won $20, which was still a nice return on my investment--especially since Erica paid my $5--and more than enough for some delicious postrace Chik-Fil-A.

Erica wasn't too far behind, cruising in at 54:14, which was the first female and 6th overall.  Her stated winnings of $100,000 turned out to be a tidy $50, which was promptly invested into provisions for her Fourth of July party.

The winner was of the race was Scott Strand of the Trak Shak.  Scott is a very accomplished runner and a Birmingham legend, so I couldn't feel too badly that he leaned at the tape and beat me by 4:07.  Full results are here.  After the race, Scott and I discussed his impressive run and the unique facets of the running store biz.  We were also joined at the race by spectators Wendell Braswell (famous for his crewing duty during the Hilo to Volcano relay), Jenny Clay (famous for drawing Big Island Running Company's logos), Robin Hollon (who took the photos in this blog post), and Jason Hollon (who shared in the running fun experience).

Jason H, happy to be home:

Jenny tried to inspire a finishing kick by Erica, but it was not to be: