Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Senior Strut and Team Mango's Sprint Triathlon

This past Sunday there was an abundance of races on the Big Island.  On the Hilo side, the Big Island Road Runners hosted the Waikamalo Challenge, a 7-mile and 4-mile run north of Hilo with a course that mimics the beginning of the Big Island International Marathon and Half Marathon.  Results from the 7-mile run are here, and results from the 4-mile run are here.

Then on the Kona side, there were two races - the first ever Senior Strut and Team Mango's Sprint Triathlon.  The Senior Strut was organized by Kelly Hudik of Hawaii County's Elderly Activities Division and was a free 5k and 1-mile run/walk for adults aged 55 and over. Turnout was great for this first year event, which I suspect will definitely grow next year.  Although I don't have the results for this race, there was a nice write-up about the event in West Hawaii Today on Monday.  I also don't have any photos, since I was handling the timing for this event.  Jim Gibbons and Sandy Hild took first place for the men and ladies in the 1-mile distance, while Orestes "Chico" Barrios and Pammer Kidani took men's and women's first place in the 5k.

Finally, the Team Mango Sprint Triathlon took place at the Kailua-Kona Pier.  This event was a shorter distance, perfect for first-timers.  The swim was 1/3 of a mile, the bike was 14 miles and the run was 2 miles.  As always the turnout was great, with lots of families participating, too. Again no photos and no results yet, but I'll try to update this once I get them.

After the morning of races and Jason's long run with the Big Island Chase crew, we headed out to scope out the Hao Street trail.  Although we've been hearing about this trail for two years now, we'd never been there - even though it's only about 5 minutes from our house.  No running this time, just a nice little hike. 

We made it about 1 mile in on the trail and then turned around (I think the total distance is 2 miles each way). I must say, I was a little surprised at how nice it was! Plenty wide, fairly clear, definitely cooler, and not too tough.  Although there are a couple of sections where I'd have to take it pretty slow, overall this could be a nice run. 

Not quite ripe lilikoi.
Jason was determined to find me a ripe lilikoi (my favorite fruit here, which I don't get to have as much since he cut down all the lilikoi vines in our backyard!), but all of the ripe ones were growing way high up in the trees.  Those are the yellow things in the tree below.

He was finally able to find some that were within reach (sort of).  I didn't get a picture of it, but there was some jumping, hat waving, and tree branch pulling before I walked away with 3 ripe lilikoi.  Of course, as soon as we finished our hike, we found the nicest ripe lilikoi of the day laying on the ground right next to the car.

Up this weekend is Peaman's Zoomin' Zak Plunge and Plod Biathlon, a 1/2 mile swim and 3.9 mile run. See you there at 8:03 a.m. at the Kailua Pier!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Terrific Turtle Trudge, Dragon Dash and Golden Fox Gallop

Last weekend was another fun event in the always crazy Peaman-race series.  Instead of the usual swim/run biathlons, last week was a run-only event.  The twists for this one were that the different distances were measured in inches (332,640 inches, 126,720 inches and 63,360 inches), and the finishers were grouped into weight categories instead of age groups.

In a weather-related twist, it was actually raining at the start of the race! But it was a welcome drizzle that helped keep things cool. Better than the thunder, lightning and six inches of rain that we heard they had on the Hilo side of the island at the same time during Big Dog's Lover's Day 5k. 

Jason and I both ran the Terrific Turtle Trudge, so we weren't able to take any pictures. Special thanks to Jolene Mears for letting me use some of hers!  Also, we think there was an issue with the timing, so the times in the paper's results are about 30 seconds faster than what they actually should have been.  And the paper also ridiculously shows a swimmer coming out of the water, even though there was no swimming in this event...

Jason leading the start of the wet race.
The shortest distance, the Golden Fox Gallop, started at the pier, ran down Alii Drive to Bubba Gump's and then turned around back to the pier.  Ziggy Bartholomy took first place, followed closely by Toby Olney.  Silas Wiley took third place behind them.  It looks like Jackie Payne was the first female to finish the 1-mile distance.

1-mile finisher!
Duke flying down the road.
The Dragon Dash continued past the Golden Fox Gallop turn-around, up the hill by the Royal Kona, turned down past Kona Reef and came back in front of Huggo's before getting back on Alii Drive. Tim Robinson was the first Dragon Dash finisher, followed by Korey Pulluiam and Jim Gibbons.  I'm going to guess that Asia Morris was the first female finisher followed by Raine Kolman and Lori Montgomery - sorry if I got that wrong!

In the Terrific Turtle Trudge, we went all the way down Alii Drive from the pier to Living Stones church before turning around.  On my way out, I got to run with some great pacers - Jon Kunitake and Harry Yoshida.  Harry and I would pull away from Jon a little bit on the uphill, but then he'd come flying by us on the downhills.  Jason passed by us about 1/2 mile before we got to the turnaround.  He was moving pretty good in a quest to break the course record. 

I was feeling pretty good on this run, so actually tried to pick it up a bit on my way back in, instead of dying towards the end like I usually do.  I was actually pretty successful and ran the last mile as fast as my first. Jolene generously provided me with a picture of me coming towards the finish, but since I'm the blogger, I get to decide what gets posted and what doesn't - my appearance in that photo did not make the cut! Despite my sprinting in the end, I didn't manage to make it under 38:00 minutes, coming in at 38:03 by my watch.  However, that was a 30 second improvement over my time from last year, so I was pretty happy.

It took me awhile to find Jason after the race, but I finally found him and heard that he ran 28:31, 8 seconds under the old course record of 28:39 (but unfortunately not the 28:05 that the paper said he ran).  His training partner Sal Salmi came in second in 30:14 (according to Sal's watch).  Third place went to Penny Pleban in the rolling pea category with Jon Jokiel right behind her.  For the women, Rani Tanimoto took first, Val Sell (a runner from California who had joined us on our group run the day before) was second, and I think I was in third.  There were also several other rolling peas in this event, with the Echo City Knockouts roller derby team participating again.  I think their names are pretty obvious in the results!

This weekend is the Team Mango Sprint Triathlon, a .3 mile swim, 14 mile bike and 2 mile run at 7:00 a.m. at the Pier.  There's also a special free run event for seniors age 55 and over.  The first Senior Strut starts at 8:00 a.m. at Hale Halawai and is a 5k and 1 mile run/walk. No registration necessary - just show up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monster and Mini-Monster Triathlons 2012

Not a bad view from the race course
This past Sunday, Team Mango hosted its second annual Monster and Mini-Monster triathlons.  These races aren't for the untrained, since the Mini-Monster is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.  The Monster race is twice that distance.  But there are always plenty of people in Kona in good enough shape to complete either race.  And this year there were even several participants from the mainland, including a group from Canada! It's a great chance to complete a triathlon on part of the famed Ironman World Championships course, without having to qualify or pay a hefty entry fee.  Entry fee for this scaled-down race was only $68!

In addition to the four individuals who completed the Monster distance, 21 people and 9 relay teams completed the Mini-Monster distance.

The event started at 7 a.m. at the Kona Pier with a swim out to the King's Buoy, .6 miles away.  Upon returning to the pier, the Monster participants had to jump right back in and swim another loop of the same course for their 2.4 mile swim.  In the meantime, the Mini-Monster participants were jumping on their bikes for a ride out to Waikoloa. Although we had been having some relatively cool weather last week, the day of the race was clear, sunny and quite a bit warmer.  I'm not sure that all of the athletes appreciated that - although I hear the wind on the bike course was not too bad by Queen K standards.

I was able to make it back down to the pier in time to catch some Mini-Monster participants coming into their bike-to-run transition, although I wasn't able to catch up with the Mini-Monster's eventual winner Thomas Vonach, since he was moving way too fast all day. Congrats to him on a great race!

But I was able to see the women's Mini-Monster winner Andrea Bess:

Second place relay biker Dave Pratt:
Gerd Weber:

and several others coming in from the first 3-mile loop of their run.

Caleb Westfall
Kym Kiser
From there we headed to the aid station out at the Old Airport to visit with the support crew out there and get an update on some participants.  I didn't snap any pictures out there, but it was definitely hot and sunny.  After a cruise down Alii Drive, the next stop was the aid station at Lyman's manned by the Prater family.

They had a very smooth operation at work there.

Becky Prater in action passing out water to a runner.

And we were able to see a few more friends come through this portion of the run course.

Race Director Carl Koomoa and Garrett Oka
Albert Martinez
Some additional pictures are available here

Although we missed the finish line, full results are available here.  Congratulations to Thomas Vonach and Andrea Bess for their first place finishes in the Mini-Monster.  Also huge congratulations to Daniel Brandis, Laurie Beers, Eddie Kanai and Caleb Westfall who completed the full Monster event.  Although this race is the same distance as an Ironman, the conditions are certainly different and more difficult without nearly as much crowd support.  But they are obviously all tough!  And mahalo to all the volunteers who worked the aid stations throughout the day and provided encouragement to all the athletes. 

Congratulations to Team Mango, Carl and Paula for putting on such a first-class event with tons of heart! There's nothing like having the race director personally delivering pizza to the volunteers throughout the day. Thanks for all you do!

Up this weekend is Peaman's Terrific Turtle Trudge (332,640 inches), Dragon Dash (126,720 inches) and Golden Fox 1-mile Gallop (63,360 inches) starting at 8:03 a.m. Sunday at the pier.  No swimming, so we will certainly be out there participating this weekend!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Team Mango's Springtime Triathlon

Team Mango Mascot
Last weekend was the first of Team Mango's three triathlons in the month of February.  The distances for this event were a 1/2 mile swim, 14 mile bike and 6 mile run.  And the bike and run portion of the race were definitely hilly, with loops from Kuakini, up Hualalai, to the highway and then back down Kuakini. 

The turnout for the race was great, with even some professional triathletes showing up.  Not surprisingly, they took the top two spots in the race with Thomas Vonach finishing first in 1:31:02 and Yvonne Van Vlerken coming in as the first female in 1:33:04. 
Thomas Vonach
Yvonne Van Vlerken
Outside of the professionals, there were some speedy locals out there, too, including Tai Scarborough, Jano Soto and Mike DeCarli.
Tai Scarborough
Jano Soto
Mike DeCarli
And then plenty of people out having a fun, fitness morning in Kona. The Kona Community Hospital is doing their annual fitness challenge for employees, so several hospital employees came out for the run portion to gain points for their teams.

Kona Community Hospital runners

There were also several relay teams that participated in the event.

Relay Runners
Full results from the race are available here. Congratulations to all the participants! 

This weekend is Team Mango's popular Monster and Mini-Monster Triathlons. The Monster consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.  The Mini-Monster is half of those distances.  We expect a great turnout for this second year event!