Monday, December 30, 2013

Jingle Bell Beach Run and Couch to 5k Recap

On the Sunday before Christmas, almost 600 runners gathered to run the 9th Annual Jingle Bell Beach Run 5k and 1-mile run.  As it has been in the past, this run was hosted by Rani and Penn Henderson. But they made some big improvements to the race this year, including closing the road for safety, providing the softest t-shirts ever and trucker hats, and adding a Santa Dash keiki run.  Of course those additions did necessitate changing from a free race to a paid one, but runners certainly got a lot of bang for their buck! In addition to all of the new perks, they also had the ever-popular costume contest, great prizes for the winners and tons of lucky number giveaways.

Part of the Couch to 5k Group
The Jingle Bell Beach Run 5k is also the culmination of our Couch to 5k training program.  This year Coach Maggie Leite led Dawn Barnes, Loretta Buasriyottiya, Emily Buasriyottiya, Rene Hanavan, Charo Aparicio Bill, KC Texiera, Claire Texiera and Valerie Strawn to fantastic finishes at the race.  Jim Lichnovsky and Nancy Taylor also completed the program, but were out of town for the actual race - we know they'll be doing one soon, though!  Congratulations to all of them on their accomplishment and especially to Valerie Strawn and KC Texiera who won awards for their consistency (Valerie) and improvement (KC)! 
Valerie Strawn
The winners of the 5k were Tommy Vonach in 16:12 and Bridget Pyke in 17:41, both setting new course records in the process! In the 1-mile run, Eric Miya blazed to a 5:06 win and Skyler Kiser was the first female finisher in 7:36.  Full race results are available on the race website.

Race Winners

After the race, the keiki lined up and ran either a 100 or 200 yard keiki dash, led by race winners and Santa!

But the best part of the event is seeing what costumes people come up with!

This year we saw Mary and Joseph:

The Grinch:

A snowflake:

And the eventual winner, a wrapped Christmas present (yes, they actually ran the race like that - and finished ahead of me!)

Special thanks to Penn and Rani as well as all of the volunteers.  Definitely put this race on your list if you're in town during the Christmas season next year! (More photos of the race are available here.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

There was so much going on over the Thanksgiving weekend that it was hard to keep track of it all. We've tried to compile the highlights and results here for you. We are so thankful for all the great opportunities we have on this island to be active and that so many people came out and took advantage of them!

9th Annual Wobble Gobble

We really enjoy the chance to offer this run on Walua Trail on Thanksgiving morning. This year over 280 people showed up to run either the 6.4 mile, 3.5 mile or 1 mile distance. But the most impressive thing is that they also brought with them 373 pounds of canned goods for the Hawaii Island Food Basket - over 200 pounds more than last year!

Results from the race are available here and more photos are available here.  Here are a couple of our favorites, though:

Hats courtesy of Debbie Braswell

Modeling the winners' hats
Keiki enjoying the run

In the 6.4 mile run, Garrett Prinslow took 1st place in 38:28.  For the ladies it was Rani Henderson taking first place (while pushing her son Cole in a stroller) in 44:18. In the 3.5 mile distance, Brooke Myers once again ran away from the field, finishing first overall for the second year in a row with a time of 23:26 and breaking her own course record in the process. Christopher "Atlas" Smith was second overall and the first male in 24:37.  Finally, for the 1-milers, Lawrence Barrett came in with a screaming time of 5:59 and Kristina Hamilton finished in 8:07 to win for the ladies.

The Wobble Gobble would not be possible without the help of our volunteers, who we are extremely appreciative of: Rich, Jolene and Ryan Mears provided the post-race refreshments; Larry and Laura Kniffin served as traffic control and aid station support; Kyra and Richard Bronson set up an aid station in front of their house; Jolene and Jacob Head and family also set up an aid station in front of their Keauhou Veterinary Clinic; Cary Aurand helped with signouts; Ali Steiner, Kimberly Madsen and John Ferdico assisted with course set-up; Chico helped pass out popsicle sticks and take pictures; Jennifer Stike's sons helped pass out medals to the keiki; and Leonard Torricer provided ice and pre and post-race support. Thanks again to all who came out and participated or volunteered!

6th Annual (Tri)ptophan Turkey Day Triathlon

For the 6th year in a row, Kym and Kris Kiser and their daughters hosted a triathlon on Thanksgiving morning down at the Kailua Pier. 100 people made it out there to race a 1/3 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 2 mile run. Coming in first was Tommy Vonach with a time of 58:26 and Jeni Winegarner was the women's champ in 1:04:48.

Tommy Vonach Photo courtesy of Kiser Motorcycles
Jeni Winegarner Photo courtesy of Kiser Motorcycles
Full results from the race are available here. Thanks to the Kisers for taking the time out of their Thanksgiving Day to host this race!

Post Pigout Peamania

If either of those events weren't enough to work off your turkey, Peaman hosted the Post Pigout Peamania at the Kailua Pier on Sunday morning.  This race was aptly named, as there was definitely mania!  Peaticipants swam 1/4 mile and then ran a 2-mile loop before coming back and doing it all over again. Of course, as with any Peaman race, there were many variations - a shorter Peawee course which could be completed once or twice, relays, swimmers that didn't run and runners that didn't swim!

For some reason, the results didn't appear in the online version of West Hawaii Today, but a picture of the paper results are below (pull out your magnifying glasses)!

Tommy Vonach outran Luis De La Torre on the last run loop to take first place overall in 37:23.  Rani Henderson was first for the ladies in 44:26.  Jim McCleery and his wife, Big Island Running Company employee Maggie, took first place in the full course relay in 46:17, while Becky and David Aegler took first place in the Peawee relay with a time of 29:14.  The Peawee results encompass people who did anything less than the full distance, so includes people who did one loop of the long course or two loops of the short course or anything else.


The Peaman race was missing some of its best volunteers on Sunday - Dene Sturm and Doug Henbest.  That's because Dene was off conquering the longest endurance event on the island and Doug was part of her crew.  The Ultraman World Championships started on Friday morning with a 6.2 mile swim from Kailua Pier to Keauhou Bay.  Immediately after finishing that swim, participants hopped on their bikes for the 90 mile climb to Volcano.  After spending the night in Volcano, on Saturday they rode from Volcano all the way to Hawi (approximately 170 miles).  One more night's sleep and then it was time for the run from Hawi into Kona on Sunday - a double marathon or 52.4 miles.

Dene Sturm and crew at the finish. Photo by Christine DeCarli
In addition to Dene (who finished with a total time of 33:34:34), other local athletes to complete the race this year were Jason Nixon in 32:18:00 and Laurie Beers in 34:15:33.  Congratulations to them and all the other Ultraman finishers. Full results from the race are available here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunrise Athletics 5k

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a 5k in Hilo. Since I haven't been running lately, I haven't been over to Hilo in months. But yesterday was special, since it was the Sunrise Athletics 5k and 2.5K Keiki Run.  Sunrise Athletics is a youth track and field club on the east side of the Big Island.  They coach kids from ages 8 and under up through high school and help them get involved in the sport. 

As they get older, the kids have the opportunity to participate in some great events off-island, including the Foot Locker Western Regionals.  That event takes place on December 7-8 in California and the funds from yesterday's race will help defray some of those costs. You can read more information about them on their website.

Sunrise Athletics Members who will be racing at the Foot Locker Western Regionals
So with all the kids in attendance, yesterday's race was a lot of fun.  It was held at Waikaea High School and ran on their cross country course.  Everyone started at the same time, but some of the kids only did one loop of the course for the 2.5K Keiki Run, while the 5K made two loops. Running with kids and watching them try to pace is really a lot of fun.  Most of them are pretty competitive, too. Don't try to pass them or they'll outsprint you for 100 yards, including at the end of the race!

Results haven't been posted yet, but they should show up on the Sunrise Athletics website soon. In the meantime, here are some photos from the event (after the actual 5K run).

Kids participating in the sack race.
Sunrise Athletics members listening to race emcee Eddie O
The top 3 females in the 5k
The top 3 males in the 5k
Not surprisingly, the top three men and women were all local high school runners. Ian McQuate took first place overall and Carmen Garson-Shumway was first for the ladies. We wish them the best of luck representing the Big Island in California in a couple of weeks!

Up this weekend is Lavaman Keauhou, starting with the Lavaman Sunset 5k on Friday evening, the expo on Saturday, and the Olympic-distance triathlon on Sunday.  Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

2013 Honoka'a Runs - 5k, Half Marathon and 30K

Last weekend was the second annual Honoka'a Runs, including a 5k, half marathon and Waipio Challenge 30K. Last year I was able to run this race as part of my training for the Honolulu Marathon.  Unfortunately this year I've been sidelined by plantar fasciitis and wasn't able to make a return.  But luckily John Ferdico and Chico headed up to run and document the event for us!  More photos from the race are available here.

Last year's 5k winner Rob Van Geen supporting the race.

The course for these races starts at the Honoka'a Sports Complex and runs the road out toward Waipio Valley.  As we found last year, that road is downhill leaving Honoka'a and of course then all uphill on the second half of the runs.  So this run is challenging and not the fastest one on the island!

For the 5k, Nemanja Jovanovic took first place in 20:35, followed by Patrick Baker in 20:58.  Hauoli Akua was third in 22:38 and Chico finished in fourth place in 23:26 before becoming our official photographer.  For the ladies, Abby Melling came in first in 25:09, followed by Kelly Hudik in 27:37 and Wendy Clark in 28:03.  Full results from the 5k are available here.

In the half marathon, Alan Ryan edged out Ryusuke Murao to take first place 1:2724 to 1:28:40. Joe Barcia took third place in 1:29:52.

Alan Ryan

Nancy Kramer was the first female finisher in the half marathon with a time of 1:51:48.  Erin Rene was second in 1:54:32 and Winona Chen was third in 1:55:02.

Nancy Kramer
Full results from the half marathon are available here.

In the 30K Waipio Challenge, Chris Gregory ran away from the field in a time of 1:54:01.  Jonathan Peralto was second in 2:03:13, followed by Kenneth Stover in 2:16:12.

Chris Gregory
Yuka Blinn took first place for the women in 3:07:27, with Ashley Drake (3:23:40) and Amanda Vuniwai (3:32:21) behind her.  Results from the 30k are available here. And here are a few more pictures of the morning:

Congratulations to all of the finishers of the Honoka'a Runs! There's no resting here on the Big Island with several events up this weekend. First tomorrow morning is the Run for the Dry Forest 5k/10k out at Pu'u Wa'a Wa'a - only of the only trail runs on the island!  Then tomorrow night you can Race the Reaper in the Waverider Triathlon Club's 5k starting at the Kona Community Pool at 5 p.m.  Sunday morning is a Peaman race with a 1/3 mile swim and 2 mile run. 

Ironman Recap!

Well, Ironman has come and gone and Kona is finally back to normal.  It's amazing how quickly everyone clears out.  It's also amazing how many people pack into Kona for the week of Ironman and how crazy the atmosphere is.  We're lucky enough to be involved in the industry and to see a big sales boost from the event, but that also means we personally get wiped out! So although I took many pictures over the course of the week, I didn't really get a chance to share them until way after the event. And here is my quick rundown of some of the events that went on during that crazy time, with links to results where available!

On the Saturday before the race, there were two swim events on the Kona side.  The ever-popular Kukio Blue Water Swim took place north of town, while Ironman debuted the Ho'ala 2.4 mile swim race on the Ironman course.  Unfortunately we didn't get to participate or attend either event, but you can find the results from the Kukio Blue Water Swim here and the results from the Ho'ala swim here.

The next morning was the annual PATH 5k/10k Run/Walk on Alii Drive.  After helping at registration in the morning, I was able to get a few photos before heading off to work.  Full results from the 5k are available here. 10k results are available here.

Some notable finishers were Luis De La Torre, the first Big Island runner in the 10k:

Bree Wee - first female Big Island finisher:

Rani Tanimoto pushing Cole:

Big Island Running Company employee Maggie McCleery:

Cary Aurand winning an age group award in the 5K:

And Brian Pruitt taking home his age group award as well:

We also managed to snap a couple of photos of the Big Island Ironman athletes before their race:

The next exciting event of the week was the Underpants Run on Thursday morning.  Our special limited edition Run Big undies made quite the appearance!

Along with plenty of other crazy sights!

Finally Saturday morning arrived, nice and clear.  We watched the swim start from behind Kona Inn:

Then it was off to breakfast before catching a little bit of the bike course:

Kristina Sawaya


While all the athletes headed out to Hawi, we opened the store for all their supporters back in town. Later in the day, we had the chance to head out to Alii Drive and see some of our local athletes out on the run course:

Mike DeCarli
Sam Brown
Jim Moore
Not a local, but we saw Hines Ward
Jason Heady
Chitwin San Tun with the best photo of the day!
From there we actually had work to do on the run course, so didn't get to see many people cross the finish line.  Although we were able to catch up with some of them on the Queen K, including following some of the last finishers.  But all of our local athletes finished and did great!  Results from the race are available at

It was a fun experience as usual, but we're glad to be getting back to normal!