QUITE A FEAT FOR 40,000 FEET
Spirits soar greatly, despite rain
Newcomers and veterans alike endure a downpour to finish a run filled with aloha
Mililani mom Amber Parks said her plan to beat the rain during yesterday's Great Aloha Run was to get under the cover of the airport viaduct as quickly as possible.
But that was easier said than done, especially since she was already drenched before the race began and had to push her two daughters, ages 5 years and 19 months, in a stroller. With that kind of load, running was not an option, she said.
"No way. I've got like 70 pounds of children in this stroller," she said before the run started yesterday. "I'll just walk really fast."
The Parkses were among the masses who registered for the event -- 22,330 or so runners, and joggers, and walkers and strollers -- by the last count on Sunday. Many of them got an early morning warm-up when they had to run for cover from a brief but strong downpour downtown before the race.
"I've been running this for 20 years," said Minnesota native and part-time Hawaii resident Georgine Rubie. "I don't think it's ever rained like this."
Pauline Sugimoto said she got up at 3 a.m. so she could catch the bus to downtown from Aloha Stadium and saw that it was pouring outside her Mililani home. She said it was too late by then to change her mind.
"I was up already though ... so I had to do it," she said.
Skies cleared as the race started.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
A runner waved as he started the race from Aloha Tower. About 20,000 participants followed the 8.15-mile course to Aloha Stadium.
First-time runners John and Dan Shimogawa, brothers from Aiea, were more concerned about what their times would be in the 8.15-mile race than what kind of weather they would have to deal with.
"I'm hoping to make it in an hour 10, hour 20 minutes," John said. Dan, meanwhile, had more modest goals.
"I'm hoping just not to walk," he said.
Dale and Rissa Matsumoto, from Kona, were first-timers as well. Unfortunately, they said they did not know what they were doing when they were filling out their forms while registering.
"We're in the pink division in the last group," Rissa said. "We're with the walkers and strollers.
Next year will be different. ... We're coming back for sure. This is neat."
At 7:10 a.m., by the time the Matsumotos and others with the pink bibs got under way, some elite runners were already making good headway toward the finish line.
Makiki resident Mark Speck clocked in at 45:59 at Aloha Stadium and came in eighth overall. Then he waited to welcome his wife, Cora, with a kiss when she came in about 19 minutes later.
"Last year, we tried running as a couple, but he said, 'I feel fast,' then took off and came in 13th place," Cora said. "That's OK because he ran next to me for four hours during the Honolulu Marathon and talked to me the whole way because I was too tired to talk back.
"It was the most romantic thing ever."
Jeff King of Ewa Beach limped after crossing the finish line in 57 minutes but said it was worth the pain.
"I got a cramp, but I made it under an hour," he said. "I would have pushed myself harder, but my body wouldn't have taken it."
Waikele resident Jon McLeod almost made his personal goal of getting in under an hour, but said he ran out of oxygen halfway and came in at about an hour and two minutes. Despite missing his time, he said the run was a great way to start out his day.
"I just couldn't believe how many people packed into the downtown area. ... It was pretty electric."
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Marie-Louise Brasen was the first female finisher of the 22nd annual Great Aloha Run at Aloha Stadium.
Here are the top 10 male and female finishers of the 2006 Great Aloha Run as well as the top finishers in the wheelchair and military divisions.
1 - Ryan Padilla (Boulder, Colo.) - 43:17
2 - Casper Dahl (Honolulu) - 43:53
3 - Jake Puzey (Laie) - 44:06
4 - Jonathan Lyau (Honolulu) - 44:15
5 - Thomas Puzey (Laie) - 44:35
6 - Attila Hegyaljai (Honolulu) - 45:39
7 - Timothy Marr (Mililani) - 45:56
8 - Mark Speck (Honolulu) - 45:59
9 - Jeff Lim (Mililani) - 46:13
10 - Matthew Pitts (Honolulu) - 46:18
1 - Marie-Louise Brasen (Honolulu) -50:09
2 - Rani Tanimoto (Kealakekua, Big Island) - 51:22
3 - Susie Rutherford (Honolulu) - 51:39
4 - Rachel Ross (Honolulu) - 51:49
5 - Jen Puzey (Laie) - 52:40
6 - Sayuri Kusutani (Honolulu) - 53:16
7 - Jeannie Wokasch Young (Honolulu) - 54:10
8 - Kristen Killian (Honolulu) - 54:48
9 - Laura Fanelli (Chalfont, Pa.) - 56:00
10 - Stefania Lew (Honolulu) - 56:20
Top male wheelchair finishers
1 - John Greer (Honolulu) - 36:37
2 - Ernest Chun (Honolulu) - 46:28
Top female wheelchair finishers
1 - Christine Greer (Honolulu) - 41:51
2 - Dewna Zane (Honolulu) - 55:42
Top male finishers (military)
1 - Chris Larson (National Guard) - 46:24
2 - Antonio Eppolito (Air Force) - 47:23
3 - Jeffrey Tomaszewski (Navy) - 47:34
Top female finishers (military)
1 - Cristy Prichard (Navy) - 53:53
2 - Fay Slattery (Air Force) - 55:25
3 - Sandra Ferreira (Coast Guard) - 56:06