Erika Engle

Executives get chance
to show stuff right
before elite races

Imagine a bunch of suits participating in a triathlon on the same day and in the same place that two U.S. Olympic team triathletes are to be named.

It's going to happen.

On April 18, three separate triathlons will occur to determine bragging rights and two U.S. Olympic team spots.

At 6 a.m., a group of 1,000 amateur runners, cyclists and swimmers will race toward the same finish line as the elite Olympic hopefuls, albeit on a slightly different course.

The early morning participants in the 24-Hour Fitness Honolulu Triathlon include four members of the title sponsor's executive management team from the mainland. The company employs 450 people in Hawaii and many employees will participate, including Waikiki location general manager Travis Kinoshita.

"We have several athletes who do triathlons," he said. "Whenever we're out in the community we're representing 24-Hour Fitness and we like to participate in community outreach, or athletic events."

Athletes from nonfitness-related businesses include Jeff Dinsmore, general manager of Victoria Ward Ltd., Ross Anderson, general manager of Duke's Canoe Club Waikiki and Frank Lavey, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Celebrities including KRTR-FM 96.3 morning man Dan Cooke and KHNL-TV anchor Howard Dashefsky will also participate.

The elite women race at 12:30 p.m., the men at 3 p.m. The winner of each race will be named to the six-member Team USA for the Olympiad in Athens, Greece, this summer.

Barahal to Boston

Honolulu Marathon President Jim Barahal is heading to Boston next week, though not to run in its famous marathon -- he's been-there-done that. He's going as president and chief executive of, which videotapes races and creates personalized DVDs, synchronizing the video with the computer chip each runner receives.

The Boston Athletic Association has licensed Barahal's Sports Media Productions LLC to produce DVDs of the 108th Boston Marathon April 19, that will sell for $49.95 plus shipping and handling.

The company has previously produced DVDs for participants in the Ironman Triathlon, Honolulu Marathon and Los Angeles Marathon. The 3,700 orders from the Hawaii races were turned around in six weeks, but production was stepped up to three-and-a-half weeks for the 1,000 L.A. runners who ordered DVDs.

Sports Media Productions has cleared the red-ink to black-ink hurdle in the short time since it left the starting block, said Barahal.

An Act 221 tax credit enabled the company to be capitalized better than it otherwise might have.

"It's not at the point where everybody's getting rich. Investors have to be paid back and there are ongoing expenses ... but we're already profitable," Barahal said.


Networking isn't just for the golf course anymore.

The Hawaiian Islanders arena football franchise has kicked off a business club for pre-game elbow-rubbing. After all, football is meant to be a contact sport, as team publicist Tau Harrington likes to say.

The club's first gathering will be April 17 at 4:30 p.m. at Blaisdell Center before the team's home opener at 6:30 p.m.

Each of the 30 members has paid $1,200 for the exclusive networking, four sideline season tickets and other benefits outlined at

Operating the franchise costs about $1.7 million, said owner Kimberly Wang-Dey.

The team is in its third year and the plan is to break even by year five.

Ticket sales alone will not achieve that goal, though there are 1,500 season-ticket holders, some of whom have purchased 27-seat suites for $5,400.

The team sees no revenue from the concession stand, but engages in merchandising, advertising and other activities to plump up the bottom line.

Wang-Dey has enjoyed a "hefty level of support" from the business community.

"I'm definitely bullish," she said.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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