The Easter holiday weekend kicked off with a bang as 170 runners and walkers lined up on the Old Government road in Honaunau to take on the 33rd annual Mac-A-Thon 10K & 5K races.
While this prestigious event boasts being the oldest footrace on the island, it’s Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s tradition in organizing a first-class, family-oriented event and having the most amazing macadamia nut pancakes around that has become a huge draw for running enthusiasts.
Previous Mac-A-Thon winners include many of the island’s legends such as Robert Standard, Gary Shields, Jim Murphy, Stewart Miyashiro, Karl Honma and Autumn Johnson. More recent winners include the swift-footed talents of Luis De La Torre, Penn Henderson, Billy Barnett, Lyman Perry, Alan Ryan, Tai and Heather Scarbrough and Dawn Velasquez.
On Saturday, Kealakekua’s Kris Keough breezed through the undulating hills of the 6.2-mile course to claim the overall title in 40 minutes and 32 seconds. A few minutes back and in second place was Nathanael Mole from Alaska in a great time of 42:05, with last weekend’s Senior Project 5K winner, John Ferdico, rounding out the men’s podium at 44:27.
On the ladies side, California’s Stacy Schlocker-Zurich topped the field with her speedy time of 44:20. Next was Anna Deleon from San Jose, Calif., in 49:40, followed by our top Big Island wahine Nancy Kramer at 50:23.
In the 5K, last year’s champion Tai Liko Scarbrough decided to push his 2-year-old son Lihau in the baby jogger and found himself in a close match with Kailua-Kona’s Joe Fairchild. The duo pushed each other to average a near six-minute per mile pace over the 3.1-mile course.
Nearing the end, Fairchild sprinted toward the finish line to claim his first Mac-A-Thon 5K victory in a stellar time of 18:41. Scarbrough and his son followed close behind in an amazing time of 19:03, with Pahala’s Carlos Uribe-Bounos in third at 21:47.
Making it a family affair was Pahoa’s Heather Scarbrough who, like her husband Tai, has multiple victories in the 5K and 10K races. Scarbrough claimed the women’s title in an amazing time of 20:47. Just over a minute back was Kailua-Kona’s Erin Stephens in 21:57, and Melissa Braswell in third with her time of 23:02.
While the Mac-A-Thoners were running, the Hawaii Cycling Club continued the fun from last week by hosting its fourth cycling event of the year — the Hapuna Beach training time trial.
The 12.7-mile course had cyclists begin at the entrance to Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, ride south to Waikoloa Beach Road, then head back to Mauna Kea resort.
Waikoloa’s Maxfield La Fortune proved to be in a league of his own as he powered his way over the challenging course to claim the fastest time of the day — a swift 29:41 — for an average speed of 25.67 miles per hour. Last year’s champion, Michael DeCarli, rode strong but finished second at 32:22.
Hilo’s Todd Marohnic shrugged off any lingering tiredness from the cross-island drive by finishing third in 33:23. Kona’s Adam Ankrum was next with his great time of 33:40, and rounding out the fast top five was Kym Kiser with her speedy time of 34:14.
The next day, a somewhat smaller than usual field gathered next to Kailua Pier to mosey, romp and scamper down Alii Drive for Peaman’s 331st event. What lacked in quantity was more than made up for in quality as some of the island’s finest athletes toed the line to take on the Carboman 10-mile Mosey, Road Runner 3.5-mile Romp and 1-mile Mighty Mouse Scamper.
Kona’s Luis De La Torre, last year’s champion, current course record holder, and six-time winner of the 10-mile event, shot straight to the front of the out-and-back course on Alii Drive, leaving Brian Pruitt and Jon Jokiel in hot pursuit.
After the halfway turn, De La Torre pushed himself into a comfortable lead as he cruised back to Kailua Pier to claim his seventh title in a fantastic time of 1:01:27. His course record of 56:38 has been intact since 1999 — 15 years later, De La Torre continues to be at the top of his game.
Twenty-nine-year-old Pruitt hung on to second place to finish with a great time of 1:04:17. Third went to the always-consistent Jon Jokiel in 1:08:04.
First for the ladies was Susannah Roy in 1:19:30, followed by Lindsey Farah-Pirscher at 1:27:49 and Ali Steiner at 1:31:17.
Adam Ankrum decided to make the most of his Easter weekend by following up his fourth place finish at the Hapuna Beach individual time trial with an overall win in the Road Runner 3.5-mile Romp. Ankrum’s time of 22:08 was just 14 seconds shy of Ziggy Bartholomy’s 2013 course record of 21:54.
A little over three minutes back and in second place was Toby Olney in 25:15, followed by Max Currens in third at 26:37.
It came down to the final sprint in the women’s division as just three seconds separated first and second. Lori Montgomery and Lianne Ichishita gave it their all, but in the end, Ichishita had the slight edge to take first in a great time of 32:46. Right behind her was Montgomery in 32:49, with Anna Lee Akagi rounding out the women’s top three in 34:59.
In the 1-mile Mighty Mouse Scamper, 2012 World Master Swimmer of the Year, Karlyn Pipes, proved that she moves just as fast on land as in water. Pipes blazed through the mile course to take the overall win in a swift time of 6:23 — nine seconds short of Chelsey Hall’s 2012 female course record of 6:14.
Hot on her heels was 11-year-old Alec Ankrum, who finished with an incredible time of 6:27 to claim first for the male division. Nine-year-old Duke Becker was one tick back in second at 6:28. Becker’s speedy time set a 5-9 record, knocking off Bartholomy’s 2008 time of 6:36. Ten-year-old Elijah Hall placed third with his time of 7:06.
Following Pipes in the female division was 9-year-old Claire Huges. Huges also set a girl’s 5-9 record with her fast time of 6:37. Tatum Roepke finished off the top three with her time of 7:24.
Putting a cap on an action-packed weekend of exciting events was Monday’s 118th Boston Marathon. It is the world’s oldest annually run marathon and featured an astounding 35,000 participants — six from the Big Island.
Leading the way for the Big Islanders was Volcano’s Lyman Perry. Perry, who is originally from Massachusetts, seemed to have made running Boston his annual tradition as he crossed the finish line in a great time of 3:03:35.
Keaau’s Joe Barcia — a Boston rookie — made the most of near-perfect race conditions as he was next to cruise under the finish line banner in an impressive time of 3:13:09. The four remaining runners who posted great finishing times were Laupahoehoe’s Alan Ryan (4:11:50), Melody Nietfeld of Kapaau (4:15:31), Kailua-Kona’s James Grant (4:24:41) and Gwen Campbell (5:35:36).
Congratulations to all who took part in this past weekend’s Easter extravaganza — Big Island style!