2014 is here and there’s no denying it. New race goals, new training schedules and the latest fad diets have all been taped firmly to the front of the fridge. Maybe even a few new resolutions are thrown into the mix: less spandex in public, more greens on the dinner plate and absolutely no sweaty workout clothes left in the car overnight.
There’s something about the start of a new year that makes me feel refreshed, rejuvenated and re-energized. A time to dust off the cobwebs, reflect upon the highlights of the previous year and aim toward new goals.
Luckily for us there is an abundance of fun events to fill our racing and training schedules. 2014 promises to be the best year yet.
Jason and Melissa Braswell of Big Island Running Company will offer two new running programs to help kick-start your New Year’s resolutions.
The Braswells will offer a new route and name for their weekly Tuesday 5 p.m. run group: Tuesday Trot 5K Fun Run and Walk. This free event will meander through historic Kailua Village, out to Old Kona Airport Park and back — all while enjoying a beautiful Kailua-Kona sunset.
An introduction to guided speed workouts for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners looking to improve their 5K and 10K times starts up Thursday.
Free custom training programs will be provided to each runner for this eight-week program that culminates with the Run for Hops 10K/5K race on March 8. The sociable and fun affair starts at their Alii Drive store location at 5 p.m.
Team Mango Races, Frozen Pea Productions and the Hawaii Cycling Club will each offer 13 races in 2014.
Team Mango kicks off the year with the Wintertime Super Sprint Triathlon slated for 7 a.m. Jan. 19 at Kailua Pier. The 200-yard swim, 6-mile bike and 1-mile run offers beginners and seasoned athletes the perfect tune-up to rev their engines for the upcoming triathlon season. For more information and a complete schedule, visit teammangoraces.org.
Frozen Pea Productions will host its first biathlon of the year — Peaman’s Splish-Splash and Superbowl Shuffle Biathlon — Jan. 26 at Kaiakeakua Beach. The free half-mile swim, 3.1-mile run will begin at a new start time — 8:08 a.m. — a salute to our state’s area code. A short Pea-Wee course with a 200-yard swim and 1-mile run will also be available. Peaman’s 2014 race calendar will be available at the completion of this event.
The Hawaii Cycling Club will host the first cycling time trial event of the year Feb. 15. The free 10-mile course heads north, starting from Kaiminani Drive at 8 a.m. Riders of all abilities are welcome. To view the calendar of events and weekly club rides visit hawaiicyclingclub.com.
For those looking for a social group to improve your swim form and technique, Kona Aquatic’s Masters Program with Steve Borowski may be the perfect fit. The sessions begin at 6:15 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, at the Kona Community Aquatic Center. Swimmers of all levels and abilities are welcome to join. For more information visit konaaquatics.com.
Wrapping up 2013 was Peaman’s Birthday Bonanza. Nearly 200 pea-ticipants showed up — some wearing their pajamas and Sheriff’s badges — for the Western-themed event in honor of Peaman’s 50th birthday. Even last year’s defending champion, 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, returned for the fun.
After the swift half-mile swim and steamy 3.9-mile run along Alii Drive was complete, last year’s runner-up Thomas Vonach claimed the overall win with a speedy time of 36:50. Vonach’s time was just a minute shy of Luis De La Torre’s 2006 course record of 35:53.
Button kept it close by crossing the finish line a mere 7 seconds back in 36:57. Rounding out the men’s top three was Jano Soto in 40 minutes flat.
Joanna Zeiger’s 2006 course record of 36:50 was left intact as the first female to cross was Elsa Palmer with a winning time of 41:53. Right on her heels was Kathy Winkler in second with a great time of 42:01, followed closely by Jeni Winegarner in third with 42:06.
Kevin and Karl Moats took the Split Pea relay division with their combined time of 37:21. The father and son duo still holds the fastest family team record of 36:35 that was set in 2009.
In the 4-mile course for the runners, Jamie Geissler topped the field with her winning time of 25:32. Snatch Monkey took the Rollerblade division with a time of 25:27, and Lexi DeCarli won the half-mile swim course in a speedy 13:39.
In the competitive Pea-Wee division of a 200-yard swim and 1-mile run, Silas Wiley dominated the field as he led wire-to-wire to take the win in 10:12. Raka Barrett was next in 10:47, and Kanaipono Eckart in third with 11:07.
Lainey Eckart finished off the year to win her sixth Pea Wee female title in 11:40. Second went to Anna Naggert in a solid time of 12:39, with Lilo Fyrileiv in third at 12:52.
The Pea Wee Split Peas relay title went to Aiden and Alec Ankrum with their total time of 11:37. Nicole Morgan topped the 1-mile run with her time of 7:04, and Charles Janjigian swam the 200-yard Pea Wee course in 6:01.
It never ceases to amaze me what Peaman has accomplished for the Big Island athletic community over the past 26 years. His dedication and commitment to offer year-round fun and free events that the whole family can participate in truly sums up his contagious enthusiasm for sport.
If you are reading this column or have looked at Peaman results, you may have noticed the numerous divisions offered in a Peaman event. That’s what makes him so special. Peaman doesn’t want anyone to feel left out or excluded. The fun he creates is for everyone.
As Peaman would say, “If you don’t find a division for you, we’ll create one for you. Love, laugh, and be a Pea.”