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Runnin’ with Rani: Mother’s Day the Peaman way

Updated: 
May 19, 2017 - 12:05am

As participants gathered at Kaiakeakua Beach for Sunday’s Peaman Spring, Sprang, Sprung Biathlon, Makena Becker sat on the seawall with the biggest smile on her face.

The 14-year old ninth-grader at Kealakehe High School has competed in Peaman events ever since she was a toddler, but on Sunday, she chose to sit out and watch. Sidelined with an injury, Becker came to cheer for her mother, Noriko, to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“I appreciate my mom because she always puts us first before herself,” Becker said. “She always wakes up really early to get things done. She basically does everything just for us.”

Becker’s 12-year old younger brother agreed.

“I like how she takes care of our whole family,” Duke Becker said. “Without my mom, our family would be lost. She cooks really good dinner, she’s my ride to school, just everything.”

Eleven-year old swimming standout, Kiana Wiley, said that she loved how her mother appreciates the little things in life and planned to make her a homemade Mother’s Day card when she got home.

“My mom inspires me to be a better person and to always be myself,” Wiley said. “I have a few special plans for her.

For 14-year old Teagan DeCarli, he got straight to the point when asked what he appreciated most about his mother, Christine.

“Her cooking.” And after a few seconds of thought he added; “And she’s really nice.”

Overcast skies and moderate swells rolling into Kailua Bay set the stage for an exciting race that featured a three-quarter-mile swim and 3.1-mile run.

Karlyn Pipes, who recently won the women’s race at the Cinco de Mayo 1.2-mile swim a few weeks ago, propelled herself through the swim to exit Kaiakeakua Beach in first with a blazing time of 18 minutes and 4 seconds. Just over a minute back was Kona’s Sheri Lehmer in 19:07, with Wiley in third with her swim time of 19:50.

With all three women ending their race just after the swim, the individual competition for first began with Sean “Peaman” Pagett leading the way out of the water and Josiah Randerson hot on his heels.

Once in transition, Randerson used his trademark “lightening fast” skills to hit the 3.1-mile run course in first, with Peaman close behind.

Not too far back from the lead men was the women’s leader, Glee Jewell, along with Andy Walters, Danny Becker and Michael Smith.

As Randerson slowly extended his lead over Peaman, another exciting race -within the race - began to brew.

Kona’s Nate Grocholski, who is gearing up for his first Hawaii Ironman 70.3 race in June, caught up to me a half-mile into the run and positioned himself just off my left shoulder. It’s a great tactic to utilize as it allows the runner behind to conserve their energy while pacing off the runner in front, often ending in a grand finale sprint to the finish.

As we began to work our way to the front - passing Smith, Jewell, Becker, Walters, and finally, a fast moving Peaman - both John Howerton and Michael DeCarli caught up to us at the halfway point. With Randerson well ahead with a solid lead, it would be the four of us in a heated battle for second place.

Grocholski decided to make the first move. With a just a mile to go, Grocholski surged ahead which forced the three of us to go with him and into the painful red zone. Then Howerton answered back.

Howerton surged hard and immediately caused a slight gap from Grocholski and I, which left only DeCarli able to hang onto his fast moving feet.

With 400-meters to go, it became clear that the race for second was now between Howerton and DeCarli.

Both men began an all-out sprint toward the finish line - running shoulder-to-shoulder, teeth baring, using everything they had left.

DeCarli decided to take the inside line. A calculated risk of potentially being slowed by spectators crowding the area while Howerton claimed the outside. With a dramatic “forward lean” over the finish line, DeCarli grabbed his popsicle stick to claim second with his time of 42:32.2. Howerton followed three tenths of a second back in 42:32.5.

Both men finished just 20-seconds back from Randerson, who won his third Peaman Biathlon of the year with a time of 42:12.

In the meantime, Grocholski decided to punish me further with one last surge to finish ahead in fourth place at 42:49. I settled for fifth overall and first in the women’s division with my time of 42:55.

Mercedes DeCarli and Jewell rounded out the women’s podium with their times of 44:33 and 48:55 respectively.

The Ankrum family continued their complete dominance by winning their fifth Split Peas relay division title of the year with a time of 39:22. Donna Ryngala claimed the 3.1-mile run with a great time of 22:58.

Archer Ankrum and Elisa Childers won the LavaKids Pea Wee course of a 200-yard swim and 1-mile run with their times of 10:47 and 12:42, Team Juice Box topped the relay division in 23:39, and Nicholas White blazed through the 1-mile run course in 6:49.

Keeping to the tradition of passing on the Perpetual Pea at the end of every Peaman Biathlon event - an honor bestowed upon individuals or families who epitomize love, family, friendships, and the spirit of aloha for the Big Island community - a surprised Jewell was the honored recipient.

“It is an honor to receive it,” Jewell whispered between her tears. “I love all that Peaman does for the community and he really doesn’t have to do it. I love the feeling of ohana and all the kids being here. Having a physical education teaching background I think it’s just great for the kids and their families to participate in any way they can. It’s a such great community event.”

The 58-year old mother of two adult children has been a dedicated Peaman participant over the last few years. In July, she will also become a first-time grandmother.

“It feels good to have another family here,” Jewell said. “Most of my family is in Colorado. The last time we got together was during spring break. So it feels good to be a part of this great community.”

Visitor Industry Charity Walk

It is Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraising event for local charities and is popularly known to be the only walk in the state where one can actually gain weight after crossing the finish line. Saturday’s Hawaii Visitor Industry Charity Walk did not disappoint.

The 39th edition of the event drew hundreds to the Queen’s Marketplace in Waikoloa to take part in the 3.7-mile “super walk” that traversed throughout the grounds of the beautiful Waikoloa Beach Resort and ended at the Waikoloa Bowl.

Participants were then treated to an open buffet of gourmet foods from our island’s most talented chefs, live entertainment and random drawings.

While the statewide annual event held in May occurs on the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Molokai, and Kauai to help raise monies for island charities, only the Big Island features a fun and competitive run portion to help boost participation.

The 3.7-mile race for first ended up being a close and fun finish between Danny Guerpo and myself.

A mile into the race, I was surprised to find myself in the lead as I pushed both my sons, Cole and Raen, in a double stroller. With the course featuring a few rolling hills, Guerpo and I had fun exchanging the lead position a few times.

Guerpo would have the advantage on the hills as I struggled with pushing the weight of my 106-lb stroller, but then I would reclaim the lead on the flats. With 200-yards to go, we were neck and neck.

Guerpo surged - as there was no way he was going to let a mom pushing a double stroller beat him - and won with a great time of 24:52. I finished just ome-second back in 24:53 to claim second place and first in the women’s division.

Following Guerpo in the men’s division was Jared Barrett and Matthew Givens in 25:51 and 25:57 respectively.

Jennifer Real took second for the women in 26:33, with Heather Scarbrough rounding out the podium with her time of 26:56.

At the end of the morning participants would agree that it was yet another great turnout for our state’s largest charity event.

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