December: Honolulu then and now

Kapiolani Park 12-6-13-bandshell

Last month, I traveled to the Honolulu Marathon which always brings back fond memories of the first time I fell in love with the islands upon my first trip there.  It was the perfect journey — winning the marathon in course record time, making lifelong friends with the Chun family (known then as the “Hunky Bunch” as some of my friends remember), flying to Maui to make the drive up to Hana, then hiking Haleakala to watch the sunrise on the crater, and making plans to return to Honolulu for the 140-Perimeter Relay around Oahu. . . . something that became an annual trip.  Fond memories indeed.

Hunky Bunch boys old days
Photos of the Hunky Bunch boys in yester-year.








My how things have changed.  The marathon still begins before sunrise, but the crowds have grown in numbers beyond belief.  The spectacular fireworks display starts the race in the pre-dawn hours.  The first 10K takes the participants through downtown’s Honolulu lights and Christmas displays winding through Kapiolani Park before the ascent up over Diamond Head.  This is where I have walked the course for the past few years.  However, this year was different.  Instead, I was asked by the Marathon President Jim Barahal to do the commentating on the women’s race, along with Toya Reavis of San Diego.  We are friends, and this was a “first” for both of us.  We were excited at the prospect of broadcasting, and thoroughly enjoyed our new task!

I would encourage all my marathon friends to consider your next destination marathon be Honolulu.  Hey, early registration is available now at discounted fees, and it’s never too early to make your plans.  It’s a guaranteed fun time, at the world’s most beautiful, hospitable, scenic marathon, complete with aloha spirit and they host the best concert you’ll ever enjoy.  By the way, if you need some training advice, you can ask either Toya or me to help you, since we both are coaches as well.  So c’mon, no excuses.

Honolulu Marathon womens winner 2014
Joyce Chepkirui, Honolulu Marathon 2014 women’s winner
Toya and I broadcasting
Toya Reavis and I broadcasting from the lead women’s vehicle.

Toya and I broadcasting












In addition, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to an audience of the Positive Coaching Alliance, for Executive Director in Hawai’i, Jeaney Garcia.  At the “Breakfast With Champions,” I participated on a panel of athletes including football coach, June Jones, and NFL Super Bowl Champions, brothers Chris and Ma’ake Kemoeatu.  We spoke on a panel together, bringing each of our unique stories to our listeners thanks to the excellent questions posed by our moderator, Kanoa Leahey.  The event highlighted award recipients from local high schools, each with their own inspiring stories.  Each student athlete received a scholarship from PCA, and all proved to be exemplary leaders amongst their peers.  JQ + Kemoeatu BrothersTradtionally, the trips to Honolulu always include a reunion dinner enjoyed with the Chun families, and here they are today:

Chun Boys 2014