Posts Tagged ‘Jake Shimabukuro’

Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference

November 1, 2010

When it comes to careers, they have an old saying… “Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” Most of us chug along through the day to day of life, wondering if there’s a better way. Personally, though I love my job, I often wonder if the folks in Major League Baseball are still out there looking for a mediocre-ly built, over-the-hill, talented (in-his-own-mind) right arm to be the next best thing in the bigs. And then I wake up.

A lucky few, however, are fortunate enough to find something they fall in love with and follow that path towards something they can make a career of. Below is the story of three such men.

Jody Kamisato – `Ukulele Hale

Jody Kamisato is the owner of Ukulele Hale, an ukulele school in Kaimuki that teaches students – from small kid time all the way up to our senior citizens – the art of our beautiful 4-stringed instrument.

Though we both knew of each other from our Kaiser High School/Hawaii Kai days, I think I actually first met Jody when I asked him to perform at an event I was putting together back in September (the inaugural Rice Fest). Not only was I impressed by the talent he showcased during his performance on stage (through his group Heart & Soul), but I was also taken aback by the way he mentored and encouraged his students before their performances.

Here’s an interview I had recently with Jody:


An Interview with Ukulele Hale’s Jody Kamisato

[Edward Sugimoto] When did you first pick up the `ukulele and how long was it before you fell in love?

[Jody Kamisato] Geez, I first picked it up in elementary school. So I went to Kamiloiki Elementary and in their Hawaiiana class, they offered ukulele. So that was my first time, and started taking lessons, and actually it wasn’t until high school that I got really into ukulele.

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser right?

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser. *winks*

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s right!

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser! *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser baby! *laughs* At what point did you know it was the path for you?

[Jody Kamisato] Um, well actually Jake Shimabukuro from Pure Heart had come to do one of our assemblies at Kaiser, and he was in a group called Pure Heart along with Jon Yamasato who’s another Kaiser graduate… Um, but after that, I just you know, I saw what he did and I was just amazed at what the ukulele, you know, the possibilities of the ukulele. And just the way he played and the style that he played in really caught my attention, so I just called him up and I was like “Hey, can I sign up for lessons?” and so I did and a few years later he asked me to teach. He opened a school called Ukulele Academy in Hawaii Kai and so that’s where I kinda got my start from… was teaching at his studio.

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you draw from any positive experiences from some of your mentors from your past and apply them to your teaching methods today?

[Jody Kamisato] Absolutely. You know, I think one of the greatest gifts with music is the ability to share it. And so, some of my mentors, which included Peter Moon, Jake Shimabukuro, Troy Fernandez…You know these guys have really done so much with music and really taken it to, not just Hawaii, but outside of Hawaii so, they’ve gone international. And especially with Jake, and so, just from that, he’s really opened a lot of doors with music and with ukulele. So that’s what I want to try to do with our music… it’s to take it on another level and share it with people not just from Hawaii but around the world.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you have a business: Ukulele Hale. Talk to me about your keiki.

[Jody Kamisato] Alright, well, we have a school called Ukulele Hale in Kaimuki and I’d say a majority is students, is the keiki. You know we actually teach students of all ages and skill levels. So we start them… Our youngest is 3 and a half years old, and we also have senior classes as well. Right now we have about 170 students.


Kody Kiyokawa and Jody Kamisato jammin’ on the uke

NOTE: Kody Kiyokawa recently represented Ukulele Hale at the Duke’s Ukes contest and came home with a brand new Kamaka Ukulele after winning the Best Showmanship award.

[Edward Sugimoto] On top of being a teacher, you also have a group with Chris Salvador called Heart & Soul? Tell me a little bit about that.

[Jody Kamisato] I partnered up with a friend of mine, his name is Chris Salvador, and we call ourselves Heart & Soul, and we are actually in the recording studio now working on our debut album. We’re hoping to have it out, gee, in the next few weeks and actually have our CD release party in November. It’s set for November 21st. Chris and I just got back from touring Japan as well as New York. We participated in the New York Ukulele Festival, and also Japan has this event called the Ukulele Picnic which draws 10,000 ukulele fans. So it was an amazing experience and we just feel very blessed to follow our passion and play music.

Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)
Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)

[Edward Sugimoto] Where can we pick up the album when it’s ready?

[Jody Kamisato] It’ll be available on iTunes and definitely in music stores and book stores throughout Hawaii. Yeah, so go out and support local music. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning that you guys tour a lot, you were in New York and you go all over the place. You were at the Rice Festival of course…

[Jody Kamisato] Rice Festival, yeah!

[Edward Sugimoto] … Where else can we find you guys going forward?

[Jody Kamisato] We’re definitely going to be performing more. Right now we’re focusing on the recording. Once that’s finished, we plan to do more steady gigs for the public. And definitely we’re actually planning a Japan tour this coming December. We’re going up for about a week and a half. It’s a Heart & Soul CD Japan Release Tour.

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s awesome.

[Jody Kamisato] Yeah, we’re excited.

[Edward Sugimoto] You’re all over social media. You wanna give some plugs out there to your various locations?

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* Sure. Alright well you can come check us out on Facebook. Um, I just set it up recently. It’s uh facebook…

[Edward Sugimoto] *shows Jody his notes*

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* facebook.com/jody.kamisato. Or you can visit us on Youtube. Just type in “Jody Kamisato”, “Ukulele Hale”, or “Heart & Soul”. And Twitter. I’m ukulele…

[Edward Sugimoto] jody

[Jody Kamisato] jody *laughs* Thanks Ed! @ukulelejody

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool. Good stuff.

[Jody Kamisato] Thanks a lot. Take care. Keep jammin’ the uke and live aloha. *shaka*

Ukulele Hale
Kaimuki Professional Building
1109 12th Avenue Suite 203
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 (map)
(808) 258-7237
ukulelehale@gmail.com

George Kotaka – IKF Hawaii

George Kotaka is legend in karate. He is a 4th degree black belt with 30 years of training under that belt. He is the son of Chuzo Kotaka (a legend in his own right), the man responsible for bringing IKF (International Karate Federation) Karate to Hawaii. George is one of the main instructors for IKF Hawaii teaching students at dojos in Kamiloiki, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei and the University areas.

My first memory of George was seeing him grow through the karate ranks right alongside of the rest of us. Under Sensei Kotaka (Chuzo), I was fortunate enough to earn my brown belt, and I remember little (at the time) George showing up at our dojo to train periodically. Eventually our paths crossed again while attending Kaiser High School.

George sat down with me during this recent interview:


An Interview with IKF Hawaii’s George Kotaka

[Edward Sugimoto] First of all, please introduce yourself George.

[George Kotaka] My name is George Kotaka, I’m 33 years old and I’ve been taking karate since I was 3 years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Back in the day, your father (Chuzo Kotaka) was my sensei at IKF in Kahala. Is this where your interest in karate first came from?

[George Kotaka] My interest in karate began, like I said, when I was 3 years old, and my father actually didn’t really force me to take karate. He was just bringing me by the dojo and kinda like just like anything else, you know, where you’re introduced to it so often, after a while you just start to pick it up. I just was really kinda just drawn to karate. Never forced to start it.

[Edward Sugimoto] As the sensei’s son, did you feel any extra pressure to be better and perform well because your dad was the sensei?

[George Kotaka] Being the sensei’s son, I really didn’t feel any pressure at all. I always just went to practice, worked really hard, always had goals in mind that I wanted to achieve since I was young. Just, you know, just like short term goals in the beginning and then later on, fulfilling my long term goals, but never had the pressure because I always just knew that if I just relied on my training and my skill, you know, good things would come about.

[Edward Sugimoto] Lyoto Machida of the UFC, he became the Light Heavyweight Champion a while ago (UFC 98 on May 23rd, 2009) and probably burst karate into the mainstream. Did you kinda feel that karate/”Lyoto Effect” in your studios/dojos?

[George Kotaka] I would say there was a little bit of an affect from the UFC fight where Lyoto won the UFC title. We saw a little bit of an influx of students inquiring about karate, interested in martial arts, especially the traditional martial arts. He comes from a traditional Japanese background, his style is called Shotokan, and it’s a very very popular, I would say one of the four major styles of karate in Japan. So I would say there was a little bit of an influx of students when that happened.


George Kotaka knocks out opponent (from shotokan68’s channel)

NOTE: George does not endorse this clip (a popular video on Youtube with over 29,851 views) and was frankly quite embarrassed of it when I brought it up. I snuck it in here just to give you a glimpse at what George’s karate is capable of.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[George Kotaka] I always was intrigued and motivated to be an instructor, to be a teacher. Ever since I was about 14 or 15 years old, I began helping my sister at one of the local karate classes and being kind of like a junior assistant or junior leader and from since that time on, I was really just drawn to teaching, I always liked working with other people. So even after the competition aspect, I could always rely on going back to teaching and falling back to that background.

[Edward Sugimoto] You mentioned your competition background. You’re pretty much a karate legend here and around the country. What do you have in store going forward?

[George Kotaka] Most importantly right now, after retiring from competition in 2008, is just to really work on my students and giving back to the dojo and going back to that teaching. Whether it’s producing the next state champion, national champion, Pan-American PKF Champion or even world champion, that would just be great. I just want to produce quality students most importantly. They don’t have to be champions. If that comes along that would be great but overall I just want my students to be good mannered students, have good morals and ethics and really go by the karate way.


George Kotaka Highlights (from CHAMPOFFICIAL’s channel)

NOTE: This clip I found on Youtube is probably a better representation of what George is all about (as opposed to the previous one). Check it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool, thank you very much.

[George Kotaka] OK, thanks.

IKF Hawaii – Main Office
7231 Nuulolo Street
Honolulu, HI 96825
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 395-1774
ikfkotaka@yahoo.com

Todd Tanaka – Team HK

Todd Tanaka holds a black belt under the prestigious Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu system. He is the owner and head instructor of the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK team, with locations in the University area, Kaimuki and Lutherville-Timonium in Maryland. He teaches the art of jiu jitsu and self defense to keiki (ages 5-13) and adults of all ages. He (along with George above) also just started a women’s cardio kickboxing class on Sunday nights (5:30pm-6:30pm).

Of the three, I probably knew Todd the best during high school. We ran in similar groups and hung out at some of the same places. Todd helped me land my first “celebrity” interview with his good friend Jason “Mayhem” Miller and even let me train at his dojo for a little while.

Here’s Todd and I catching up in this recent interview:


An Interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK’s Todd Tanaka

[Edward Sugimoto] Please introduce yourself.

[Todd Tanaka] Hi I’m Todd Tanaka and I’m the head instructor and owner of Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK.

[Edward Sugimoto] Long before the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)/Jiu Jitsu explosion, you were training with Relson Gracie before anyone knew what it was. How long ago did you start training in the art of jiu jitsu and why did you first start?

[Todd Tanaka] I started in 1990 and I was in, I believe, 8th grade. That’s when (Jean Claude) Van Damme and Steven Seagal was all popular, and me and my friends John and Jared wanted to take a martial art because of the popularity of the martial arts. We were thinking about taking like kickboxing, aikido and stuff and Jared’s father suggested that we go with him to this jiu jitsu class, Brazilian jiu jitsu classes, and we were like, “What is that?” We had no idea. And the dad was like just come down and see if you like it. So we went down, met Relson, started taking the classes from there, and we fell in love with it from day 1.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[Todd Tanaka] Well after the UFC started (1993), a lot of my friends wanted to learn and they’d always see me at the weight room and ask me to teach them and I was like “Man, sounds like a good deal.” You know, I could use the side cash so I asked Relson “Eh, can I start teaching?” and he said, “Well I want you to take an instructor program from my brother.” So he flew me up to his brother Rorion’s school in Torrance California, which Royce Gracie was there at the time and the dad (Helio)… And I stayed there, I took their instructor program, and I came back and I helped Relson open his new school in Kaimuki. And that’s pretty much how it all started for me in teaching.

[Edward Sugimoto] Talk to me about your kids. What brings you the most joy when you teach them?

[Todd Tanaka] The most joy is probably just seeing the smiles on their face and seeing how they really like it when they actually do the move correctly.

Todd Tanaka watching over his students
Todd Tanaka watching over his students

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have an opinion or any comments to those who feel jiu jitsu is dangerous for young kids?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. You take a risk in any sport… You do… but they have to understand that jiu jitsu and MMA is totally different things. I don’t teach my students to fight. I teach them to defend themselves, self defense, you know. And, you know, if you go in there and you think that jiu jitsu is all about fighting, then yeah, you’re gonna have that perception, but I’m gonna let you guys know that the Relson Gracie jiu jitsu system is about self defense and not fighting.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about personal goals? You received your black belt in July of last year? Anything else in store?

[Todd Tanaka] Um, well, I’m just gonna keep training. I currently just opened two other schools this past year. I have a branch in Kaimuki, and I opened one with another Kaiser classmate/alumni Stuart Ramos. He opened a school under me in (Lutherville-) Timonium, Maryland. Hopefully I dunno, maybe my schools can start growing.


Relson Gracie Promotes Todd Tanaka to Black Belt (from GracieTeamHK’s channel)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about any professional fighting for you at some point?

[Todd Tanaka] *laughs* No, I’m too small and old for that.

[Edward Sugimoto] Finally, you’re big into social media. Do you find that it helps a lot?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. I can’t remember where I heard this, and I’ve always been using this for years… It’s not who you know, it’s about who knows you. So I’ve always put myself out there. You know, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity right? Everything’s good publicity, so whatever I do, I put myself out there, I’m easy to find. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] Why don’t we do some plugging of some of those web sites?

[Todd Tanaka] Alright, I got my web site: ToddTanaka.com, and I have my jiu jitsu web site: TeamHK.net, I have my Facebook: facebook.com/toddktanaka, I have Twitter: twitter.com/toddtanaka, Youtube: youtube.com/gracieteamhk, and, man, I got a couple others but I can’t remember all of them right now. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Alright cool, thanks a bunch Todd!

[Todd Tanaka] Thank you!

Team HK
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 277-1128
todd@teamhk.net

Three great individuals doing great things in their respective communities… who, oh-by-the-way, all happen to be graduates from my proud Alma mater of Henry J. Kaiser High School. They have found a way to follow their passion and find a career doing something that they absolutely love.

I guess you can say they never have to work a day in their lives…

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Honolulu Marathon Shmonolulu Shmarathon – If You Can Walk, You Can Roll

January 1, 2007

xxx

“Wow!”

“Impressive!”

“You’re crazy!”

Yep, these are just a few of the statements people yell at me on a daily basis. The first two statements: “Very Nihhce!”… The third one: “Not so mahch!”

This time, however, all three statements were being shrieked at me for an entirely different reason. The reason: I survived 26.2 miles that is the Honolulu Marathon.

Now before you start complimenting or cursing me – depending on your level of anger management – I’m here today to tell you that “running” (and I use that term loosely) a marathon is nothing really you yourself can’t accomplish.

Just send me 4 easy installments of $19.95 and follow my plan of attack, step-by-step, and you’ll be on your way to millions. Woops, wrong infomercial. Follow my blueprint for success below and you’ll be right on pace to compete in the December 9, 2007 Honolulu Marathon.

Before I set you on your 12 month regime, let’s give you a little background on my physical condition prior to the 2006 marathon to help you gauge where you’re at.

I am a *cough* 30 *cough* something year old male in fairly decent condition. Not too skinny, not too heavy. I’m your typical office employee at an 8+ hour a day sit-down job, being fed birthday cakes every once in a while. I play sports regularly, but keep in mind that this conditioning is a lot different from long distance running conditioning. If you don’t play team sports or move your body out of your recliner at least every once in a while, then I would definitely recommend getting out and being more active. There’s no need to become the next Olympic champion, but definitely jog or walk a few miles here and there. At the bare minimum, you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Now, on with the 12 months of madness!

January 2007

With the holiday season in the rear view mirror, it’s time to get off your lazy behinds and shed some of that holiday weight.

Start off slow. If this is your first exposure to moving your legs in a quick moving motion, you definitely want to get your heart and legs accustomed to the coming year of BonBon-less training. Walk for a mile or 10 minutes at your local gym or around your neighborhood. Set goals. Don’t be too hasty and attempt 10 miles on your first day. We’ve got 11 more months of this torture yo.

January or February-ish is also about the time they announce the early bird registration for us locals so keep your ears open for that. It usually requires a visit to the Niketown store in Waikiki and about $15. The great thing about this early bird registration, aside from the large break in the entry fee and free T-shirt, is that you’re officially committed to run. There’s no more excuses from that point on. Circle the Sunday, December 9th date on your calendar and cross off the days until then…

For more information about the early bird registration, contact:
Honolulu Marathon Office
3435 Waialae Ave., #208, Honolulu, HI 96816
TEL: 808-734-7200 / FAX: 808-732-7057
E-MAIL: info@honolulumarathon.org
URL: http://www.honolulumarathon.org/

February 2007

Continue your slow, but sure training. Work on getting your cardio up to par. We should still be in baby steps phase. One mile here, 2 miles there, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Nothing crazy just yet. If you’re starting from scratch, we should still be walking and not jogging full time yet.

Again, either January or February is when they’ll announce the early bird registration so if they have not announced it yet, listen up for that in February.

March 2007

Alright troops, we’re three months into the new year and less than 9 months away from the 35th Annual Honolulu Marathon. Nervous? Don’t be. Still get choke time! The main thing is that we’re active and moving and not being lazy sloths. Going cold turkey with good physical conditioning is one thing, but going cold turkey with no work is an invitation for disaster.

April-May 2007

You should be up to at least 5-10 miles now… Running, walking, or otherwise and it should be non-stop. If you’re struggling with the distance, then make goals for time. Remember, you’ll be running/walking/crawling for about 5-12+ hours throughout the day on 9th of December, so you’ll want your body to be ready.

June 2007

Midway point check. You should be up past 13.1 miles now, as we’re half way there (half of 26.2 is 13.1 for those of you who missed math class in elementary school). Continue to work towards attaining your personal goals, while making sure that you’re on pace for your December debut.

July-August, 2007

This might be a good time to get outside and do a bit of your training in the sun. July & August is traditionally the hot/humid part of year so if you can handle a touch of these conditions, the weather in December should be a piece of cake.

September-October 2007

Hopefully you’ve already done this by now, but if not, be sure that your equipment is ready, set and good to go. Don’t make the mistake of buying a new pair of shoes late in the game and expecting to break them in in time for the big dance. Be sure that you’ve got the shoes and clothes that you’ll be running in, set and broken into. You might want to jog with your fancy threads a few times beforehand to make sure that there is no unnecessary chafing going on.

November 2007

Now let’s be honest. How many of you actually followed my schedule and trained for the last 10 months? I’m really hoping that you printed this article out in January and pinned it on your wall for inspiration (cue Eye of the Tiger music)… But if you’re anything like me, you probably waited until now to start training, or at least think about training. If you’re just rolling out of your recliner now, then I would recommend shooting for the 2008 (Sunday, December 14th) or 2009 (Sunday, December 13th) marathons. I personally know two guys who attempted the run cold turkey last year and could not make it. I don’t want to embarrass them so I won’t mention their names, but in Pig Latin, they were Randonbay and Ysontay. *grin*

All kidding aside, don’t be crazy. Twenty-six point two miles in hot, Hawaii weather is no joke and should not be taken lightly. If you are not in any kind of condition to at least run/walk 10 miles with ease, don’t push it.

I was probably right at the cusp of readiness. Though I was physically ok with the sports conditioning (with the exception of a bothersome ankle injury), I was coming off two weeks of travel where I did nothing but stuff my face. On top of that, I lacked true, long distance conditioning. I was lucky if I got 5 miles of non-stop jogging. Don’t make the mistake I did… TRAIN!

December 2007

It’s showtime! You’ve (supposedly) trained all year for this. You must be excited. A few housekeeping items to be sure to take care of:

Your race packets (including bib number and timing chip) will NOT be mailed to you. You will have to physically pick it up at the Hawaii Convention Center the week leading up to the marathon. Check your mail in late November for the details on the dates and times and be sure to bring in the confirmation card that comes in the mail.

While you’re picking up your packet, why not check out the Honolulu Marathon Expo that is running concurrently with the packet pickup? You can view and purchase various products and marathon related memorabilia as well as get information about the race itself. This past year, Hollywood actress Kelly Hu was in attendance signing autographs for her fans. She seemed really genuine and “real”, and is apparently an avid runner herself, as she completed the marathon with an incredible chip time of 4:56:19!

xxx
Kelly Hu

If being a part of the weeklong festivities is your bag, you can buy tickets to the concert/luau that they have the Friday before the race. Last year, it was held at the Waikiki Shell and included an All-You-Can-Eat Carbo loading party, with music from Gavin DeGraw and Jake Shimabukuro.

Checklist for Race Day (Sunday, December 9, 2007):

  • Pound Da Carbs: As they say, load up on carbohydrates. Pasta, rice, bread, etc. During the race, you won’t have any time to eat. Power bars and gels at best, so eating right the night before is key.
  • Be a Sleeping Beauty: I can’t stress how important a good night’s rest is the night before the race. The gun goes off at 5AM so you’ll be waking up at least 3:30AM to get ready. Sacrifice the Clubbing, Internet browsing and/or DVR watching for just one night… Your body will thank you for it.
  • Ring the Alarm: You’ve trained all year for this so you definitely don’t want to oversleep! Set your loudest alarm or two or three and make sure that it’s far away so you have to physically get up to turn it off.
  • Break Fast: Fill up a bit in the morning as well, but not too much as you don’t want to get side pain during the race.
  • O2 Clothing: As the day progresses, the sun will make its presence known so you want to be sure that you don’t overheat. Wear cool clothing that breathes.
  • Comfy Kicks: Wear comfortable shoes that are pre-broken into. Blisters are your worst enemy.
  • Lather Up: You’ll be out in the sun for a good 4+ hours. Be sure to cover your exposed areas with suntan lotion with a minimum of SPF 35.
  • Lube Up: Vaseline the areas that you think may chafe with your clothing.
  • Bum a Ride: Parking will be a nightmare near the starting and finishing lines. If you can get dropped off and picked up, that would be ideal. (! – Get dropped off as far south on Pensacola Street as possible. You’ll have to walk a bit towards the staring line near Borders and IBM and P.F. Chang’s near Ward Center on Queen Street, but you’ll be at the front of the line, right up there with the speedsters from Africa!)
  • Make Like a Limo and…: Stretch! You will undoubtedly cramp up at some point during your run, but with proper stretching, you’ll save yourself a bit of agony.
  • Know your role: As long as you go in with the mindset that you are not in it to win it, you’ll be ok. The second you start to compete with the children and senior citizens whizzing by you, you’re in trouble. Just take your time and don’t overwork yourself. If you’re tired, rest. If you’re exhausted rest some more. Know and recognize your limits and stay within those boundaries. There is no rush. The Honolulu Marathon is one of the few marathons that waits for every single participant to finish, no matter how long, so take your time.
  • The Mr. Burns Factor: Prepare yourself to morph into a geriatric overnight. Immediately following your finish, your legs will feel like jelly and your posture and walk will be very Burns-like. Don’t expect to take on activities for at least a week.

Things to pack with you while running:

  • Band-Aids: Pack more than a few of these fo’ sho. This will save you. I used 4 Band-Aids and had to pick up 2 more from the aid station (which are few and far between). Don’t let the blisters get the best of you.
  • External Analgesics: Cramps are a part of the fun. You should’ve stretched by now, but you will still cramp. Applying products like Satohap pads, or soothing lotions or sprays will help tremendously. (! – You may want to consider the sprays or lotions as the pads do not stick to your suntan lotion skin very well.)
  • Gels: Light, portable, convenient and easy. These are some of the advantages of carrying products like PowerBar’s Gel. The only chance you have to eat during the day is your light snack in the morning. Having these handy treats in your pocket or fanny pack will save you when you get hungry in the middle of the day.
  • Fluids: This is a matter of personal preference. I, personally would not carry my own bottle(s) as there are drinking stations every 2-3 miles. Do, however, make sure you take in enough fluids to replenish those you lose (blood, sweat & tears) during your run. I drank at least one cup of water or energy drink at every single liquid station. You should do the same.
  • Shades: The hot, Hawaiian sun will be blazin’ by early afternoon, so you would want a pair of your ultra-violet (preferably polarized) spectacles on to save your peepers.
  • Mental Toughness: I tell everyone that finishing the marathon is mostly mental. Once you get past the slight aches and pains of your physical being, mental toughness takes over and will help you cross that finish line.
  • Camera: I would not recommend this to most, but if you’re a picture nut like me and are running for the experience of the event as much as for running itself, then the digicam is a must-have. I opted not to carry a fanny pack because the up and down bouncing action on my bum became annoying in a practice run. So, like an imbecile, I carried my camera in my hand throughout the entire 26.2 miles… And not a single drop! 🙂

Now that you’re all prepped and ready to go now, all that’s left is for the race to start. It’s a madhouse. The streets are lined with racers ready to go and you can just taste the anticipation in the air.

xxx

We’re close now, so let’s listen in to what Mayor Mufi Hanneman has to say to us runners right before the gun goes off.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-5484422444500283998&hl=en
Mufi Hanneman

And we’re off!

It’ll probably be difficult, but try to remember to pace yourself. In both of my experiences, I bolted out of the gates like a mad man because of the adrenaline I had coursing through my veins. From the starting gun to the fireworks to just the whole experience of it all, it’s just plain exciting. By mile 3 though, I was spent, which, thankfully, provided a good time to break for a photo opp.

xxx

Remember what the Carpenters preached…
Before the rising sun we fly,
So many roads to choose
We start our walking and learn to run.
And yes, we’ve just begun.

Mile 5 races through the streets of Waiks. Admiring the beauty of the Christmas lights and sounds of the ocean crashing the shore take your mind off of the race itself.

xxx

By now, you’ve probably noticed, and appreciated those who are lined up along the streets to cheer you on. They probably had to get up just as early as you in order to root for you. As the sound of your heavy breathing takes over your eardrums, you hang onto every positive morsel they send your way.

“Go get ’em!”

“Way to go!”

“We’re proud of you!”

Before you know it, you’ve racked up miles 6, 7, and 8 and are passing mile 9 near Diamond Head.

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(! – A little note about miles 6-8-ish… Most of the Honolulu Marathon is flat, but at about this time is when you’ll hit one of the two uphill climbs of the entire course. On this occasion, you’re going up on Diamond Head Road – from Kapiolani Park towards the Kahala area – so save your energy for this one. Also along this path is where they start to narrow the running area with ropes. This is so that the finishers coming in the other direction have some room to run, but this also means less room for you. With thousands of people trying to cram into one lane of the road, things will slow down and get quite cramped. Be aware of this situation and don’t get frustrated. Claustrophobians – you’ve been warned.)

Once you pass the mile 9 marker, you’ll quickly approach the downhill slope of 18th Ave. If you brought your camera, this is the time to bust da buggah out because of the picturesque photo opps here.

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Depending on your timing, turning right onto Kilauea Ave may be a good shot too, as you could catch the morning sunrise.

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And before you know it, you’ll be passing mile 10. I passed this mark at 2:07:33, just a tad before the time when Ethiopia’s Ambesse Tolossa crossed the finish line. D’oh!

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Miles 10-11 is a brisk stroll through Kahala and as you turn onto Kalanianaole Highway, you’ll see the sign for mile 11. Kalanianaole Highway is, in my opinion, probably the most grueling on the course. It’s long and seemingly endless and you’ll constantly find yourself getting frustrated at seeing the runners (who actually trained for this stinkin’ marathon) making the return path home on the same highway. Try to refrain from cursing at them or cheating by jumping into their lane. Remain calm and maintain your own leisure pace and you’ll be just fine.

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If you’re built like me, this is about the time when the wheels start to fall off as far as running is concerned. We’re at about the midway point and everything is starting to cramp up. Take stretching breaks and fluid breaks (both in and out) and keep on a truckin’. Your cramps will eventually go away (at least in your mind) and your brisk walk will come back to form.

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Before you know it, you’ll be passing mile 15 and hitting Hawaii Kai with style. Eastsiiiide!

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From a mental standpoint, this is huge. You’re more than halfway done and you know that once you get through Hawaii Kai, you’ll be past the “turnaround point” and heading back on Kalanianaole Highway towards the goal! You’ll actually take the time to appreciate things, including the many characters you’ll find along the way.

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Between miles 16 & 17 is when I started to get hungry. I was seriously considering stopping by Safeway or Longs or Costco to grab a bite. I chose not to and decided instead, to take a breather at beautiful Maunalua Bay Beach Park near Roy’s Restaurant (on the corner of Keahole Street and Kalanianaole Highway past mile 17). This is also where they conveniently had another liquid station, so I grabbed a drink, leaned up against a breezy palm tree, pulled out a PowerBar gel from my pocket and rested my weary bones. In the distance, you could hear the band playing beautiful music on stage. Much love, Honolulu Marathon organizers… Much love!

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My view from the palm tree at Maunalua Bay Beach Park

Back on Kalanianaole Highway going west. Woo hoo! Try to refrain from mocking or doing a wop-yo-jaw at those slow-pokes going in the opposite direction. Them bums are doing their best. *evil grin*

Sure, miles 18 near Kuliouou and 19 near Halemaumau street are great accomplishments, but you really have your breakthrough when you hit the 20s in mile marker sightings. You’ll pass this blessed event right next to Aina Haina Shoppnig Center. Feel free to do a little dance, make a little love and get down tonight.

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Much of the torture continues through mile 21, but when you make that turn past Waialae Country Club onto Kealaolu Avenue and pass mile 22, you’re well on your way.

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Those sneaky buggahs from MarathoFoto will be along this road, so if you’re vain, you might want to fix your hair and come up with a pose before they capture you for eternity. Or, you can make like me and find someone you know to have a “prepared” shot taken. Here’s my ugly, exhausted mug at mile 23.

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Miles 23-24 continues on Kahala Ave as you head towards the treacherous Diamond Head Road hill. You’ll continue to get greeted by those cheering you on, spraying you with their lawn hoses, or, if you’re lucky enough, live slack key from the likes of Makana.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-6080700019174488137&hl=en
Makana at the Honolulu Marathon

Miles 24-25 is sheer madness, but you’re so excited that you’re almost pau that you forget that it’s a crazy uphill climb. Once you’re in the 20s, you’re looking and praying for anything that resembles the next mile marker. No such luck here.

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Another character along the course was this dude on Diamond Head Road. He made me laugh, and, get inspired all at the same time. Not sure who he was with or what he was doing there, but he held a sign that said, “Mou sugu gooru da, Ganbare!”, which essentially means, the goal is pretty soon, keep it up! Thanks for the inspiration weird man!

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Once you start going downhill, you’ll hit the real 25 mile marker. Pay no attention to the time. I, uh, actually got this photo from a little girl who, uh, took this long to get to mile 25. Yeah, that’s it!

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This is when you really start getting excited. Passing Kapiolani Park down Kalakaua Ave is the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen… that day. The crowd is roaring and your adrenaline is pumping. Your legs are mush, but you “make like” and start jogging like you’ve been doing it for the past 26 miles with ease.

But don’t get too ahead of yourself. There is still a 0.2 to go after the 26 mile marker. And lemme tell you, that 0.2 is not easy in your dilapidated condition.

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But then you see it. The goal you’ve been begging for since mile 1. What a sight to behold. I think I’m in love…

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Again, pay no attention to the time. Damn, that girl was slow…

My results for the day?
Finish: 7:19:31
Clock: 7:19:35
10K: 1:11:23
Half: 3:05:04
Hawaii Kai: 4:05:39
Diamond Head: 6:52:45
Place Overall: 20372
Place Men: 11292
Place Men 30 – 34: 1492

Just 20,371 places behind the winner… Don’t hate.

The results of the runners you are actually interested in?

Male Leaderboard:
Ambesse Tolossa 02:13:42
Jimmy Muindi 02:14:39
Eric Wainana 02:16:08
Araya Haregot 02:16:59
Eric Nzoiki 02:17:10

Female Leaderboard:
Lyubov Denisova 02:27:19
Alevtina Biktimirova 02:29:42
Eri Hayakawa 02:32:31
Olesya Nurgalieva 02:36:02
Albina Ivanova 02:39:44

So you see, running a marathon ain’t no thang but a chicken wang. With a clean bill of health and decent physical conditioning, combined with proper training, even YOU can prevent forest fires, er finish a marathon. And before long, your friends and family members will be calling you “impressive” and “crazy”…

“High Five!”

For all of my pics from the day, go to my gallery.

Mahalos to Chris and his boys for editing this video from the day’s events!
Too funny!

Last Minute Christmas Shopping? Duck Soup!

December 1, 2006

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Content for this article is very dated. Many links will not work.]

If you’re anything like me, your brain has not yet started to fathom the fact that Christmas is right around the corner. Still hazy from the turkey leftovers that seem to return in every form and fashion, you convince yourself that there’s still planny time to do your shopping.

The reality is that there isn’t. C-Day: Monday, December 25, 2006 is like, right around the corner! Holy Kris Kringle, Batman!

Lucky for you, The Ed is here to save you and your valued relationships yet again. Come with me as we explore a few, last minute Christmas shopping options for us berry belated individuals.

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Shop.AroundHawaii.com

Shop.AroundHawaii.com
If you click the Marketplace button on this site, you’ll reach AroundHawaii.com’s Marketplace, an online shopping site for chic Hawaii products. No tiki torches or geeky aloha print shirts here… Just hip apparel and entertainment goods dope enough to give as gifts to locals and locals-at-heart.

Powered by our friends at e808, the selection of truly “local” products is mind-boggling. You can purchase apparel from Kai Clothing, Maiden Hawaii and even exclusive stuff from the Duke Kahanamoku collection, among others.

Kai Clothing Special!
During the month of December, BUY 3 KAI CLOTHING TEES, GET THE 4TH FREE!
(Purchase 4 Kai Clothing tees, and within five business days, 1 tee will be refunded back to your credit card. You will receive an emailed credit receipt within five business days.):: BUY 3 GET THE 4TH FREE! ::

 
And what about local kine books like “The 50 Greatest Hawai`i Music Albums of All-Time,” “Israel Kamakawiwo’ole ‘IZ: The Songbook Collection’ Sheet Music,” “Eddie Would Go,” “Pidgin To Da Max,” or cookbooks from our great island chefs: Sam Choy, Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, Dave “DK” Kodama and Elmer Guzman.

Not enough? How about the cheapest local CDs around for $11.98!? You can find CDs from your island favorites like the Makaha Sons, Israel Kamakawiwoole, Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Kealii Reichel, Kalapana, Natural Vibrations, Hapa, Keahiwai and more

How about DVDs from Rell Sunn, Israel Kamakawiwoole, Jake Shimabukuro, Augie T, Bu La’ia, Rap Reiplinger, Mel Cabang, Andy Bumatai and Da Braddahs or miscellaneous goodies like Coffees from Hawaii, Island Home and Kitchen products, Stickers & Things and Calendars from Kim Taylor Reece? Yep, these are all available from the comfort of your own home, but be sure to order early! With the Christmas rush, e808.com recommends ordering before the following dates in order to get your products delivered by Christmas:

Order by:

  • 12/15 via Priority Mail or
  • 12/18 via Express Mail

 

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Oceanic Mall

Oceanic Mall
Don’t have a computer? Why not give the Oceanic Mall on Digital Channel 001 a whirl? Powered by Fulfillment Werks, the Oceanic Mall empowers you to browse products from popular merchants around the island through the magic of your digital cable enabled television.

Merchants like McCully Bicycle, Paradise Florists, SWAM (Shiroma’s Wine and More), Island Mall, Wholesale Unlimited and RainBowTique offer a bevy of products that you can browse through and ultimately order through a posted telephone number. Phase 2, with real time credit card transaction through your TV is currently scheduled for 2007. To get to the Oceanic Mall,

  1. Tune to Oceanic Digital Channel 001
  2. Select Marketplace
  3. Select Mall

Don’t have Digital Cable? Call (808) 643-2337 to order today.

Jan Nadamoto of Fulfillment Werks also suggests placing your order at least 2 weeks prior to Christmas in order to receive your products in time for the holidays.

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Oceanic.com Marketplace

Oceanic.com Marketplace
Similar to the Oceanic Mall on Channel 001, the Oceanic.com Marketplace allows you to browse from the UH RainBowTique and Wholesale Unlimited product lines – using your Internet connected computer – and place orders using a posted telephone number. Secure, online ordering is scheduled to become available shortly after the Oceanic Mall version.

The Oceanic Food Court

The Oceanic Food Court (also in the Oceanic.com Marketplace), however, is fully interactive as we speak. Just punch in a few details about your Oceanic Account or come here after logging into MyAccount and BAM! you’re added to the mix… with essence! Choose items from Cybee Restaurant’s or Flamingo Pearl City’s or Pizza Hut’s menu and have them delivered after placing your order online. But Ed, what does having food delivered to me have to do with my last minute Christmas shopping? Ah, details. Let’s just call it a Christmas present to yourself and move on shall we… ? 😉

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Actually, that’s pretty much all I’ve got to report to you for this month regarding last minute Christmas shopping through Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s array of products and services. Well, you can always, as they say, give the gift of cable… which ranges from Digital Cable Service, Road Runner, Digital Phone, DVR, etc. Oceanic’s offers for the month of December are as follows FYI (find the complete details on these at whatsnew.oceanic.com):

  • Order Road Runner or Digital Phone and get HBO and HBO On Demand for $7 more per month for the first 6 months.
  • Order Road Runner and get the First Month Free
  • Order Digital Phone and receive Free Installation and Your First Month Free
  • Order DVR Self-Install and get the First Month Free
  • Get DVR for $4.95 per month for 6 months.

Call 643-2337 to order any of the above for yourself or as gifts.

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One last hint for you extremely late gift givers… Once you pass the cut-off dates mentioned above and start sweating in your shorts about what to do, why not give the electronic superstores a looksee. Many of them, like BestBuy and Circuit City, have In-Store pick-up options so you can browse for and place your order online, and then physically pick it up without having to go through the whole rigmarole of looking for the product at the store and standing in line to purchase it.

Good luck with your shopping folks… Which reminds me… I have to get crack-a-lackin’ on mine! Yikes! Have a happy holiday season with your friends and family gang. I’ll see you here again next year!