Daughters, running, Sports

Sandy & I do the GAR

One unique run of which Hawaii can boast is the Great Aloha Run — 8.15 miles from the landmark Aloha Tower downtown to the floor of Aloha Stadium to the west.  The 32nd running attracted over 20,000 registered runners.  That doesn’t count the 5,000 or so military personnel who run in formation.

I have done most of the GARs to date.  But this year, for the first time, I ran with our daughter Sandy.  She was visiting from Tucson, Ariz., with her husband Dave.  Sandy shares my love of running.  As a teenager she ran two Honolulu Marathons with me.  And she is good!  Read on.

Before the race started, Sandy said, darn, she needed to find a restroom.  She said, “You go ahead, I’ll catch up.”  I’m embarrassed to say, I did just that.  I wanted to get as close to the start as I could to avoid the walkers!  That used to be a help in one’s race time but because of the chip (now in our bib) timing is from starting mat to finish mat.

I’ve gotten age group awards in the Great Aloha Run, including 1st in age group (in men 80-85) in 2015.  And I’m competitive — even with my daughter!

Sandy finishesIndeed I finished well ahead of Sandy.  I waited patiently near the finish line, even though finishers are urged to keep moving.  Finally I spotted her, she spotted me, and I used the camera in my brand new iPhone SE to capture that moment.  She looked proud and happy and I felt proud and happy.  Then, we proceeded to pick up our finishers shirts and collect some goodies.
Again, MarathonPhoto captured us together, in this happy moment.

Checking results online, I found that — in spite of my long wait — Sandy had beaten me!  Her time: 1:45:48.  My time:  1:47.11  TRULY, I am pleased that she won the family championship.

Nostalgia, Punahou, Sports

Al Harrington, my JV football teammate — 66 years later

Al Harrington and Moi

The site:  Kincaid’s restaurant, near the waterfront, midway between downtown Honolulu and famed Waikiki Beach and its concentration of resort hotels.

Margie and I were hosting, for dinner, Jonathan Lyau, his wife Kelli, and their two delightful kids, Sierra and Spencer.  Jonathan has been my running coach since 1997 — first in Team in Training, a fundraising program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Since then, he has provided me personalized training schedules. This dinner was a token way to say thank you.

As the six of us were leaving the restaurant, Jonathan said he had spotted Al Harrington, at the table next to ours.  Al had achieved national fame as a television actor on Hawaii Five-O.  But I remembered Al vividly as a future football star. We were teammates on the junior varsity team at Punahou School.  Still, I  hadn’t recognized him.  So Margie and I went back in and I introduced myself.  He was good enough to say he had been trying, while we were dining,  to recall who I was.  Once I mentioned our playing together on the Punahou JV team, he stood up and greeted me warmly.  That long-ago connection brought us both joy.

His personal history:  A native of Pago Pago, Al lived there for three years before moving to Honolulu to join his mom, who was working as a nurse.

Back to the Punahou School JV football team:  Al was just a freshman, not eligible to play on the varsity, and I was a junior, not good enough to make the varsity but loving to play.

Even then (1950), it was clear that Al Ta’a, as he was then known, was destined for sports stardom.  In fact, he was the first high-school football All-American to come out of Hawaii.  He went on to play, impressively, for Stanford University.

At this restaurant meeting, I went back in time 66 years. The vivid memory was still there.  Waiting to be remembered — and waiting to be shared.