Entries Tagged as 'Sports'

Get to Blaisdell before 5 PM today!

There’s still time to sign up for the Great Aloha Run!

Geoffrey Sewell, MD, President & Executive Medical Director and a Kaiser Vice President whose name I have forgotten.

Get down to the Sports, Health, & Fitness Expo!  It’s a lot of fun and a great community event!

The lead sponsor once again this year is Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.  If you’re a Kaiser patient, make your medical provider proud and come share in the fun and the ongoing efforts to support our community.

Carol Kai was there and she continues to make this a huge part of her life.  There are many corporate sponsors of this event and there are a lot of people who can’t wait to take part in the annual event that the combined effort of all these corporate sponsors has helped to make possible!

Zumba fans can’t wait ’til the doors open to get started on sharing their fitness!

Trying to contain the community’s excitement as GAR approaches is difficult.  The Expo couldn’t even get started without a Zumba crew entertaining onlookers before the doors even opened on Friday afternoon.

Walk, run, skip, just get down there and join in the fun!   According to Carol Kai, there were over 26,000 people signed up for the run before the Expo started.  Be sure to watch the news on Monday evening to hear the total participant count!


After the run, which was wonderful, as always, but way too hot!!! One of the commenters asked if I had any more pics of the Zumba activities going on at the Expo so I am posting what I do have, just for fun.  It was all over way too fast.Zumba goes on  until the blessing and the opening of the doors.Then it moved from outside to inside!

Zumba in full swing at the Expo!

Unfortunately, that’s all I have in the way of Zumba pics. Sorry, Shannon, I thought I had more than this.  Now we have to wait another whole year!  Shucks!

The Sport of Auto Racing is Pretty in Pink!

I’m just beside myself with giddiness!  After all the sympathetic whining I have done for our racing community and all of the underlying anger when nobody cared enough to even try to assist with the restoration of a racing facility, the racing enthusiasts have finally managed to get this moving!

Ti leaf plant at the entrance to Kalaeloa Raceway ParkWhen I heard that Kalaeloa Raceway Park was having its debut event about three weeks ago, I did everything in my power to get out there!   I had no idea where I was going so I took my directions and street names with me.

There was little signage but I found them.  It was easy to know you were in the right place and that something was going on because you were greeted at the gate by a single, good-luck ti leaf plant.  How appropriate!

I was still a little lost when I got there because I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at.  It took me a while to realize that they were still pulling it all together while working on a budget with a lot of volunteer help.  I couldn’t help but keep thinking of this as a true grass roots endeavor!  This has taken a tremendous amount of focus and perseverance.

Getting the track ready for the first public event for Kaleloa Raceway Park!

I walked around the large, cleared lot where there was little or no paved road. They had flattened and smoothed it down but asphalt was still to be laid. The excitement I felt when I saw all of this is hard to describe.

Working to get the track ready for the day’s events.

It’s even harder to describe because I don’t race or even know anyone who does. The only thing I can come up with is that Hawaii Raceway Park was a part of my past.  If I remember correctly, I think I only went there once.  But, it was our friends who were there all the time. It’s a part of my history as I was growing up. Where was everyone on Saturday night? “At Hawaii Raceway Park!”  That was just how things were on the Leeward side.

Newly assembled bleachers for the spectators.

I didn’t have time to stay to see the start of the event that day but I just had to see it for myself! They’ve done it! I read that there were about 4,000 people there that weekend. Amazing!

Banner for Kalaeloa Raceway Park

As I was leaving, I saw that someone had found their banner so I stopped to get a picture of this history-in-the-making.  Kudos and tons a credit to this tenacious group of motor-sport-loving people!

There is a link to their Facebook page further down, which will work if you’re on Facebook.  If you’re not on Facebook, just take my word for it!  They are moving and they have a following!

Now, this weekend, they had another plan…

“Build The Track! It’s go-time for the 1st Ever Hula-X & Powderpuff Demo Derby! We’re gonna be racing and smashing all day long at Kalaeloa Raceway Park! We hope you can join us for a great time for a great cause. We’ll be donating all PPDD entries to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

Um, they weren’t kidding!  And they painted all these cars pink for the occasion!

Demolition cars all painted pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Photo by Build The Track!

I swiped this picture from their Facebook page but I know they’ll forgive me!

An organization so much in need itself extends a helping hand to others.  What can I say? This kind of community outreach is something we can always use more of! I don’t know, I think I wanna keep these guys around for a while!  Did I mention that they’re amazing?

The Great Aloha Run! February 15, 2010!

Great Aloha Run 2010The anticipation is greater than Heinz ketchup!  This is yet another event that I wait for every year.  Perhaps the greatest community event in Honolulu!  Okay, so I’m biased.

Yes, I know the Honolulu Marathon really is “all that,” in many ways, but the Great Aloha Run seems to be more about community involvement and sharing the aloha that we all hold so dear.

Come to think of it, there seems to be a lot more visitors for the Honolulu Marathon than there are for the Great Aloha Run.  Does the Great Aloha Run have visitors from elsewhere?  Oh yeah!  Last year we had participants join us from various places around the continental U.S. and even some from Canada.

Every year there are 20,000+ participants in this event and they are walking, running, and just plain having a good time with their families and friends.

POG (Passion Orange Guava)Meadow Gold’s Lani Moo

Even the events that kick off the event are full of fun.  Meadow Gold saw to that this year.  On Fort Street in downtown Honolulu both Lani Moo and POG (Passion Orange Guava) were there to add a little to the festivities.

Kaiser tent for kick off of Great Aloha Run events.

There are a lot of sponsors but this year, the Title Sponsor is Kaiser Permanente.  I suppose that’s a bit more fitting than Hawaiian Telcom, being that the Great Aloha Run does give a heck of a strong push for health and fitness.

If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry, there’s still time!  You can get the registration form, fill it out and mail it in.  You can even wait for the Sports, Health & Fitness Expo (February 12, 13 & 14), the three days before the event, and register then!

NFL Goes on Vacation

Every year Honolulu anxiously sets up to welcome the NFL, its players, cheerleaders and mascots for the Pro Bowl.  We have been doing so for several years now.  It has become a tradition — one that the community looks forward to every year.

Royal Hawaiian Bank welcomes the NFL

Our local residents, businesses, and the tourist industry as well, are all touched by this event in some way — the impact is more far-reaching than you may think.  In addition, those lucky athletes and staff members who are selected to participate in the Pro Bowl get to enjoy a vacation to Hawaii in the process. Here is the 2009 Pro Bowl roster of lucky players.

In 2010 NFL Takes Vacation Away from Hawaii

NFL Cheerleaders in Honolulu in 2007

The cheerleaders and mascots will be dancing to a different drummer in 2010 — the Pro Bowl is scheduled to be played in Miami next year, a week before the Super Bowl, which will also be hosted in Miami, on the same field.

Yes, it’s confirmed, next year’s Pro Bowl will be played at Dolphin Stadium a week before the Super Bowl.  Make no mistake about it, Dolphin Stadium is a quality venue.  I’m not sure how receptive or comfortable Miami will be overall but I’m sure we will hear all about it.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot, Swoop

This is going to be the first time since 1979 that Hawaii has not hosted the Pro Bowl.  At a time when we needed this event, and others like it, this decision by the NFL did not come at a very good time for us.

Don’t worry, Swoop, the NFL has got to let you guys come back!  I’ve no personal attraction to the Philadelphia Eagles but you’ve got to love a bird with attitude!  Apparently SportsRant.com thinks so too!

I’m still going to be happy to see them this year with all of the cheerleaders and mascots.  Losing them, however, will be nagging at the back of my mind every minute and with the snap of every photo.  Good luck guys, have fun and, above all, hurry back!

Do We Have Cabin Fever?

Dove of Peace

Normally I would just ignore a story like this but I decided to read it.  I’m still angry about the so-called “hunter” who killed someone’s pet not too long ago.  This time is different.  An officer, charged with keeping the peace and protecting the environment for the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, overstepped his bounds. I need to side with the hunters and their families on this one. 

I used italics and quotes around the word hunters at the beginning of this post because the idiot who killed someone’s pet was anything but!  He was stupid, obnoxious, on private property, and a slew of other things I could say.  I grew up around people who hunted regularly and  something like that was unheard of! 

I never liked the sport because I tend to hate anything that involves the killing of animals.  But, we really need to look at the big picture.  The goal is to catch the animal, not to torture it.  The animal is not discarded, it is used to feed those who are lucky enough to benefit from such a catch.   I speak from experience when I tell you that wild boar blows away the fatty pork you buy in the grocery store! It makes the best laulau. 

Okay, all of that aside, we need to remember that the wild pigs on Oahu are not indigenous to our islands, they are destructive to our rain forests, and they probably have a huge hand in all those leptospirosis warning signs we see posted near many of our rivers.  In short, the hunters (the real ones) are doing us a favor.   

I will say that, yes, on one reported occassion, there were youngsters who broke the rules and were trespassing.  Those rules are there to protect our property and safety.  Agreed.  But, I’m sorry, you don’t pull a gun on a bunch of minors because they were being stupid.  What was he thinking?!?  I am also of like opinion with those sharing the details that a loose canon like that should not be carrying a gun, nevermind any other kind of weapon.   

Let’s see, I do believe that the Honolulu Police Department would classify that as assault and terroristic threatening.  Even HPD would not hire an abusive person like that.  In the real world, we all know that you don’t uphold the law by behaving like a criminal yourself! 

If the DLNR officer in question is that caustic and confrontational, he should join the Army and go to Afghanistan.  This is not a war zone, it’s a community — a crowded one where tempers do flare, but it is a community nonetheless.  

Sending out a special aloha to Ollie Lunasco, the current President of the Oahu Pig Hunters Association, and to the community on the North Shore that I don’t write nearly enough about.  I have to admire you guys for standing up for what’s right and for following up and not just letting it slide — that’s a Neighborhood Watch at its best!   

Great Outdoors and Rambunctious Drivers!

I miss the Jeeps I used to see all over the place.  They don’t seem as popular nowadays.  Maybe that’s because Oahu doesn’t have as many rocky, Jeep-appropriate places anymore.  Sigh.  I used to terrorize my poor little car right after getting out of high school.  I would take the poor thing over the roughest terrain! 

Yep, I was climbing mountains as far as my little car could go.  Jeeps weren’t popular with my parents either.  Shucks!  My poor little Datsun (that’s a Nissan for those who don’t remember the Datsun make of car)  is gone now, but the desire to do the rugged, outdoors thing still remains!  

Black Jeep-like Vehicle

When you think of outdoors you think of hiking, biking, running and waterfalls! Kauai! Kauai would be a fun place to have a Jeep! Wailua Bay Car Rentals has Kauai Jeep Rentals!   Now that’s what you call a sports utility vehicle!  Okay, a bumpy ride but still a fun one!  I would love to drive one again.  Especially since I can’t go four-wheeling with my Datsun anymore.

If I ever move up in the economic world, I suppose my choice of recreational vehicle will have to be a Jeep.  As much as I love the motorcycles, I’m a coward and, I’ll admit it, a not-so-safe driver.  Hey, at least I’m honest.  Besides, you still get the wind through your hair with a Jeep, just with fewer tangles!

Now, if the people over at Wailua Bay ever read this, they’ll be sure to require insurance if I ever try to rent a Jeep from them!   But then, if I’m on Kauai, I be a tourist!  A kama’aina, yes, but a tourist nonetheless!  They do have other Kauai Car Rentals so don’t worry about that.  Of course, they also have rentals on Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Molokai.  Hmmm… Oahu huh?  Do you think they should be worried?  🙂

Okay, now that I’ve scared them, I will share that they also have Kauai Vacation Rentals — right on the beach!   Now they won’t slam the door in my face when I try to rent my Jeep from them.  If you’re venturing to Kauai, call them at 1-800-591-8605! 

Car Show Heightens Awareness

Car shows are not normally my area of interest but this one was special and I had to be there to capture the scene a couple of weeks ago at Aloha Tower Marketplace. What was so special about it? The Oahu Motorsports Advisory Council put together this show to highlight the “Build the Track” campaign to provide a place for the different motor sports to enjoy their sport.

Car makes the best sign

Right at the edge of the mall’s main entrance sat this race car. That’s what it’s all about — Build the Track! Since I found out about this campaign I have heard several comments. One of those comments was that there is a lack of interest. Well, let’s look through these pictures and you tell me if there’s a “lack of interest!”

Attendees taking in all the sights and colors

There were trucks, cars and even a couple of motorcycles parked all over the place. I didn’t know where to turn first. With so much to see that it was hard to stay focused while trying to take in every corner of this automotive pageantry.

HulkTruck

There were trucks with added character, truck-like coverings with a patriotic flair, and organizations whose specialty is, well, trucks.

Hawaii 4X4 Association booth

I gave up trying to get perfect, clear pictures — there were just too many people walking around and too many balloons to get in front of the camera. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I should just take those shots so that I could show everyone how there’s such a “lack of interest” in this venue. Lack of interest my foot!

Patriotic colored racers

There was a truckload of representatives from several automotive firms and there were a few vendors sharing their ideas. In addition to those sponsors, there were others as well. This brings up another comment that was made to me recently about the track project. “They need big sponsors to make it happen.” The translation of that is that they need money. Oddly enough, there were no booths collecting donations. This was to raise awareness and to gain support of the community.

Bridgstone's big tire

It wasn’t just the automotive places or tire stores who took part in this event! At least one of our radio stations, HOT I-94 (93.9 if you want to be picky), was there. There may have been other stations but I was focused on the automobiles.

National Guard corner

There was at least one branch of the armed services in attendance. The National Guard even had their own vehicle there!

Sheriff's car

It’s quite obvious that this project was not completely without some governmental support! Even the sheriff’s office was there with their vehicle all pretty and shiny for the occasion.

Officials from the Sheriff's office

Relax, they weren’t there to serve anyone with papers. They were there, I think, to show support while probably hoping “The Track” would come to fruition. They would have less drama with the freeway racing that we have seen so much of recently.

This brings up another statement that was made to me a couple of months ago. The statement went something like, “Those are not experienced racers doing that!” I know that. We all know that. What we have is young people wanting to race and having no place to do so.

When I was hanging with friends in the late 70’s and early 80’s, people went to Hawaii Raceway Park every weekend! Teens had something to do, something that captivated them and kept them out of trouble. They closed Hawaii Raceway Park. It’s gone. There is no place for them to go.

Youth of all ages love racing, they love anything with a motor that they can ride. That adoration doesn’t die with age.

Keiki Motor Track

There is no age limitation for the fascination with auto racing. The organizers of this show knew it too!

Young game observers

There’s just something about it that draws out the excited smiles of our keiki!

Keiki Cars

This really was a family event and everyone seemed to be having a great time. The real focus though was on the automobiles.

Admirers walking around the displays

People were making their way in and out and around the vehicles on display.

More Cars

There were many exhibitors enjoying the opportunity to share their hobby with others.

Sharing information with inquirers

The vehicle above was my favorite drenching of colors but the intensity of conversation was even more interesting to observe. The passion, like a lot of things we involve ourselves in, is very intense for this activity!

More shaing of information

I was hard-pressed, a few times, to figure out who was enjoying things more — the visitors or the exhibitors!

Classic Car

There was a lot of information to absorb and a lot of vintage vehicles to see and examine — inside and out.

I will continue making my point as we move down but I just couldn’t let any of these pictures be left without sharing them.

This way, everyone can get a better feel for just how important this event was to the organizers, and just how important this sporting venue is to so many.

Cobra under the hood

We’ve got cobras under the hood and engines that are as clean and shiny as the car’s exteriors!

Mustang

Purple Vintage machine

Beautiful colors and classic models glistened around every corner.

Vintage Cars

More Vintage Cars

Old-time memories of vintage cars

Racer just like the video game

These racers have the traditional look of those race cars in the video games! Wow, they really do look like that! 🙂

More racers like the video games

Why do I care? I don’t race, I don’t like loud noises, I don’t like smoke, screeching wheels, or the smell of burning rubber. So, what’s it to me? I grew up on the West side of Oahu and every weekend there was almost always someone who was not home because they were reportedly at Hawaii Raceway Park. It was a life’s passion for many and a fun hobby for others. It was a place for youth to go and to burn off their energy instead of getting into trouble.

As I mentioned, they closed Hawaii Raceway Park. It has never been replaced. Nobody shared a place for the racers to go. They’re working on it!

Place to sign the Track Petition

There were no booths collecting donations but there was this booth to sign their petition with room for comments. Yes, I signed it and yes, I left a comment!

THE Message -- We Just Wanna Race

This says it all in a nutshell. “We Just Wanna Race!” The best argument that I have heard was that every other sport or hobby has it’s place to go. Basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, golf, bowling, running, swimming, shooting, and just about anything else you can think of, has it’s own place to happen — it’s own field, it’s own course, etc. Everything, that is, except for racing. Good point!

Priceless Awe

This was the best photo! Isn’t he cute? He was so amazed at the sight of all those trucks! Oblivious to all else, I think he was just amazed that his toy trucks had become reality. 🙂 Right along the sidewalk too!

Motorcycles race too!

Okay, we couldn’t let the bikes go unnoticed. There were a couple of them there. 🙂 They too need a place to race. We all know the dangers of motorcycle racing. It would be better for all if they had a place designed just for that purpose.

My heart goes out to the racing community and I can comfortably say they have my full support. I would rather put my support behind TheTrack than that stupid rail! If you feel they’re right, watch them, follow their progress and support their efforts. Our community needs a track to replace what we lost. Let’s support them while they Build the Track!

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One Thing the NFL Did NOT Forget to Mention

While Honolulu welcomes the Pro Bowl back to Hawaii, the NFL is looking into other locations and bigger monetary gains.

Giant NFL Football

You know, while I was watching things unfold around here last week, I couldn’t help but focus my mind on how the media kept talking more and more about the Pro Bowl leaving Hawaii for another location.

Pro Bowl MascotsPro Bowl Mascots

The fascination and attraction is still very strong here. People here love to interact with these stars that they otherwise would never see, except on television. We’re isolated and can’t just travel across state lines to attend the next game. This is the only pro football game that Hawaii gets to experience live.

Pro Bowl CheerleadersPro Bowl Cheerleaders

What Will the NFL Lose?

Is it an idle threat or are they really going to pull this venue out from under us? I heard a comment on one of the news channels that people loved it because it gave them the chance to visit Hawaii and enjoy the game.

For both the participants and the fans, I can’t help but think that pulling out of Hawaii may change the face of this happy and fun event to one of mere obligation for all involved and a little bit of extra spending money.  That’s if you can get them to go at all.

There was also talk about having the Pro Bowl on the weekend before the Superbowl. My knee-jerk reaction to that idea was an instantaneous one: “Are you nuts?!?”

Can you imagine the pandemonium in a city expected to host these two large media events back to back? The stress of back-to-back events like that would be huge! Where would people stay? Would there be enough hotel room space to support such a venture? Of course, on the flip side of that, would there be enough people who even show up to fill those rooms?

Another comment flying around was that players in the Superbowl are not going to play in the Pro Bowl for fear of injury. Good point.

What Will We Lose?

Football MascotsLet’s think about this. While we do pay out a handsome amount of cash to host this event, we receive a lot in return. NFL Charities does a lot of charitable giving in conjunction with the Pro Bowl. They give handsomely every year to youth-related programs and/or projects — to the tune of roughly $100,000.

This year, NFL Charities gave $1 million to assist with the construction of a new youth center in Nanakuli.  Whoa!  Thank you for the generous gift!  That is a much needed and much appreciated donation!  Or, was that guilt money?

Somehow, the Pro Bowl seems to be losing its charitable nature. Some other comment flying around stated that the NFL is looking to capitalize more than they do, i.e. “the bottom line is the bottom line.” I understand that, but I have an ugly feeling that the NFL may actually end up losing revenue. How do you entice players and their families to give up a large chunk of their time to go to one of the other states in the middle of winter?  Why would they want to make that trip to a place they may visit often already anyway?

ProBowl MascotsThey’ve been talking about Florida a lot. Florida is a great place but if you think Honolulu’s humidity is bad, wait until you try Florida’s!

Of course I have no idea what it’s like to endure a Florida winter. It may be that the heat and humidity are more tolerable in the winter time. Of course there’s always Disney World.

I don’t think you’ll find too many big red Cardinals dancing the hula in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter. Even the mascots were enjoying themselves.

If this was an idle threat on the NFL’s part, I think everyone heard it loud and clear! Not only was the Pro Bowl one of the hot topics all week long, it was a focus of several businesses and it attracted more media attention than usual. At least it felt that way.

PBTent

Even to get most of these pictures I had to creep behind the sound people and buck the media cameras to get closer. I’m sure I ticked some people off but so be it.

The way it stands now, I have one more year to try to get better pictures but that may be the end of it. The Pro Bowl is scheduled to be held in Hawaii in 2009 but it is unclear where it will go after that.

Pro Bowl Cheerleaders

Just before posting this I saw that a site posted some commentary written by someone who attended the game! “Alright,” I thought, “now I can get some real scoops!” Well, since everything I had heard from locals and on the news was positive and people were having fun, and since everyone seemed happy, either to be here or to have the NFL stars here, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this guy should have stayed home and rested.

I fully understand his feelings and I respect them. But, if that is how people are going to respond to the Pro Bowl in other places on the mainland, I would be even more concerned about this idea of changing the venue for this event! Maybe he was bored with us and our refusal to turn Kalakaua Avenue into a college frat party. I just think that we recognize these visitors as professionals who have come to share their time and talent with us, and we treat them as such.

My feeling is that people should urge the NFL to keep the Pro Bowl here — to give us, and to give themselves, their staff and the players something to cheer about! We love you guys and we like it when you come down the hang out with us for a while! You guys worked hard all season and we want you to have just a little down time to recover!  “Before you roll those dice, Baby think twice!”

The Sony Open Continues

Checking back in with the Sony Open, Parker McLachlin moved up the leader board today! His score is currently Par -6. You know what’s scary? I actually understand what I just said. 🙂

Waialae Country Club

Parker “made the cut” but Tadd Fujikawa did not. I don’t exactly understand what Parker made the cut for, but he’s doing nicely and that’s what counts!

PGA Tour Sony Open in Honolulu

I love that my camera is a Sony taking pictures a the Sony Open. So many people are enjoying this event and I am glad that the weather has really been cooperative! I still think that this game would be much more interesting if we were actually participants. I also have a very bad feeling that this is a very expensive hobby or sport! The Sony Open wraps up on Sunday.

Honolulu Welcomes the Sony Open!

Sony Open LogoA few years back, Tiger Woods put golf back on the radar for the non-golfing world. Hawaii has a lot of golfers. We have a lot of beautiful golf courses! It’s now the time of year when the Waialae Country Club on O’ahu welcomes the PGA Tour and the Sony Open! Mahalo to the Sony Corporation of America for the pretty logo!

The purse for this event is a whopping $5.3 million and the winner will take home $936,000! Wow! We do have a player to watch, or at least I think we do. Tadd Fujikawa will be playing and, although he doesn’t live here now, Parker McLachlin is actually from here and graduated in 1997 from Punahou High School.

Parker McLachlin played in 28 events in 2007 and took home purses totaling $627,582. We’re in the wrong profession guys! I think we should start learning how to golf! For all of you young ladies salivating over Parker’s income potential and/or his blue eyes, Parker is very married! You can learn all you want to know about him at his official website.

For those people, like me, who don’t know golf very well, it helps to understand some of the terminology. Some good words to look up might include words like par, bogey, birdie and eagle. It will make it much easier to enjoy the game if you understand what on earth they’re talking about! Wikipedia has a very nice glossary of golf terms!

Players have been here for a few days and they’ve been puttering around out there but the official tournament will run from January 10th thru January 13th, that’s Thursday thru Sunday. I may not watch a lot of it but you can bet I’ll be checking the scoreboard to see how Tadd and Parker are doing, and to try to learn a thing or two about this stuff. 🙂