Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fleet Feet Bend Invades Hawaii!

In mid-March, a group of Fleet Feeters headed to tropical Hawaii for some sun, warmth, pig, fruity drinks, whale watching, snorkeling with turtles, beach time, and, of course, running and racing.

To get things started, on March 14, Sean ran to the sun on Maui. Actually, he ran Run to the Sun, a race starting at sea level and finishing 10,000 feet and 36 miles later on top of Mt. Haleakala. This year, however, brutal conditions (70 mph winds on-course, 120 mph winds at the summit) forced race organizers to stop the race 2 miles and 700 feet short. With crewing and cheerleading from Gina and Dave, Sean was able to barely hold on for the win. And his purple body at the finish proved to the race organizers that they had made the right call to shorten it.

Sean, en route to the Sun.

Up next was the St. Paddy's Day Run 'til You're Green 5k, also on Maui. Dave, Gina, and Sean all showed up in their green for this warm rain-drenched race. Gina ran to a p.r. of 25:26, good for 7th girl and 1st in her age group. Dave rocked to a p.r., too, in 20:48, good for 4th in the old man's age group. Sean finished in 17:12 for 3rd overall.

Dave and Gina, pre-St. Paddy's Day run.

Sean and Dave, hanging out in front of the bag piper dude.

While Dave flew back to the cold of central Oregon, Gina and Sean continued their vacation on the Big Island. On March 20, they found themselves at the starting line of the uber-low-key Friendship 5k. Gina ran strong and steady through the humidity, and despite a small detour near the finish, she won in 25:30. Sean took off fast and strong, determined to run sub-17. When he got to where he thought the turn around was, there was no cone or person there, nor any runner anywhere in site behind him. So he went a little further. Still no turn around or runners. Oops. So he re-traced back to where he started seeing runners again, got back on course, and rallied for 2nd place in 18:57 on his 3.5 mile 5k. (Sorry, no pictures from this one.)

Fleet Feet's Hawaiian grand finale was the Big Island International Marathon in Hilo on March 22. Through the early start, humidity, tough first 10 miles, rain, wind, and sun, Gina was able to p.r. in a smokin' 4:15:32, good for 2nd in her age group (which was worth a gift certificate for some tasty Hawaiian candy). Sean planned on starting easy and finishing strong...however, the opposite proved true. Still, he was happy to finish his Hawaiian running vacation with a 2:56:52, good for 3rd overall (he won a gift certificate for some tasty candy, too).

Gina finishes her p.r. marathon.

Sean, wishing the finish line was 4 miles closer.


LauraK said...

Gina, you rock!!! Sean and Dave, you rock too, but not like Gina did this time! ;-) When's the next Fleet Feet-er trip?

Rod Bien said...

Yeah, I didn't know Gina did so well! I guess Sean likes just to talk of himself... just kidding! Great job to Gina for a couple o' PR's! Awesome!