Kona Marathon past Rock Stars

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Every year, the Kona Marathon brings a wealth of fresh faces to the starting line, but its aloha spirit, welcoming staff and gorgeous locale also bring back past runners and winners. And with the 20th Anniversary just around the corner, we reached out to some past winners to celebrate this year.

Karl Honma

Karl’s first two marathon wins were at Kona, one of which was the Kona Marathon’s inaugural race in 1994. “Four young men that I coached supported me along the course and it was special to have the runner/coach roles reversed.”

Karl even celebrates birthdays at the Kona Marathon, where he rang in his fortieth birthday the last time he ran the race. On his 2013 return he comments, “This time, it will be my first race as a 50-year-old … it’s a birthday present to myself!”

Karl’s return to the Kona Marathon is testament to his passion for running and he’s proud of his continued involvement in the sport. “When I encounter former athletes and students, they always ask if I still run. My wife and 3-year-old daughter cheer for me at races and that’s so wonderful. I owe them. Others may run faster than me, but they won’t run harder.”

Connie Comiso-Fanelli

When thinking on her Kona Marathon win, Connie remembers the challenges, but also the good times.

The event is full of good friends and better memories, and returning for the 20th Anniversary is an exciting prospect for Connie. “The course has changed over 20 years, the some of the staff has come and gone, but it still has that ‘family feeling’ to it, and Sharron is keeping that tradition going strong.”

Running since 1978, Connie turned to the sport to improve her health. Now, after 35 years of running, it’s still a major part of her life. “I’m just grateful that I can still run after 35 years of competing, though not nearly as fast, still feeling the exhilaration and thrill of the sport. And I’m looking forward to seeing my friends in Kona again and sharing a cold Kona Brewing beer at the finish line!”

Justin Gillette

Running runs in Justin’s family. His brother is also a runner and Justin’s wife, Melissa, won the Kona Marathon alongside her husband in 2010. Justin has been running marathons since 1999 and currently ranks fifth in the world with 63 career wins. “This all started because I enjoyed my first run and wanted to do a second run. The second run became a third, which eventually led to a race, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Justin won his first Kona Marathon in 2008 and has since won the marathon every year. “When I first did the Kona Marathon in 2008 it represented my fourteenth marathon win. The race was still growing and evolving as an event, and likewise, I was still growing into a runner.”

Justin is excited to return for Kona’s 20th Anniversary. “The twentieth edition will be a neat experience where the past history of the race is honored along with the future optimism that is buzzing for the event.”

Jeannie Wokasch-Parente

Jeannie, an eight-time Kona Marathon winner, is a huge fan of the Marathon. She has participated in nearly every Kona Marathon since its inception in 1994 and loves coming back. Every year she chooses a charity to run for, helping that group spread awareness and raise money. The 2013 event will be dedicated to Talk About Curing Autism. When we talked with Jeannie she said “I love the Kona Marathon; they are like a family to me. I’d cry if I wasn’t able to run it every year!”

These are just a few of the talented, passionate runners associated with the Kona Marathon. Their positive attitudes, inspiring stories and dedication to the sport are just a few of the touchstones that make the Kona Marathon what it is today.

Active Valentines Ideas

ImageValentine’s Day is two days away and is usually a card-and-candy holiday—throw in a candlelit dinner out on the town and you’re bound to overindulge in calories. While a romantic night is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are other ways to be romantic with your significant other. And, if you’re solo, don’t pout on the couch alone with a spoon and a container of ice cream. Grab a buddy and check out new activities together. Here are eight activities you can do with a your special someone or a partner.

1.) Sign up for a Valentine’s Day (or weekend) run.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking to PR or a recreational runner looking for some fun; attached or unattached, get your heart pumping and celebrate Valentine’s Day at a race. Usually themed runs are fun, laid back and offer tins of entertainment and food. Why not make the Valentine’s Day and weekend healthy and fun.

2.) Take a joint Fitness or Yoga class

Break a sweat as you boost cardio and lift weights or stretch out those muscles. You and your partner can motivate each other. If you are single, sign up for a singles fitness class. Meet your new mate doing something you both like to do.

3.) Go rock climbing!

Indoors or outdoors, rock climbing builds trust and confidence between you and your partner. Plus, rock climbing is a great way to build muscle. Challenge yourself; try something new and adventurous.

4) Enjoy a couple’s massage.

After a day of activities, why not relax and pamper yourself with a nice massage? Not only is a massage a nice treat, but it’s also therapeutic and allows your body to release toxins and function better. Studies show that during a massage, large amounts of endorphins are released into the bloodstream. Pain and stress is reduced, while pleasant memories, sexual activity, and happy emotions are increased.

5) Make Valentines Day stretch into the weekend and take a camping trip.

Get out of town and head for the woods. There’s nothing more romantic than sleeping under the stars with your partner. Or, grab your friends for a fun and adventurous trip. Explore all the hiking trails during the day, and at night cook, some delicious campfire foods while stargazing.

6) Take a cooking class together

Spice up your kitchen skills and impress others with new recipes that you learn from a cooking class. It’s a great way to interact with your partner, or meet new people who are interested in cooking. You can learn new cooking techniques, tasty recipes, how to pair wines, and more.

7) Dance!

Whether you want to improve your wiggle dance or learn how to tango, dancing will get your heart rate up. Not only can you improve your coordination skills, but there’s also something sensational about dancing with your partner. You don’t have to be a pro to learn how to dance, be open-minded, have fun and watch your significant other move. Or, grab your friends for a fun evening of music and dancing.

8) Lace up your skates!

Hold hands as you skate around a roller rink or ice rink and pretend you’re a kid again. Spin and jump as you show off your amazing skating skills. Even if you’re not an Olympic skater, trying a few tricks is always fun. You might end up with a few bumps or bruises, but just think about how much laughter will occur because you just let go and have fun.

Go ahead, be adventurous and try something new this Valentine’s Day. Just think: if you do an activity or two throughout the day, you won’t feel too guilty when you have a piece of chocolate later. Regardless of your relationship status, enjoy the day with someone you care about and create fun memories with your loved ones.

Post-Workout Recovery Ritual

To get the most out of your workouts, you have to maximize your recovery. These three simple rituals will help you improve your performance.

Food

What you eat after a workout can be the most important meal of your day. Keeping it simple by aiming for only two goals:

Amino Acids

Exercise depletes critical amino acids such as isoleucine, leucine, valine and glutamine. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein used to build and repair muscles and bones, as well as generate hormones and transmitters. Make sure you consume some protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (Carbs) are the body’s source for energy. Carbs convert to glycogen, which your body uses for fuel. Replenishing carbs is important after any workout.

Below are three great foods to try:

  •          Salmon: for Omega-3s, B vitamins and vitamin A
  •          Spinach: high in iron and calcium
  •          Sweet potato: for carbohydrates and vitamin C

Stretch

Depending on the intensity of your workout, the amount of muscle strands needed to handle the workload will increase. The more intense your workout, the more muscle strands need to react.

Intense exercise can entangle these fibers, so as you stretch you are creating tension that can align disorganized tissue. This helps prevent soreness, injury and can increase recovery time.

Sleep

Get to bed. Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but for the athlete, it’s vital for muscle recovery. About an hour after the onset of sleep, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is at its highest.

HGH is responsible for many things, but its main role is to aid in the recovery of muscles and stimulate the nervous system. The best athletes know how to work hard, but rest well. Make sure you give your body what it needs to perform for you.

Check out www.konamarathon.com for how you can prepare
for the Kona Marathon in June!

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Please note that if you register for any Kona Marathon event between January 4th and February 15th, you have a chance to win one of two round trip coach seats on award winning Alaska Airlines to any destination they serve. Full contest details can be found at konamarathon.com. Why not register today?