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Runnin’ with Rani: Off-island race buzz

  • Rick Winters/West Hawaii Today
    Bree Wee was the Big Island's top finisher at the Boston Marathon in April.

Editor’s note: Rani Henderson writes a weekly column for West Hawaii Today

April turned out to be a busy month as Big Islanders traveled off-island to represent Hawaii at their respective races in long distance running, triathlon and cycling.

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Anyone who has traveled to a race know that it can often be a daunting task in terms of sacrificing time spent away from work, school, and family; money to cover the cost of travel and miscellaneous expenses; and being able to perform at one’s best on a course that may be unfamiliar and with subpar weather conditions.

However, these athletes should all be commended as they delivered on some amazing performances and results.

2018 Tantalus Individual Cycling Time Trial, Oahu

4.5 miles, 1,400 feet in elevation gained, April 1

The Tantalus Time Trial is the oldest running bicycle race in the state, held every year since 1979. It is also the first race in the inaugural King & Queen of the Mountain Championship series that will also include Kauai’s Pedal to the Meadow, Maui’s Cycle to the Sun and Big Island’s Sea to Stars cycling hill-climb races.

Carl Nethercutt claimed top honors by winning the men’s division in a time of 19:43.80, while Honolulu’s Kristen Osborn was the fastest female on two wheels with a time of 23:43.88. Nearly 100 riders participated in the time trial.

• Tawnie McDonald, 54, Kailua-Kona (3rd female overall, 25:16.04)

• Jennifer Real, 39, Laupahoehoe (4th female overall, 26:15.52)

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, California

1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run, April 7

Near perfect race conditions at the Oceanside triathlon set the stage to help fuel dominating performances by Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug as they won the male and female titles with their times of 3:45:05 and 4:12:03 respectively.

• David Wild, 30, Kailua-Kona (6th place M30-34, 4:28:36)

• Barbie Nakamura, 48, Kailua-Kona (39th place F45-49, 6:09:02)

122nd Boston Marathon, Massachusetts

26.2-mile, April 16

Tens of thousands of runners from around the world braved what turned out to be, one of the most grueling conditions in the history of the epic 26.2-mile footrace. As heavy rain poured and left competitors completely soaked to the bone, wind gusts hit more than 25 mph, and frigid temperatures hovered around a miserable low of 40 degrees.

American Desiree Linden and Yuki Kawauchi of Japan pulled off upsets in rainy Boston, crossing the finish line in 2:39:54 and 2:15:58 respectively. Linden became the first American woman to win the race in 33 years.

• Bree Wee, 38, Kailua-Kona (3:01:24)

• Patrick Stover, 29, Kailua-Kona (3:02:27)

• Alan Ryan, 47, Laupahoehoe (3:03:56)

• Sylvia Ravaglia, 40, Kamuela (3:33:04)

• Keely McGhee, 33, Hilo (3:36:48)

• Mark Ravaglia, 47, Waimea (3:46:11)

• Sally Marrack, 47, Hilo (3:56:38)

• Donna Ryngala, 40, Kailua-Kona (4:01:35)

• Kendra Ignacio, 46, Honokaa (4:10:07)

• James Grant, 71, Captain Cook (4:37:41)

• Lili Francoeur, 59, Captain Cook (4:40:24)

2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, London, United Kingdom

26.2 miles, April 22

While runners faced wintery, windy and rainy conditions at the Boston Marathon, tens of thousands who turned out for the London Marathon just a week later endured one of the hottest marathons in its race history with temperatures soaring as high as 80 degrees.

Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot won the men’s and women’s races with their times of 2:04:17 and 2:18:31, respectively.

• Grant Miller, 54, Kailua-Kona (3:41:48)

• Tiffany Nakamura, 22, Kailua-Kona (3:46:31)

2018 High School National Championships, Alabama

2.5K run, 21.45K bike, 2.5K run, April 27

Heavy rainfall in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the past two weeks led to the Holt Dam spillway gates being opened by local officials to prevent flooding in the surrounding area. The gates remained opened through race weekend that resulted to overly strong currents along the swim course in the Black Warrior River, prompting race officials to cancel the swim portion for safety reasons.

Thus, the non-draft sprint triathlon (750-meter swim, 21.45K bike, 5K run) was changed to a duathlon (run-bike-run). The event was capped to 300 high school athletes across the nation.

• Josiah Randerson, 17, Kailua-Kona, Kealakehe High School (21st place, 57:46)

• Jacob Kari, 17, Kailua-Kona, Kealakehe High School (62nd place, 1:14:47)

Ironman North American Championships, Texas

2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run, April 28

Perfect conditions and a fast course did not disappoint as talented athletes from around the globe delivered upon some blazing fast times in the Woodlands.

American Matt Hanson proved to be the fastest of the day as he defended his North American Championship title in a time of 7:39:25. For the women, Australia’s Mel Hauschildt was nearly untouchable as she ran away from the women’s field to win in a time of 8:31:05.

• Jose Graca, 44, Kailua-Kona (6th place M40-44, 8:43:54)

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And finally, another shout-out goes to Laupahoehoe’s Jennifer Real who was one of ten female finalists invited by Zwift to compete at not one, but two online women’s road races utilizing a smart bike trainer.

The all expense paid trips had Real traveling to California on March 25 to compete in the CVR World Cup LA, where she placed 5th and took home a prize purse of $1530. The other race occurred on April 21, the KISS Crit Finals in Long Beach, where she impressively finished third.

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For those unfamiliar with the online program, Zwift is a massive multiplayer online cycling and training program that enables users to interact, train and compete in a virtual world utilizing a smart bike trainer.

Editors Note: Apologies to anyone whose results are not listed here. With having so many active athletes living on the Big Island, it is virtually impossible to keep up and know the results for everyone.