The Scene: With MS, runner’s will has its limits

  • Daria Crutchfield, who's dealt with multiple sclerosis since 2000, finished third in her 50-59 age group Sunday at the Hilo marathon with a time of 29:30.

Life is hard.

For some of us there are times when the bad news comes, we deal with it and then it just gets harder.


It takes a competitor to battle some of these challenges in life, but what happens if the best way out of a predicament is for the fighter inside to back off, take it easy, go a little softer through life?

“My pride won’t let me slow down and it’s hurting me,” Daria Crutchfield said this week following a difficult experience competing in the 5K portion of the recent Hilo marathon. “It was the most painful (run) I’ve ever had, and I see these people in my age group that I know I should be passing, but the harder I go the more it hurts and I can’t turn off those competitive juices.”

Crutchfield finished third in her 50-59 age group with a time of 29:30, enough to make most runners her age happy, but no.

She has dealt with multiple sclerosis since 2000, and she’s been through all the stages, denial, anger, despair, all of it. Last November she had another major attack with major headaches and an eight-day stay in the hospital as they tried to better understand the dimensions of the disease that was attacking her immune system.

“I was in denial for so long,” she said, “but then I moved to being somewhat accepting.”

Key word there is somewhat. Crutchfield has been advised by doctors that her activity is going to be good for her, as long as she keeps it modest, that is, a lot of walking with some light jogging, but not at the level of intensity that brings back the attacks.

In the 5K last week, she started like she always starts, going hard and within the first mile her head was pounding, “something fierce.”

But she couldn’t stop.

“I feel so much better when I’m running rather than just walking,” she said, “but then it starts hurting. I want to show myself I can do it, that I can run through it, but it hurts so much.”

When she went into the hospital in November, she couldn’t walk. Her doctors told her she would stay there until she could walk on her own, and eight days later it finally happened. She knows she went too hard in the 5K, that she probably shouldn’t have entered at all.

“I’m going to try (walking),” she said. “I’m definitely getting out, I won’t let this shut me down. Maybe yoga can help, maybe a good sports massage.

“But I’m not giving up.”

Taking it easy is hard, as silly as that may sound. But to battle MS, it’s what must be done.

Inexperience Matters

Here come the neophytes.

Big Island canoe clubs start this month for the upcoming season, but no experience is necessary for several events that will celebrate its 36th year on April 7 when the Kamehameha Canoe Club again hosts the Business Canoe Regatta at Hilo Bay, starting at 8 a.m.

In the Business Men and Women competition, each team is allowed five paddlers and three alternates, but there’s a catch, if you haven’t heard. No prior paddling experience, ever — including high school competition — is what qualifies you for this event.

Steerspersons will be furnished by Kamehameha, which will also provide paddles, as no personal paddles are allowed.

There are slightly different designations for other categories, but the point of all this is to bring in new people to experience what competitive paddling is all about.

To be clear, this isn’t about people who have never paddled climbing into a canoe for the first time on race day. You actually do get to practice, if you sign up in time.

Practice begins Monday from 4-6 p.m. at the Kamehameha Canoe Club halau at the Suisan end of Hilo Bay. Practice sessions will run Monday through Friday, with practice limited to two sessions per crew. It’s debatable whether there is a longer standing competition in Hawaii, but how better can you appreciate the past than by experiencing the tradition yourself?

To arrange practice times, call Jill Dawrs Chiropractic at 935-0004.

Run for Scholarships

Back on Valentines Day, Big Island Road Runners had its annual event washed out by high tides and big waves when conditions called for the parks to be closed, but they are hoping for more interest this year in the BIRR Scholarship 5K Run at Reed’s Bay park May 19.

Maybe the ones who missed out on Valentines Day can double down on the Scholarship Run.

You can sign up on the BIRR Facebook page or website.

Cost is $10 for non-members, $5 for members and you need to be there early for the 7:30 a.m. start.

Enter The Open

If you play table tennis and have been meaning to register for the 2019 Big Island Open, wake up, Friday is the final day for registration before prices go up.

The 2019 Open will be contested at the new Waimea District Park and Gym on April 5-7. The facility is the third of former Mayor Billy Kenoi’s recreational projects. The test site was Panama Gym, then similar structure were built in Pahoa and Waimea.


You can still enter after Friday, but only on a basis of available space and you’ll have a late charge of $15. No entries will be accepted at Tournament.

Who or what teams do we need to know about? What local names need to be in the paper? Let us know at

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