Big Island open-ocean swim, Volcano run returning in August

  • The first Ohia Lehua Run was held in 2019, and it's returning Aug. 14 in Volcano.

From the Pacific to Volcano, there are two more sure signs that athletes and organizers are ready for a return to normalcy.

A pair of popular events, the Richardson Roughwater Swim and the Ohia Lehua Run, are back on after a one-year absence, open to registration and set to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

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The 33rd edition of the 1-mile open-ocean swim will be held Aug. 8, the county announced Wednesday, and the last women’s champion, Korrie Tengan, confirmed to the Tribune-Herald that she is ready to compete.

“I love the change in environment and being able to swim a different type of race,” Tengan, a former BIIF champ and 2021 Waiakea graduate. “It’s a change in pace compared to competitive pool swimming. I like that I am able to push my endurance and long distance.

“I also like that I am able to compete with other swimmers in the community and my club teammates.”

The second annual Ohia Lehua Run will be held Aug. 14 and consists of a half-marathon and a 5-kilometer run.

Race director Keely McGhee said the event is one of the first county-approved running events to take place this year.

“(The) goal is to bring business to the Volcano area while providing a low cost running event for the community,” she said. “In addition, the race will be donating a portion of its proceeds to the Volcano community.”

• Registration forms for the Richardson Roughwater Swim are available at all county pools and at the recreation division office at 799 Piilani St. in Hilo. The registration fee is $20 through July 31, and $30 thereafter. Participants will be divided into age groups in the fins and no-fins categories.

According to a release, the public is encouraged to register early to assist in planning and organizing efforts. Commemorative T-shirts will be provided to registered participants while supplies last.

For more information, contact the recreation division office at 961-8740 or aquatics@hawaiicounty.gov.

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• The Ohia Lehua Run half-marathon will begin at 7 a.m. at the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences campus on Old Volcano Road, with the 5K starting shortly thereafter. The runs also finish at the school. The half-marathon is $90, and the 5K is $50.

To register and for information, visit www.ohialehuahalf.com. Also, email McGhee at ohialehuahalf@gmail.com.