Hawaii Experience - 09/18 thru 09/22/03

Hawaii Slide Show Sept 18 - 6:20 AM The goal was to leave Lynbrook by 6:30 am for SFO - and the bet was on for who would be late. At 6:30 - Andrew, Luis and Eugene were still no-shows so the phone calls began. "Hello", said Eugenge. "Dude, it's 6:30 where are you?" I asked. "I'm leaving right now." came the reply. Click. Thirty seconds later both Andrew and Luis showed up - tie and Eugene wins - we're out of there by 6:40. By 7:45 we're thru security and waiting at the gate - plenty of time for out 9:00 flight. Hillsdale HS is also there for the trip. Off we go at 9:16 to Hawaii. At 11:00 am, Hawaii time, we arrive, with all our luggage and all the kids. By 12:00 we're at the Oahana Reef Towers, our "home" for the next four days. We change and are off on our run to Kapiolani Park via Waikiki strip. Heads turn as 16 runners take over the sidewalk. A mororcyclist pulls up and asks where we're from - ends up he's the coach for Imperial Beach HS (San Diego), also over here for the meet. We reach the park and pass "surfer dude" one of the many fountains seen along the way. We stop for a "photo op" under the Banyon Tree (Guys & Gals) where the roots grown DOWN from the branches to try and re-root themselves. We head back all call it a 5 miler for the day. Next is off to Subway for a snack and then the beach for some sun. The weather is drop dead gorgeous. About 88, slight humidity and LOTS of sun. The beaches are the same, although a bit crowded (but hey, it's Hawaii). We run into Antelope Valley (Antioch-NCS) who is also competeing this weekend. A quick call back home fills us in on how the rest of the team did at the Saratoga Scrimmage meet earlier that day. 5:45 had us heading for Duke's on the Beach for a 6:00 reservation - we walked right in and sat down - now that was quick. A little hacky-sack while waiting for our food and the sunset and neither dissappointed us. The tiki torches got lit and out came the cameras for some more group photos. When a group photo is done it's not just one camera, it's TEN cameras so your smile is pretty worn out by the end. A shopping trip to the International Market Place saw some great deals to be had and just people watching on the Strip made for a great evening. By 10:00 everyone was back at the hotel and ready for some shut-eye. Sept 19 Up at 7:15 and on the road by 7:45 we drove out to Kapiolani Park to run around Diamond Head and back, finishing off with a couple of strides. Stop at a local grocery store for those that didn't want breakfast at Denny's and then off for some shopping, swimming and eating (especially a Hawaiian Shaved Ice with ice cream). While on the beaches we played in the water while others did homework on the sand. By 2:00 we had enough sun so headed back to the hotel for some rest/homework before we leave for the team pasta feed at 5:30 that night. With the Aloha Festival happening in town, it was a mad house trying to get OUT of town. We did make it to the Pasta Feed at Iolani HS in time for the Hula Dancing and Coaches meeting. Upon arrival we were told that no more than two team members were allowed to sit together. This made for a nice 'mixer' that allowed the 16 Calif, 7 Hawaii, 2 Wash and 1 Texas schools to all get to know each other. I ended up meeting Jeff Rogers (Overfelt '85) who is the CCS HJ record holder (7'3") who coaches at St Mary's HS - small world. Then back to the hotel for a team meeting. Next stop, the Aloha Festival for bands, shopping, food and people watching - lots of people watching - about 40,000 was the estimate. When 10:00 rolled around we were all pretty tired and packed it in for the night. Sept 20 - RACE DAY! We hit the road by 7:30 for the hour drive to Kualoa Ranch. An hour later we were there and what a festival it was. Low humidity with slight cloud cover made it a great day for racing on this course. The ladies went first and Sultana showed they were every bit as good as the pre-meet hype said they would be. Having 5 in the Top 10 and 7 in the Top 15 at the mile mark. MayC started off in 17th but would drop to 22nd going into the final mile. Aya was sitting in 30-35th for most of the way while Akhavan, Liao & Goslicka worked together for the first half of the race. Liu was running smoothly while Sasoon did her normal - start off slow and pick them all off in the last mile. Going into the last mile the cloud cover broke (read - it got hot!) and MayC started to move up to her final spot of 19th (good enough for some hardware). Aya held even, 34th I think, while Liao pulled away to finish up as 3rd Vike. Zohreh, Liu, Goslicka & Kim all finished in such a rush that I can't really remember who beat who. As a team, the ladies finished 9th out of 22 teams - with Sultana (4 in the Top 10) won with 46 points. Ukiah won the race. The guys went next and a surprising race it would turn out to be. Berson took off hard and was running fantastic. Jensen was right behind him but ended up with a cramp at 1.5 miles that lasted for the next mile. Whitsett was running a great race and ran a smart race as well by passing folks most of the way. Hao & Chen worked together for over 2 miles while Chang and Kwan were pushing to catch up to their teammates. Thru 2 miles Berson was sitting in about 28th and then it happened... call it dehydration, pushing the envelopes edge or just plain running out of gas but with about 500 meters to go he takes a hard left hand turn and his legs just give out - boom - down he goes. We see him 200 yards later and tell him to quit running (if that's what you call it) and to stop - that's all he'll see of the course today. Eugene spent the next 30 minutes in the Medical tent getting iced down and water put in him. By the awards ceramony he was back to his old self and the shaved ice didn't hurt either. Even without his finish the guys still finished a fantastic 11th out of 26 teams. Then came the coaches race. It was touch & go at first for neither Steph or I were planning to run once Eugene went down. But the guy in the Med Tent told us to get out there so with our adrenaline rushing we hopped into the race just as the gun went off. I went off at 5:18 and Stephanie thinks she went out at 6:00 (not knowing what place she was in). The course was only 2 miles but we did get to experience some of what the kids got to run. Toughest part was trying to get by all of the JV Girls that started a mere 2 minutes in front of us. At the finish I had moved into 4th place with a finishing time of 10:43 while Steph finished 2nd overall with a 12:07 clocking. Next stop... Sunset Beach. We spent the rest of the day on North Shore. Sunset Beach was cool until Christina Liao stepped on a sea urchin and got 6 needles in her toe. Off to FoodLand for some vinegar where she has been soaking her foot ever since. Along with 4 of the guys that cut their feet on coral the day before it has been quite an experince. We had dinner at "Breakers" in Heleiwa where a "Battle Of The Bands" was going on in the park next to the resturant. A long 2 hour drive back home and everyone was ready to crash for the evening. Sept 21 Hanauma Bay is on tap for the day. A 9:15 leave time got us there before 10:00 in the morn. Problem was the wait to get in and then the video we had to watch. But once we hit the water, we were in it until 1:30 which is when we had to head back. Back to the hotel for 16 showers, in one room, some homework, rest or a movie before we headed off to Bubba Gumps for dinner. Some shrimp and grub got everyone fed and ready for the flight home. The idea of doing homework again reminded everyone that their Hawaiian adventure was coming to an end. Would we do it again? The kids say "yes", the coaches say "yes" (but not next year - too soon). San Diego or Oregon sounds interesting. The kids were a great group to travel with and for most of them it was their first venture to the Islands - one they will never forget. Extra Pics Aga Goslicka Aya Wakabayashi Charles Chen Jonathan Kwan Jason Whitsett Luis Jensen MayC Huang Sasoon Kim