Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sunday was the annual Run Till Ya Ralph/Pedal Till Ya Puke race up Kaloko. As Peaman says, "There's only one hill at this race. It just happens to be 6.5 miles long."

Participants get their choice of torture; you can run it (or walk, which is sometimes faster) or bike it. According to my Garmin, the bottom of Kaloko is at just over 1,500 feet elevation and zigzags 6.5 miles up to just over 4,500 feet. I think the average gradient is somewhere around 15 percent.

From the start of the race, the very first step, your lungs are burning, your legs are burning and you'd swear the air is so thin that the elevation must be more like 10,000 feet. Your heart rate sky rockets from the start and never settles down until you reach the finish. It's a 100 percent effort all the way to the top no matter how slow you chose to go. Walking provides no relief. Only stopping gives your body the relief it screams for, but where's the fun in that.

It’s hard to explain how steep Kaloko is. Even pictures don’t do it justice. Sort of like watching the Tour de France race through the Alps and hearing the commentators describe it, but you just can’t comprehend it unless you’ve been there.

All I can say about how steep Kaloko is is that Lance Armstrong once said there’s nothing as steep as Kaloko on the Tour.

Here's my stats from Sunday's race:
The top yellow zigzag line is the map of Kaloko winding it’s way up Hualalai Volcano.
The gray line is the elevation gain of Kaloko. As you can see it’s a pretty steady climb. And the red line is my heart rate.

Although pictures can’t really do Kaloko justice, here’s one Karen snapped off about half way up.

OK, that’s a little camera magic. It’s not really that steep but when you run or ride it it feels that steep.

If you ever get a chance to run or ride up Kaloko give it a try. Just remember, once you make it to the top, you still have to survive the descent ... Good luck!

Here's a few photos Karen took from race day.

Just one long hill.

Sometimes running is faster than riding.

At the finish line.

Some people have too much energy. Doug finished by running backwards.

A younger runner.

The start.

The finish. 

A long line of runners and bikers.

A rider playing "paper boy." This hill reduces you to having to have to zigzag back and forth across the road like a paper delivery person just so you won't fall over.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776


If these words were written today and sent to Washington, the author no doubt would receive a friendly visit from HomeLand Security. The sad thing is, a lot of these "facts" are relevant today with our government.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


“You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?” - Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Callahan

Every year Ford Ironman World Championship competitors from the Big Island get together for a "team" photo for the newspaper. The athletes get a T-shirt that proclaims the year of the event, that they are a competitor in the event, and that they are a member of "Team Big Island."

Ironman, or World Triathlon Corporation- its owner, continued to drive a wedge between itself and Big Island athletes after announcing last week that beginning with next year's Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (Honu), all state and Big Island slots (20 for state and 24 for Big Island) for the Ford Ironman World Championship will no longer be awarded through competition, but will be distributed through a lottery. 28 slots will be awarded for winners of the age groups.

The local newspaper quoted Ironman officials saying how it will help athletes from Hawaii who, under the current system, would never qualify for the world championship will now have a chance and how the ones who have been qualifying will just have to step up their game and win the age group slots (my words, their meaning).

Ironman officials say that the new system will give those in highly competitive age groups a chance to "win" a slot. On one hand I agree with the lotto system. It would give some of those athletes a chance who are competing against top-notched age groupers from the Big Island. But on the other hand, there are those athletes who train 20 or more hours a week leading up to Honu who still can't compete with the best athletes in their age group, but can compete with the best athletes in their age group from the Big Island. For those athletes now, all those hours of training get them no more closer to an Ironman world championship spot than those athletes who train 5 or 10 hours a week and plan on only "completing" the half Ironman with a goal of only beating the cut-off time. To me, it's as if Ironman took the competiitveness out of Honu for Big Island and state athletes.

It also opens the door for those brand new to triathlon to qualify for a world championship slot. I would have loved that when I first started but how many times have we seen newbies do an Ironman and then get burned out and walk away from the sport rather than take their time, build up the mentality, endurance and experience before trying an Ironman, let a lone Kona?

If WTC really were concerned about fairness, maybe they should have just forked over new slots for a lottery. Or at least they could have set a limit on how many times, or years in a row, a Big Island or state resident could qualify for the world championship.

Oh, I got a glimpse at next year's T-shirt for the newspaper photo.

Go Team Lotto!!!

OK. enough kidding. At least the Ironman fiefdom is trying to make some changes that will encourage more people to give triathlons a try in hopes of making it to the big show. Here's to next year's Team Lotto. Hope you all are feeling lucky.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone knows how you train for luck let me know. My whole training strategy has to change for next year. Instead of carrying gels, gatorade and salt tabs, I'm stocking up on four-leaf clovers, rabbit foots, or is it feet?, heck, I'll carry the whole darn rabbit if that's what it takes, and eating Lucky Charms cereal every day.

Good luck


What do you do when you don't have time to go out on location to do urban sketching? My time is very limited and I often don't have ...