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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 21, 2006

The Boston experience

 •  Personal bests at Boston will have to wait till '07

Compiled by Brandon Masuoka and Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writers

Giovanna Aguilera, 49, Honolulu, third Boston Marathon, 4:06:14: "I had a major sciatic problem the last nine months and I really thought I was going to do a 5:15 and I did a 4:06:14. So I'm kind of happy with that. My sciatic seemed like it never bothered me. My quadriceps did toward the end. The weather was ideal for a marathon. It was so great to see 60 people from Hawai'i showed up. It was great to see people running their first Boston Marathon."

Joseph Allen Jr., 45, Honolulu, first Boston Marathon, 3:39:57: "All the townspeople lined both sides of the road the whole way, and they were so encouraging. It greatly exceeded my expectations. Whatever preconceived notions I had, it was vastly beyond. I didn't really have any great goals in mind, just to enjoy the experience. And I certainly did."

Joseph Alueta, 38, Wailuku, Maui, administrative planning officer for Maui County, 2:41:54: "I took it easy going out, and tried not to run really hard. It worked out. I finished strong. I ran negative splits. I ran 1:21 going out, and 1:20 coming in." Alueta was the second Hawai'i finisher at 2:41:54.

Wah Berman, 59, Honolulu, second Boston Marathon, 3:59:16: "Last year, I ran 4:10:00. This year I had two goals. One was to run a sub-four. The second was to finish and be healthy so I can go out to dinner. I finished 3:59:16. It feels harder than last year. My quads tightened at about mile 16. Last year I didn't walk. This year, I had to walk a little. By mile 14, I told myself, 'I don't think I'll come back to Boston.' But I did it."

Carole Ann Higa, 44, Waipahu, teacher, first Boston Marathon, 4:04:36: "It was amazing the way the Boston people welcomed everyone. The runners were like royalty. All the hype was just so exciting. The expo is 10 times bigger than what we have in Honolulu. They had so many things they did for us; a complimentary pasta dinner, a circus, unlimited refreshments."

Mike Kasamoto, 57, Honolulu, first Boston Marathon, 3:38:49: "I didn't cramp, which was unusual for me. It was a very cool marathon. We trained by running hills in Nu'uanu, and Papakolea and Tantalus. Maybe that helped a little." Kasamoto also wore titanium tape on his leg that may have helped, too, he said. Kasamoto wore a purple Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training shirt with his name on it. "People were calling out, 'Go Mike!' and, 'Go Team In Training!'

"Heartbreak Hill was a very difficult climb. That's five miles of hills. I struggled." Kasamoto ran 3:38:49 and qualified for the Boston Marathon again. "I'm a structural engineer. My part-time job is running."

John Kojima, 52, Kailua, first Boston Marathon, 3:35:45: "I finished smiling, my goal was to finish smiling. It was a beautiful day here in Boston. The crowds were awesome. The Red Sox played today and won in dramatic fashion, so the fans were happy. Some guy ran out and said, 'Sox win! Walk-off home run!' And everybody cheered. After the game, the fans come out and cheer you along the route."

Scot Kuwaye, 42, Honolulu, second Boston Marathon, 3:28:21: "I had a snowboarding accident (a severely bruised rib from snowboarding at Whistler) three weeks before the mara-thon. I hadn't really trained. I told my wife I wasn't going to come to Boston. But I got peer pressure from the other runners, so I decided I would go.

"The race was sort of personal for me to just finish it. I wasn't concerned about my time.

"People wrote their names on their shirts, and there was a woman named Jill running near me, and everyone kept shouting her name. So if there is anything funny, I was just tired of hearing people yell 'Go Jill!' so I ran faster to get ahead of her. It was my motivation to get away from her and stop hearing them yell her name. I wanted them to yell 'Go Scot!' instead."

Uilani Pauole, 38, Honolulu, second Boston Marathon, 3:40:42: "I was wearing a shirt that said Honolulu, that was good, because last time I don't think I had anything representing Hawai'i. The fans are fantastic; that's the reason I came back. It really helped bringing it in to the finish, it's like being in the Olympics for the average person. That's what's great about Boston."

Anson Quach, 45, Honolulu, first Boston Marathon, 3:31:39: "The spectators were incredible. It helped me go through the Heartbreak Hills. The fans are terrific, they handed out oranges and water, and they give you high-fives. My name was written on my shirt, and they were cheering my name at the Heartbreak Hills."

Kit Smith, 71, Honolulu, third Boston Marathon, finished seventh in age group, best among Hawai'i runners, 3:56:00: "I was hoping to do better, so I was a little disappointed. "This is my third (Boston) and my slowest time. But you know, I'm 71, they say age does take its toll.

"Personally, I was satisfied with the first half and crossed my fingers that I could do the second half in the same time. The second half was really tough. The Hills are really tough. They kept coming at you, you lose count.

"Before the run, we all gathered at the 'Hawai'i House' and the camaraderie was high. We had a feeling of team participation and I enjoyed the sense of team."

Reach Brandon Masuoka at bmasuoka@honoluluadvertiser.com and Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com.