Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Fun, fearless fitness

By
September 18th, 2013



Daytime party? Almost. Runners in the Run or Dye celebrate at the finish with a blast of color. (Image Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

Daytime party? Almost. Runners at “Run or Dye” celebrate at the finish with a blast of color. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

When I was a kid my mom used to make that airplane sound when she was feeding me her invented nutrient-rich concoction called “banana-egg.” I couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 but I still have a vivid memory of that because I hated that meal more than anything in my young world. The consistency of the two ingredients was so slimy. It looked terrible on the spoon. Yet she tried to make it as fun as possible with those airplane sounds and waving the spoon in exaggerated circles as it headed straight to my airplane-hangar/mouth.

Whatever you could do to be healthy, I guess.

I turned out ok, and banana is still my favorite flavor or everything – just no raw eggs please.

With exercise I thought I didn’t need a lot of special effects to make it fun – the idea of having an hour to myself with my music to burn calories was enough motivation to get on the elliptical trainer. Yet I still found myself immediately signing up for “Color Vibe” as soon as I saw they will be doing the event in Honolulu in November. I’m not sure what it was exactly that looked so fun about being covered in colored powder to run a 5K, but those smiling faces and the sheer uniqueness of it definitely hooked me. I was never a social fitness person before but this just looked too good to pass up. I figured November was enough time to figure out how to run a 5k and get some friends to join a team.

Flipping through my Instagram recently I saw local bartender, sales executive and fitness guru Titus Nakagawa participated in another “color run” (there’s actually a bunch of these!) called “Run or Dye,” so I was thrilled to be able to pump him for details on the race and if it was really something worthwhile or just another banana-egg-on-the-spoon, so to speak.

CHRISTA WITTMIER: How did you hear about the race?

Titus Nakagawa (center) with his team in the Run or Dye race at Aloha Stadium  (Image Courtesy of Titus Nakagawa)

Titus Nakagawa, center, with his team at “Run or Dye” at Aloha Stadium. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

TITUS NAKAGAWA: My girlfriend is really into runs and doing these 5Ks. One of her coworkers is dialed into these fun race franchises, running (no pun intended) around the nation. Naturally I checked out the website and they had some amazing GoPro shot videos of the Sacramento race. After a couple of minutes I was sold. It looked fairly easy and being that I'm bouncing back from ACL surgery I was confident I could finish the race. We did “Run or Dye” with two other couples and my son, overall it was a damn good time.

CW: What was the most challenging part of the race?

TN: Honestly, there was nothing really challenging about it. The course snaked through the parking lot and ran past the concession stands in the stadium, then ended in the 50th State Fair portion of the parking lot. I brought my 8-year-old son for the race and he didn't have a problem wogging (walking/jog) the 5K.

CW: What were the most fun/memorable moments?

TN: There were five or six different color stations where volunteers had rows of 20-gallon drums filled with the cornstarch dye. Running through these was a pure joy. The racers were forced to go through each station and at least 15 volunteers were armed with ice scoops, squeeze bottles, trays, and 60-ounce cups, dousing racers with dye (in the face at times) as they passed.

Near the end of the race the final color stations drums were at, or near empty and the volunteers/runners were scooping the surplus powder off the ground. Some of the runners were lying on the ground making dye angels, impromptu games of tag were erupting between people off all ages, young, old, out of shape, people dressed as minions, it really didn't matter. These stations brought out all of the fun; think of a water balloon fight with a few thousand people and unlimited ammunition, now substitute balloons, for powder dye.

Fun Fitness for the whole family.  (Image Courtesy of Titus Nakagawa)

Fun fitness for the whole family. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

Post-finish line there was a stage, in an almost concert type setting and they were giving out bags of dye. I'd say there were at least 1,000 people crowded around the stage as a hype man coordinated the mass of racers to throw their packets in the air at once, this was quite a spectacle.

CW: Were people in pretty good shape?

TN: I would say that most of the runners were in average shape. There was no specific demographic; children, college kids, up to people in their late 40's. Some were jogging, a few running at a quick pace, but most were taking their time.

Being that the race wasn't timed, I feel like most people didn't give a crap about how quickly they burned through it.

CW: Would you recommend these types of events to others?

TN: 100 percent, yes. The only downside was having to take multiple showers to get rid of dye-stained skin, but that was what made this run entertaining.

This actually made me pretty excited for November. Stand by for exciting photos of the sweaty color mess of our SUPERCREW team posted on Instagram by yours truly come Nov. 10. If anyone has any pointers for people new to running, feel free to share. This will be my first race ever.

Check out these events in Hawaii to bring more fun to your fitness:

» Warrior Dash

» Run, Rock & Wine

» Spartan Race

» Wellness Sightseeing Tour

Or, keep up with Running in the USA for a great listing of all the races coming up in Hawaii.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular "Bacardi Pool Party" on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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Aloha Stadium takes flight

By
August 7th, 2013



While individual nicknames seem to stick forever, it’s extremely rare to find a crew of people still referring to themselves with a group moniker from childhood.

My first time at (the OTHER) Aloha Stadium circa 2008 (Courtesy of Christa Wittmier)

My first time at (the OTHER) Aloha Stadium, circa 2008. (Courtesy Christa Wittmier)

From what I’ve seen, it usually happens when college roommates name their house. The boys from Aloha Stadium have lived in many different houses with different combinations of roommates, but the name has held strong as the crew is bound by both their love of the ocean and for raging around Oahu.

When you pull up to Sandy Beach, you will still usually see at least one — if not all — of them playing in the shore break, and yes, that was probably them who thought it was funny to take their shirts off in the club and spin them around their heads (sorry).

They've since grown up and become working adults, but still make time to play in the ocean as much as possible.

I met their crew many years ago through a mutual friend and was taken aback the first time I was at their house. I walked inside to find all of them in the kitchen pounding shots with their shirts off.

“So we don’t mess up our nice going out shirts,” one of them explained, since I must have looked slightly terrified.

A very Aloha Stadium Christmas (Courtesy Travis Watanabe)

A very Aloha Stadium Christmas. (Courtesy Travis Watanabe)

I think they stand out more than most groups of friends because of their level of commitment to taking on the scene as a crew. You usually do not see one of them without at least three others in tow. Their collective professional experience stretches across just about every industry, so it’s not unusual to see celebrity athletes or supermodels partying alongside them.

My favorite part? They don’t take themselves too seriously. They really are a lot of fun.

Next month, five of the Aloha Stadium boys will entertain thousands of spectators during the Long Beach, Calif., stop of the annual Red Bull Flugtag.

Flugtag, which means “flight day” in German, is more of an exhibition of who can make the cutest aircraft and see how long it will stay in the air. Everything must be hand-made and human-powered; one pilot must stay in the aircraft while the rest of the team runs it down a runway. The entire machine, including pilot, cannot weigh more than 450 pounds.

Team members Erik "Beats" Beattie and Richard Chan working on their flying machine (Courtesy photo)

Aloha Stadium team members Erik "Beats" Beattie and Richard Chan work on their flying machine. (Courtesy photo)

It’s pretty much a day of watching teams plummet one after another off a 30-foot plank in to the ocean.

Since the teams are judged on creativity, showmanship and distance, the Aloha Stadium boys already set themselves apart. Growing up in the ocean and spending years perfecting their floatilla experience, it’s almost not fair for the other teams.

Their flying machine will closely resemble a traditional canoe, with two large, yet light and durable, 10-foot hulls. They have been working together on it for weeks at the current Aloha Stadium, posting regular updates for their fans.

“I’m sure we will float all the way back to Hawaii with our craft! It’s our ride home! Flights are expensive!” pilot Takeru Tanabe said.

“We want to show the crowd that we travel by ocean, not air” added team member Chris Tseu. “We grew up with a love for the ocean and a sense of adventure. That’s why we’re really close.”

But, the machine is supposed to fly?

“We had an idea in our minds to represent Hawaii and build a craft that says, 'Hey! They must be from Hawaii,” Tanabe said.

“In our minds we want this thing to fly forever,” Chan said.

A sketch of the Aloha Stadium team entry in the 2013 Red Bull Flugtag competition in Long Beach, Calif. (Courtesy Red Bull)

A sketch of the Aloha Stadium team entry in the 2013 Red Bull Flugtag competition in Long Beach, Calif. (Courtesy Red Bull)

The way these guys go running straight towards those huge brick wall waves at the beach like it’s nothing probably makes a 30-foot drop into the ocean below look like a cotton candy bubble bath. I’ll be cheering you on.

Follow Aloha Stadium’s Flugtag on their Facebook page or Instagram.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular "Bacardi Pool Party" on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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