Even after 32 years of Peaman Biathlon events, some things never change, and some things never get old.
It did not matter if you were a biathlete or a keiki partaking in the shorter LavaKids PeaWee course, a young or mature athlete, a beginner or an elite, in shape or out of shape, Sunday’s Peaman Spring, Sprang, Sprung Biathlon was just another day of getting the community to join together for a little exercise and completive fun in the sun. That never changes.
For Vaclav Seifert, being at the top of his game and on the top of the podium will always be a euphoric feeling that never gets old.
“I love the Aloha spirit of these Peaman races, which is about having a lot of fun and a time to catch up with friends,” Seifert said after claiming his third overall title of the year in a blazing time of 39 minutes, 9 seconds. “And of course, it will always feel good to take the win.
“Also today my daughter was faster in her PeaWee race as she was able to finish the course before I finished my swim,” he added. “I felt so happy for her because she is only five years old.”
Sunday’s event featured a 3/4-mile swim in Kailua Bay followed by a 3.1-mile steamy run on Alii Drive.
“It was good,” Seifert said of his race. “I found myself in the second group on the swim and I found the run course to be quite hot. Then I saw a woman in front of me so I began pushing my pace like crazy to catch her but it was very difficult. I finally passed her on the last hill and kept my pace up till the end so I am happy.”
That woman was none other than Kailua-Kona’s Bree Brown.
After exiting the 3/4-mile swim with a front pack that included Keahi Parker and Peaman Peaman, Brown had the quickest transition and charged onto the 3.1-mile run course as the overall leader — a stark contrast from the athlete who participated at February’s Peaman Biathlon.
“The last Peaman I did was when I was just allowed to start walking,” Brown said. “So I did the swim but walked the 1-mile PeaWee course. That was my comeback. And now I have no pain so that’s good.”
Brown, a former professional triathlete and fourth grade teacher at Kahakai Elementary, finished second overall to win the women’s division in a fabulous time of 39:44. The 39-year old is gearing up for Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on June 1 and possibly, one of the running events at the Kona Marathon Fun Runs.
“I would like to think of (today’s win) as a confidence booster but at the same time, it’s so much shorter than Honu,” Brown said with a laugh. “I have not had good training at all for Honu. It’s just been crazy wrapping up the school year, motherhood, wife life and everything. So that’s why I came out today, to try and feel that nervous energy again.”
Dan Gampon and Levi Childers wrapped up the men’s division with their times of 40:56 and 41:11, while Mady Parker and Midge Kerr rounded out the women’s podium with their times of 50:01 and 52:11 respectively.
But not everyone wanted to be a biathlete on Sunday.
Some, like Innovations Public Charter School student, Cameron Cornforth, decided to compete in just the 3/4-mile swim and exited Kaiakekua Beach with the fastest swim split of 18:48. While others, like 11-year old Stanley Ray Oka (21:00), 9-year old Blair Oka (26:16) and her nine-year old cousin Kilihea Oka (27:30), born just three days apart, decided to swim for the pure fun of it.
Ciaran Paterson took top honors in the 3.1-mile run division in 20:14 and Aiden Ankrum teamed up with Duke Becker to claim the relay division with their combined time of 43:48.
In the shorter LavaKids PeaWee course, 8-year old Liko Leatherman ripped through the 200-yard swim and 1-mile run in a swift time of 15:15, while Gabrielle Joy Childers won the female title in 17:58.
Austin Randerson crushed the 1-mile PeaWee course in a speedy time of 6:57, while Pixel (swim) and Ajax (run) teamed up in the canine division to win in a fabulous time of 15:35.
Brown summed up best why she enjoys participating in the monthly free Peaman Biathlon events.
“This is so good for the community,” Brown said. “This is really the place to be if you need to get in shape. I just love it. Everyone is so supportive.”