Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Boston Marathon

On April 21, 2008 at 10 AM I started the Boston Marathon. There were 25,000 people and I was towards the front of the pack. My overall goal for a marathon is to break 3 hours and so that's what I told people was my goal for this race, knowing full well that it was unlikely. Well, once the race started I pretty much knew it was going to be my day. A sudden need to use the restroom before I even ran a mile slowed me down right off the bat. I encountered cramps in my stomach but managed to run the first half of the marathon in 1:30 which had me on pace for a 3 hour finish. That unfortunately didn't happen but I did end up running a pretty good time and it really came down to the supporters. There were people cheering almost all of the 26.2 miles and I found it difficult to walk when I was cramping up due to the enormous amount of support emanating from the sidelines. In the end I hobbled/ran to a 3:20 marathon. Many thanks must go out to all the people who came out to cheer and also my friends Drew, Anne, Ben, Greg, Patience, and Mariah who screamed extra loud when I ran by and made some sweet signs. Pictures to come.

4018 Branderhorst, John H. 29 M San Francisco CA USA
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:21:08 0:42:07 1:03:24 1:25:38 1:30:21 1:48:33 2:13:12 2:39:47 3:07:37
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
0:07:39 3:20:14 4328 3874 2289

1 hour to go

Monday, April 14, 2008

Make money from recycling

Here's an option for those of you who want to or all ready do recycle and now can receive rewards. I listened to the CEO speak at a green entrepreneur event. An article in Time.
Check out their website: Recycle Bank

Why did Jesus weep? If you were to say because Lazarus died as I thought, then you may be wrong. After hearing the question asked why Jesus wept in a movie, I thought I would research it a bit. A bit equals looking it up for about 5-10 minutes so please understand this quick and random post. I do enjoy wikipedia. Instead of crying for Lazarus' death (Jesus knew Lazarus was dead) this view argues that every single person whom Jesus talked to in John chapter 11 (his disciples, Martha, Mary, and the Jews) were still blinded by their concepts to the fact that he really was "the resurrection and the life"—beyond mere doctrine (verses 25-27)—in spite of all his plain words to them. This view holds that the bystanders in verses 36-37, just like most readers today, were blinded by their own misconceptions and so did not understand that Jesus was actually weeping for them, not for Lazarus.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This weekend was a wonderfully warm and sunny one. While I had a great time exercising outside and enjoying the days, the meals I ate stick out in my mind. I ate out for most of my meals and for some reason, the service was pretty bad at all the places I went to. The three restaurants that I'm thinking of were each in very different parts of the city and at different times but they must have been in contact as to where I was going. I drink a lot of water when I'm out. I know that. But apparently the restaurants that I went to are rationing water as they had trouble refilling my glass. Here's something that never happens but I actually returned a dish at dinner last night. It was yakitori and it was blatantly burnt. I really don't know what the restaurant was thinking, they didn't even try to scrape off the burnt parts. Oh well, won't be going back there. This will be a short week as I leave for Boston on Friday morning. Very excited! Have a lovely week, my lovely readers :)

Here is a link to a song that my friend Bill wrote about in his blog: Letter from God to man. Not the type of music that I usually listen to but enjoyed the lyrics. If you want to read the lyrics just go to my friend Bill Serrano's blog.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A personal account from a torchbearer

As many of you know, I was gone last weekend camping and training with my triathlon club. During an icebreaker event, I got to speak with Susan Roberts, Executive Director for Girls on the Run of the Bay Area. Some of you may remember me writing about volunteering to run with an elementary school girl for a mile a couple months ago. She was a fourth grade Chinese girl who didn't really speak English but we spent an hour run/jog/walking a mile while she told me a story for 40 minutes of it. I can't really remember the story but I think she had a good time. Susan Roberts was chosen to run with the olympic torch and she gave me permission to repost her account on my blog. What many of you probably don't know is that my family also has an olympic torch. My uncle ran with it when the Olympics were held in Sapporo
a long time ago. Well, enough about that and without further ado, here is Susan's account word for word.

Wednesday was an amazing experience and a day I will never forget. It was such an honor to be part of the Olympic torch relay and represent all the Olympic athletes in the
US. I'm was so pleased that all the 80 torchbearers were able to take part and complete their relay leg without a hitch (especially after seeing what happened in London and Paris). There were a lot of emotions felt by all the torchbearers leading up to the relay- excitement, hope, fear for safety, concern that we wouldn't be able to run with the torch , etc. However, while we were on the bus waiting to run with the torch there was nothing but excitement among us and the feeling of being part of something really momentous.

The day started when I arrived at the Hilton in SF. We met at the grand ballroom and were told to bring nothing with us (no cell phones, wallets, etc). After speeches from Mayor Newsom and Peter Uberroff (olympic committee chair), we were given our assignments of where we would be running on the course. They announced that we would be running in pairs holding the torch together (we had 80 runners and they wanted to make sure we all got a chance to run). This was the first Olympic torch relay that was done completely by running in pairs. The Hilton provided us with phones so that we could call friends and family with the location of where we'd be on the course (which didn't really matter since the route would soon change).

We were at the Hilton for a while and got a chance to meet the other torchbearers. There were a lot of interesting people and several former and current Olympians, along with Dean Karnazes, the ultra marathon man and Girls on the Run board member. Security was very tight and we were lead down a back stair case to the street which was completely barricaded with police. We got on a bus and waited there for an hour or more. Eventually Mayor Newsom got on the bus and indicated that the opening ceremony had gone well but there were thousands of people blocking the torch route over to the embarcadero. They wanted to make sure they could secure our safety and give everyone the opportunity to run with the torch. Newsom then indicated that we'd be moving the course and would be running down at the Marina
instead of the embarcadero. No one had phones, so we couldn't notify anyone of the route change which was disappointing to realize that our friends/family wouldn't be seeing us. However, the spirits of the torchbearers remained high as we were excited at the opportunity to hold the torch that represented so many US athletes.

The convoy buses took off with numerous police on motor cycles, bikes, etc. Once we reached Van Ness and Pine, they started to drop off the torchbearers onto Van Ness. Initially it was pretty amazing that there were no barricades and ordinary SF citizens were coming up and taking pictures with the torchbearers (the way a torch run should be). As we moved down Van Ness, the crowds started to form and police on motorcycles were seen on each side street, ready to deploy if needed. I was runner # 18 and my partner was Peter Chi (part of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympics). We were let out of the bus on Van Ness at Francisco and ran or rather jogged pretty slowly around the corner on to Bay. It was a pretty surreal moment, holding the torch waiting for ours to be lit by the pair of runners before us. Things started to get a little crazy waiting there for the torch runners, as the crowds were filling into the streets.

We knew it was getting more intense as one of the cops screamed we need back up now, watch our backs. At that moment a muni bus pulled up and 35 cops in riot gear ran out to surround the sidewalks. Shortly thereafter, we were surrounded by running cops, cops on bikes and cops on motorcycles as we ran with the torch. After about two blocks we reached the next runner and lit their torch and then hopped back on the convoy bus. Once on the bus we learned that one of the earlier torch bearers had taken a tibetan flag out of her shirt and started waving it and trying to take the torch from her partner. The police left her on the side of the road and she wasn't allowed back on the bus.

Our line of about 30 car/buses surrounded by police on motorcycles was pretty slow moving down the marina and then up the ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge
. Former Mayor Willie Brown and NFl player Herschel Walker ran the last leg to the bridge. After the torch was back on the bus, we took off down 19th avenue to San Francisco Airport where the closing ceremonies had been moved it (originally it was supposed to be at Justin Herman Plaza). I've never seen so many cops in SF and something pulled off so seamlessly for a last minute plan. I felt badly for the people trying to get to the airport as our convoy blocked traffic on the ramp to the airport.

Once on the bus to the airport, the torchbearers started to get very hungry- they didn't feed us all day. We arrived at the airport through a side door, then through airport security (we even had to take our shoes off!). I started talking to the torchbearer next to me which unbeknown to me was Herschel Walker (former nfl player, I was wondering why everyone wanted to take my picture with him, ha!). Mayor Newsom and others spoke at the brief closing ceremonies, we took a group picture and then headed back on the bus (where they had some airline snacks for us).

We arrived back in the Hilton around 6pm
, received our own torch and then hopped on the bus to go to the Giants baseball game. We were supposed to be recognized on the field before the game but we got there too late. Marilyn King (former Olympian) threw the first pitch. We were ushered to a private suite at the Giants game, but I still needed to get my brother Paul who was coming to the game as my guest. One of the Giants staff members escorted me out to get Paul (we were stopped numerous times by people that wanted to take pictures of me and the torch- it was pretty amazing how mesmerized people were to see it and how many people wanted to take pictures of me with the torch). There was a lot of disappointment from people that didn't get to see the torch relay earlier in the day. After getting Paul, the Giant's staff member offered us tickets to sit in the Giants' COO Larry Baer's section (the first row next to the Giant's dugout right near home plate). Larry sat with us for a while and graciously let us order whatever we wanted to eat. We watched the rest of the game with Marilyn King and her son and the giants won in the bottom of the 9th.

Paul and I caught the bus home and several people on the bus noticed the torch and wanted to take pictures of me with the torch. It was a pretty funny experience and I made lots of new friends on the bus. One of the first people to notice the torch was a grandfather and his grandson who were visiting SF- it made their day to see it up close since they had missed it earlier in the day waiting along the proposed torch route.

All in all, it was a really unforgettable day. While it was disappointing that friends, family and most of the people in SF along the proposed torch route didn't get to see us running with the torch, the day went off very smoothly and no one was hurt. I was very impressed by the coordination of the last minute route change and that things went along so seamlessly.

The torch is at home if anyone wants to see it, it's really beautiful and nice that they gave us one to keep.

I'm still trying to round up pictures but here are some from the chopper-
click on a day in pictures, chopper 11 pics- sf olympic torch relay
look at pics 38,39 on the slideshow.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Ferry buildingBay bridge
My half Tibetan roomie, Tammy

Olympic Torch in SF

BUT nowhere to be seen. With the previous two stops for the Olympic torch having violence, San Francisco prepared for the same to occur in this historically liberal, protest friendly city. But we were all duped as the torch route was changed at the last minute to boring ole Vanness St. I had walked down to where the route was supposed to be and hung around for an hour as large groups of people walked along the route either protesting or supporting the Olympics in China. I was disappointed to not get a glimpse and after an hour decided it was time to head back to work. The closing ceremony is supposedly a couple blocks away but I'm not going to bother checking it out. So I guess the torch did make its stop in America but because of all the protests the people that got to see it were either the cops guarding it or those who just happened to be on Vanness street. Oh well, maybe next time...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

free breakfast

free breakfast
Originally uploaded by john hayato
Today is a day of free stuff. I waited over 20 minutes for this Jamba Juice. Don't think I'll wait that long again but once your in line it's hard to get out. Starbucks is apparently giving out free coffee so that will be my next stop.

It's cold

It's cold
Originally uploaded by john hayato
Camping is not for me.

Monday, April 07, 2008

This past weekend I took a roadtrip three and a half hours south to train with my triathlon club. We went to Lake San Antonio where the Wildflower Triathlon is held every year. It is in just over a month and there were almost 150 from my club participating in the training weekend. Although I'm not doing Wildflower I thought it would be fun to go down and get some good workouts. The weather was beautiful but it got downright cold at night, too cold for me. As you can see in the picture, my buddy Son and I slept on cots in a really big tent that I borrowed from Alan. On Sat. I did a hard 56 mile bike ride followed by a 1 mile swim. We had a bbq that evening and I was in bed trying to stay warm by 10. The next morning I did a 1 mile swim and then went on a lovely 10 km run. I wanted to run longer but my foot has been bugging me over the past week so I'm trying to take it easy. This week, I will mostly do swimming and bike rides to give the bottom of my right foot a rest. Next year I hope to do the training weekend again but I will be staying in a cabin.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Time to learn

Found some interesting information that I thought I would share.

A short list of What Every American Should Know About the Middle East.

Arabs are part of an ethnic group, not a religion. Arabs were around long before Islam, and there have been (and still are) Arab Christians and Arab Jews. In general, you're an Arab if you 1) are of Arab descent (blood), or 2) speak the main Arab language (Arabic).

A companion list of what every resident of the Middle East should know about the US might also be helpful. (via chris glas

Blue Zone
Originally uploaded by john hayato
Has it really been a week since my last post? Yikes, I better step it up. With April comes exciting news. As many of you know I will be running the Boston marathon in 3 weeks but something crazy that I haven't been letting on is that I put in my notice at my current job. I won't be quitting until early/mid May but I had a talk with my boss last week since I will really need to give 100% to the Ramen truck business if I am to see it work. Matt, my business partner, and I have been talking a lot lately about the timeline and we're hoping to launch Tabe (ta-bay) Trucks by mid May. The actual website should be up in the next couple weeks ( but right now we just have a cover page to keep your interest piqued.

According to the Blue Zone site, I will live to 85.6 years but I'm not holding my breath as stress is not a good thing, being Okinawan is :) From a book about longevity: "We've found, for example, the behaviors associated with "happy hour" will give you more good years of life than the behaviors associated with going to the gym." That's not good for me.

In sports news, I've been playing a lot of soccer while I prepare for races and after the marathon I will probably be joining a competitive 11 on 11 mens team that plays on Sundays. Right now I play 8 on 8 competitive co-ed on Mondays and 11 on 11 mens intermediate on Saturdays. This past Saturday my team, Wasabi FC, got worked for a 7-2 loss. The silver lining for me was that I scored the 2 goals for our team. This weekend I will be traveling 3 to 4 hours away for a training weekend with my triathlon club where we will camp, have clinics, and swim run bike. Should be fun.