The 78 Mile Hawaiian Run that Was 85 Miles

Posted by casey weaver on

How long was the last run you went on?  A few miles?  Maybe 45 minutes to an hour?  Ok, let's say you're a "runner" and it was your "long run" for the week...so maybe 10 to 12 miles?  Thinking about it...is there anything in your life that you're passionate enough about to run 85 miles - 28 HOURS - for?  For Swarm Collective member Ed Ignacio, a law enforcement officer in Hawaii, running 85 miles for the families of his fellow officers who have fallen in the line of duty was a no brainer.  In fact, he sees it as his duty, and in doing so has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, completed numerous endurance events in police gear, including the iconic Ironman Hawaii, and recruited the next generation of Hawaii's law enforcement to carry on his endurance tradition in the name of fallen officers.

Recently Ed and his fellow officer completed a special run in his home state of Hawaii, and the response to their heroic effort was nothing short of inspiring.  Read below to find out why Ed and officer Gaspar ran for 28 hours straight and how the effort unfolded.  Oh yeah, and how they used Primo Smoothie in both their training and during the actual run.

--

How did the idea for the run come about - why did you guys decide to do it, and what were the goals for the run...as in what were you bringing attention to and raising money for? 
A friend of mine, who is an officer in the Hawaii Police Department, approached me with this idea right after I had finished one of my IRONMAN races that was successful in raising funds for the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation.  He wanted to do something meaningful to our culture, as well as raise funds to help me establish a scholarship fund for the children of officer's who were killed in the line of duty in the State of Hawaii.   Unlike California where if an officer is killed in the line of duty, their child gets to go to a state college for free, we don't have that program.  To maximize the exposure, we wanted to time our finish with the police week ceremony at the memorial in Hilo.  We had two local stations, affiliates of NBC and CBS following our progress through the run and providing updates.  It was very cool and we hit our goal and raised $6,500.
How did you pick the route - what's the significance? 
Our route took us from the Kona Police Station to the Hilo Police Station over a famous road in Hawaii, Saddle Road.  This road runs between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa the two largest Volcano mountains in the world and very spiritual to the Hawaiian People.  They just improved and repaved the road and I didn't calculate that into our route so we actually ran 83 miles instead of 78.
What was your training like - how long and how much training did you guys put in? 
Officer Gaspar is more of a cross-fit type of athlete, so he started training more like an endurance athlete about a year before the run.  I had him building up his mileage and as we got closer we added the final element, the uniform.  As we came closer to the event, we were doing two-a-day training runs at various distances, he in uniform and me in the BDU's and plate carrier vest.  Usually about 30 to 40 miles on a big training day.
How did the run actually unfold?  How long did it take, how did it stack up to your expectations, what was it actually like being out there?  Take us through the day before the run until you completed it. 
The run was spectacular.  The weather could not have been better.  It took us 28 hours in total.  I made some errors,  I had calculated our pace based on 78 miles, not 83 miles.  I also planned the pace based off of me, a person who is used to doing stuff like this in gear.  My partner was new to this and started to feel it when we hit the 24-hour mark, which is incredible to think since he had never done an endurance event.  I also didn't factor in actually sleeping for an hour, we were able to get some shut eye with the help of the 10 other officer's who were out there pushing through while we rested for an hour.  It was tough, but I had so much fun and was really humbled by all the support Officer Gaspar and I got.
What was the response like and how was it received locally? 
The response was incredible.  The community came out en mass to support us.  We had vehicles stopping to donate money, we had people on the side of the road.  The best part was we had officer's who had just gotten off of their shifts who joined us in uniform for short stretches to run with us.   Our support van ended up with more supplies at the end than what we started with.  People kept brining us food, water, gatorade, etc.  We donated the extra supplies to the first responders who are working hard to help evacuations from the volcano eruption that is still going on today.
What was your nutrition like throughout the run?  Did you use Primo during the run, or just in your training?
Absolutely used Primo Smoothies during training and the actual run.  I brought along a blender in the support van and drank a smoothie about every 8 hours (I actually started craving the smoothie about every 6 hours, but wanted to stick to my plan).   I utilized gels and bars following a 45 minute regiment.  Ate a sodium filled meal (Hawaiian Food, warm soup and Pizza) lol, on the 12 hour mark, hydration primarily consisted of SOS and Infinit.   I had no cramping issues or major muscle fatigue.
Why do you think it's important to keep doing efforts like this as a law enforcement officer?
I believe it's important because the sacrifices that those officers made for our community should never be forgotten.  I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I do.  I want those families to know that they are not forgotten and that someone has their back, even if its just to show respect, or help their child continue with their education.  As I have been doing this over the past few years, I have witnessed the impact and the pride that my fellow first responders have displayed, and most importantly, I have seen it in our community.
What's next for you in terms of "normal" racing (as much as racing full and half ironman is "normal"). 
Next up for me is the Superfrog IRONMAN 70.3 in San Diego this September.  I look forward to this race for it is the military championships and I will be racing in my vest and BDUs.
Do you have any more big charitable goals or promotional goals competing in your gear coming up? 
Yes, I am still trying to hit my goal of 1 million raised for the cause.  I am a little over 3/4 of the way there.  Next year I turn...ahem...50 years old, so I plan on doing a campaign entitled "Hawaii 5-0" where I will be doing several Ironman 70.3's in my gear with hopes to do Kona one last time in my gear.  I hope to transition the gear racing to Officer Gaspar over the course of the year so he can continue to represent the cause, I can then return to racing normally and continue to "coach" and introduce more first responders to the sport and healthier lifestyle.  In addition, I will still race direct my annual triathlon and I am also working on creating another fundraiser 100 mile endurance run race that will utilize the saddle rattle route.
-
Seriously awesome stuff, Ed.  Congratulations on all you do and have done to support this cause.  So long as you keep showing up, we'll keep supporting the efforts.  Good luck with the rest of the year!

Older Post Newer Post