Honolulu Athlete Races the Sun – and Wins!
HONOLULU, HI –For Ocean Safety Lifeguard, EMT and waterman, Jeff Kozlovich, 49, yesterday looked like this.
Start running at 5:50 AM at Magic Island, through Ala Moana Center, head for the Pali, up the mountain and down the other side to Kailua Beach, toss off the running shoes and launch the paddle board, head east past Lanikai, around Makapuu Point, paddle past Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou, Aina Haina, Kahala, Diamond Head and Waikiki, and finish at Magic Island – before sunset.
The months of training for this mega-exercise adventure paid off. Jeff was over an hour ahead of schedule by the time he reached Kailua Beach Park and set out on his paddleboard into the wind and into rough water. Conditions did not improve until he rounded the corner near Hanauma Bay.
He played it safe and stayed far outside the rising surf – too far for those in his support crew of family, photographer David Cornwell and Ocean Safety Lifeguard Bill Goding to spot. When Jeff arrived back at Magic island at 6:42 PM – 12 hours and 52 minutes after his start and a half hour before sunset - the support crew plus other Lifeguards were still looking for him off Diamond Head.
“It was actually funny- I got there before they did and I wasn’t that tired even at the end. I had wanted to show what a healthy lifestyle can do and I was determined to finish my adventure on time. I didn’t start off as healthy as many folks so I had to work a little harder.”
As a small child, Kozlovich often had chronic bronchitis, which led to hospital stays. His breathing problems and the loss of his aunt to lung cancer led to his decision to make his race with the sun an opportunity to raise funds for American Lung Association in Hawaii. Now he documents his and others’ sports adventures on his blog, kozhawaii.blogspot.com, where anyone can donate to ALA in Hawaii.
Says ALAH Executive Director Jean Evans, “We’re delighted to be the recipient of Jeff’s extreme fitness adventure. His lifestyle shows how important breath is to any athlete. And his loss of a family member to lung cancer and his own past history with chronic breathing problems put him in the company of more than 175,000 people in Hawaii with lung disease.”