Masuo Kino has competed every Great Aloha Run and this year will be number 35 on Monday

At 89 years old, Masuo Kino is preparing for his 35th Hawaii Pacific Health Great Aloha Run on Feb. 18, Presidents Day.

The Kaneohe resident, who will be 90 in April, has completed the 8.15-mile course from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium every year since the race began. He is the eldest of the nearly 40 participants who have completed all 35 races.

“I started to run, and then the years kind of piled up — 10, 20, 30 — so I said, ‘Wow, I think I’m going to keep on going until I can’t walk,’” he said. “I feel pretty peppy about walking. I am really fortunate in that I can still walk, whereas some of my colleagues are deceased, in wheelchairs, use walkers or canes.”

Kino said he feels fortunate to be able to walk vigorously for three to four miles about three times a week. He said he started the routine “pretty late in life,” at age 50 or so, when a friend suggested they try different races. He’s also completed the half-marathon in Kailua.

“The first 25 years or so, I had a friend who ran with me every weekend for about 20 years, and then unfortunately he passed away,” Kino said.

Now he walks “pretty briskly” with his granddaughter, who is in her early 20s, for the entire course. His time last year: 2 hours and 22 minutes.

Last year about 18,000 runners ran the race starting at 7 a.m., with the awards ceremony and entertainment beginning at 8:30 a.m. The race has raised more than $14 million for some 150 nonprofit organizations throughout Hawaii.

Kino said he trains year-round and intensifies his training every February in anticipation of the race.

“I hope to do it for a few more years,” he said. “Apparently, it keeps my body mechanics in order.”

posted Saturday February 16th