Honaunau’s Tai Liko Scarbrough has become a familiar name in the winner’s circle of Peaman Biathlon events for the last 15 years or so.

And that’s because while he may not be able to participate in every event, during those Sunday mornings that he is able to make it, it’s never a surprise to see the 41-year-old Hawaii County Fireman blazing through the finish line as the overall champion.

Sunday’s Peaman Wacky Whirled Peas Quadrathlon proved no different as Scarbrough won in convincing fashion, ripping through the double 1/3-mile swim and 2-mile run in a fabulous time of 38 minutes and 48 seconds.

What made it more impressive was seeing his wife, Heather, claim the women’s division with her time of 45:49 and placing third overall.

“It was a great event and really challenging. We had to swim and run, then swim and run again,” Tai Scarbrough said after crossing the finish line. “We were actually really surprised by that as we didn’t know that was the course today. It was competitive as I haven’t been in the water racing anyone for awhile.”

As a lifelong waterman adept at swimming, paddling, surfing and fishing, Scarbrough is also a renowned barefoot runner whose speed has earned him legendary status in the South Kona district.

He has accumulated countless victories over Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s 37 years hosting the prestigious Mac-A-Thon 5K &10K races. This April, Scarbrough and Heather swept the 5K-footrace by winning the men and women’s divisions. The duo is often seen competing together along with their two sons, Kaili and Lihau, at local paddling and running events.

Scarbrough described Sunday’s double 1/3-mile swim and 2-mile run as one of the most challenging and physical segments he’s entered in awhile.

“I got my goggles kicked off my face and I had to recover from that,” he laughed. “And the run was tough as I was chasing somebody who I believe was Cody (Ranfranz) and I really couldn’t hold on. So I kept telling myself, ‘He’s a relay, he’s a relay,’ but it kept me hungry and pushing just to hold onto him.

“Then getting back into the water to do it again was another challenge. But all in all it was super fun. And knowing that the rest of the family was out there, my wife and two kids, just made the morning even better.”

Claiming runner-up positions in the male and female long course divisions were Eric Ellefson and Jeni Smith-Winegarner with their times of 41:09 and 47:26.

Danny Becker (swim) teamed up with Cody Ranfranz (run) to easily crush the Split Peas relay division with their combined time of 36:56. Mike Schiff won the run-only race with his time of 20:40.

In the competitive LavaKids Pea Wee race of a 200-yard swim and 1-mile run, Kailua-Kona’s Jackson Thoma won his second victory of the year as he sprinted through the finish line in a time of 13:24.

Thoma recently tied Sophia Fedder-Oka’s age record of being the youngest LavaKids Pea Wee course winner at 7 years of age. Ellie Platter topped the female division in 14:09, with Jenna Catanzaro winning the 1-mile sprint in 9:02.

Scarbrough expressed value in having his entire family participate in a community event like Peaman Biathlons.

“I think it’s especially fun because my family is able to get a taste of that competitiveness with it also being very casual. My kids can push themselves among other kids and it’s really, no pressure, just designed to be fun.

“I don’t think Peamans should stop anytime soon. I think it’s excellent for everyone to get a taste of it and then move onto bigger and more competitive events like Lavaman and Ironman. It’s a great gateway biathlon.”

HCC’s Kua Bay

Training Time Trial

In a cycling race where every second counts, nearly 20 riders turned out for Saturday’s Kua Bay Training Time Trial hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club.

Often referred to as “the race of truth,” the 12.2-mile point-to-point race began on the shoulder of Queen Kaahumanu Highway near the entrance of Waikoloa Beach Drive, with riders heading south to finish across of the Veterans Cemetery.

Time trials are considered to be one of the more demanding events on the circuit as each outcome is solely dependent upon an individual’s strength, endurance and mental tenacity with their only true competitor being the clock.

Saturday’s undulating course featured a few flat sections which led into some of the more challenging segments — hills leading up to the scenic overlook and Kua Bay turnoff that had everyone’s quads burning and lungs nearly maxed out.

And just to make the already grueling task a bit more miserable was a persistent headwind that would eventually land every rider in the “hurt box.”

However, despite the formidable challenge that awaited riders on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona’s Joe Fairchild proved to be the fastest of the morning, clocking in a time of 31 minutes and 3 seconds, for an average speed of 23.57 miles per hour.

What made his win more impressive was Fairchild competed the event on a standard road bike with no aero bars, which are designed better for hill climbing rather than time trialing.

Jeff Lassle powered across the finish line to claim the second best time of 31:27, with Eric Ellefson nabbing the third spot in 32:19.

Returning to compete in my first time trial race in six years after having two boys, I was happy to grit out a fourth overall finishing time of 32:37. Jeni Smith Winegarner was the only other female who competed, and finished in a great time of 35:16.

Four competitors completed the weekend double (two-day triathlon) consisting of Saturday’s 12.2-mile training time trial and Sunday’s Peaman double biathlon of a 1/3-mile swim and 2-mile run.

Ellefson had the fastest combined time of 1:13:28, followed by Paul Leonard (1:20:54), Winegarner (1:22:42) and Bill Culhane (1:48:15).

Next up on the Hawaii Cycling Club calendar of events is the Sea To Stars cycling hill-climb race on Saturday, August 4th. The 48-mile road race will begin at sea level on Waikoloa Beach Road and end at the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center for a total of 9,800 feet in elevation gained.

Don’t miss out on an exciting opportunity to be a part of an extraordinary event and earn some well-deserved bragging rights.


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