Fit To Graduate From Kamehameha

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - February 23, 2011
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Theone Chock with student Kayla Yee

At 7 a.m. Sunday, March 6, about 100 junior and senior girls from Kamehameha Schools are expected to be at the start line of the 34th annual Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10K. Each girl is to finish by a certain time as a prerequisite to graduate, but teachers are hoping their participation in this community event will continue even after high school.

“It’s a requirement for both their junior and senior years, and if they fail to make their expected finish time they have to do another one,” explains Theone Chock, physical education teacher at Kamehameha Schools. “We have about 16 different (swimming, biking and/or running) events they can choose from. And it’s an individual event, taking about an hour, but we’ve even had students do marathons.

“The Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10K (formerly known as the Straub/Kapiolani Women’s 10K) is one of the popular events because the girls don’t feel intimidated with guys being around. Also, it’s a very large event and they’ll get caught up by people with strollers and the walkers, and it’s good for them to be out there in the community to see that people are doing this and not doing it because they have to. They’re not doing this for a PE credit, they’re doing this to be healthy. So we choose annual events so they can continue to come back and train for it (after high school). And every year, no matter what event we go to, you will see alumni, so hopefully we’re planting the seed.”

According to Chock, Kamehameha Schools requires a K-12 PE credit. However, when students become juniors and seniors, they take PE3 and PE4, which are no longer taught in a classroom or group setting. Instead, students receive individual counseling, almost like having their own personal trainer. Once the student decides on the community event he/she wants to do, the “trainer” will provide a 10-week program. Then it’s up to students to manage their own time and figure out how to get the training in.

“Each participant is given an expected time range, and this is determined by what they’ve done as freshmen when they did the Kamehameha Schools Freshman Class 10K, and we take into consideration what they did as sophomores when they did the Kamehameha Schools biathlon, which is a 800-meter swim followed by a 4-mile run,” adds Chock. “Also, we have various pacing runs and we get an idea of what they are capable of doing, and from that we extract an expected finish time. They have to beat that or they owe another event because something went wrong with their training.”

Chock has been at Kamehameha since 1974, and says the PE3 and PE4 requirement was implemented more than 25 years ago at the suggestion of school president Michael Chun. “When he came on board, his idea was, hey, our students are not graduating in the physical shape that they should be in. They’re in worse shape than they are when they came in as freshmen. What are we going to do about it?” recalls Chock.

In addition to the Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10K, Chock names the Lanikai Bike Path 10K, Pearl Harbor Bike Path 10K, YMCATurkey Swim, Waikiki Swim Club Fin Swim (but without fins), Mokuleia Time Trial, Makaha Time Trial, and Castle to Hanauma Cycling Time Trial as some popular events the students choose to enter.

For each one, students are responsible for paying their entry fee, unless they receive financial aid or request for financial assistance. It’s also common for students to recruit their friends and family to participate. And their classmates often support them by helping at the races. For example, at the upcoming Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10K, about 70 students from Kamehameha Schools also will be there to serve as volunteers.

The Hawaii Pacific Health Women’s 10K is a 6.2-mile race starting at Kapiolani Park, going through Diamond Head and Kahala, and finishing back at Kapiolani Park. To register or for more information, visit or call 535-7674.

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