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Director and Founder

Jonathan Lyau began running in 1979 at age 15. He has coached runners of different abilities. His runners range from pre-teens to 80+ years of age.  He is currently an assistant girl’s cross country coach at Iolani School.  He was the girl’s distance track coach at Kamehameha School for 10 years and the McKinley H.S. boy’s head XC coach for 1 year and also the head coach of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s marathon training program, “Team N’ Training” (1996-2013).  In 1996 he established Personal Best Training where he trains runners towards personal goals. Jonathan is one of Hawaii’s most accomplished road runners and a Hawaii State high school 3200m track champion (1982). He has completed over 40 marathons and has been the top Kamaaina (local-born) finisher in the Honolulu Marathon 17x from 1993 to 2004, 2006 to 2009, and 2012. He is the 1994 and 2002 Great Aloha Run champion. In 2009, he was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame.  In 2022, he was inducted in the inaugural Hawaii Running Hall of Fame. In 2022, he became the first person from Hawaii to run a Sub 3 hour marathon in 5 different decades.

Counselors/Coaches (2024): 
Matt Holton. Matt is a 4x Kama’aina Winner of the Honolulu Marathon, and his PR’s include: 2:23 marathon, 1:06:38 half, and 30:01 10K.  His home is on the Big Island.  A talented artist, Matt is an artist specializing in portraits using oil on canvas Matt makes videos on YouTube about his travels and water sports including windsurfing and big wave surfing. He has always been passionate about running. After spending a month in Iten, Kenya in 2019, his flame started to burn even brighter. It was here where he was able to observe first hand how world class runners lived/trained and was able to bring back a wealth of information.  Matt raced at the 2019 Masters Track and Field National Championship, and became the national champion in the 10,000 meters for his age group. He does much of his training in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii and is an avid YouTuber (Matt Holton).

Marissa (Missy) Kunsch.

Missy is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University where she competed on the cross-country team for 4 years and coached as a post grad for 5 years. She currently works full-time at the City and County of Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, and is a part-time assistant coach at Punahou School. Missy has competed in 10 marathons including Honolulu, Boston, and Berlin, and competed in the 2023 Speed Project relay race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Missy enjoys training with her friends and Kaka'ako Run Club. Her PRs include: 3:07 for marathon, 1:26 for half marathon,  37:54 for 10km, and 18:22 for 5km. 

Kristen Imada is the Head Girl's Cross Country Coach at Iolani School.  She actively competes in marathons and has run in the Boston, New York City, Chicago and Honolulu Marathons.  She was the 2023 Honolulu Marathon Kamaaina Champion.

Rise Morisato is a Clinical Dietician @ Kuakini Medical Center.  She is an assistant cross country coach at Pac 5.  She ran Track and XC at Marynoll School and was 2013 Aloha Cross Country Camper.

Kainani Kam Brandi ‘Kainani’ Kam ran Track and XC at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama and attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) where she studied Nutrition and Kinesiology Science.  She is also an assistant girls cross country coach at Kamehameha School.  She was a 2014 Aloha Cross Country Camper.  

Shane “Aka” Akamine - Retired XC and Track coach
Paul Oshiro - Kamehameha-Kapalama School assistant XC and Track coach
Workshop Speakers (2024):

Matt Holton

Missy Kunsch

Jacob Melnick (Dr. of Physical Therapy Director of Clinical Education @HPU)

Rise Morisato, MS RD

Kainani Kam, MS 






Special Guests:

Polina Carlson is Hawaii’s fastest female distance runner. Finding running later than most professional runners, Polina was a competitive tennis player at the University of West Alabama before her coach noticed that she outran everyone in running drills, including the members of the men's team. His encouragement to work out with the cross-country team to simply “stay in shape” for tennis led to her giving up tennis in order to focus solely on running. Since that time, Polina has seen success in her running career, taking victories at the 2014 Great Aloha Run, the 2013 XTERRA World Championship Half-Marathon and finishing 5th in the 2013 Honolulu Marathon. In December of 2014 Polina placed 6th at the California International Marathon with a time of 2:35:15, and has her sights now set on the Olympics.
Sponsored by Brooks Running, Polina currently resides and trains in Hawaii. Her rise has been meteoric and her potential is still untapped. She believes that with God by her side nothing is impossible.

2014, 2016, 2017
Tim Marr is a professional triathlete. He was born and raised in Hawaii. Tim is a 1997 graduate of Mililani High School where he was a standout athlete in cross country, track, and swimming. He currently lives and trains in Hawaii. Tim has won countless triathlons in Hawaii and also competes in triathlons around the world. He has placed as high as 15th in the Ironman World Championships held in Kona.

Gerry Lindgren is widely recognized as having been the best high school long distance runner in the United States. In 1964, in his senior year of high school, he ran 5000 meters (3.1 miles) in 13 minutes and 44 seconds, setting a U.S. high school record for the distance that would remain unbroken for 40 years. Among his other records he established that year was a time of 8:40.0 in an indoor 2-mile race, a mark that he would hold for 49 years until it was broken on February 16, 2013.  

On July 25, 1964, after graduating from high school, Lindgren outran two Russian runners to win the 10,000 meter event a the dual US-USSR Track Meet. Later that summer in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, he finished ninth in the 10,000 meters behind gold medalist Billy Mills after having sprained an ankle during training. In 1965 Lindgren also competed against Mills in the 1965 National Championship meet, where they raced the 6-mile where both were timed in 27:11.6, a new World Record.

Lindgren attended Washington State University. While at Washington State, Lindgren won 11 NCAA Championships. He was one of only two people to ever defeat Steve Prefontaine in an NCAA Championship.
Gerry has lived in Hawaii since the 1980’s. He continues to run regularly and is active in the Hawaii running community.
Gerry has been inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and is truly one of America’s all-time legends of distance running.
High school personal records (1964)

  • 1500 meters - 3:44.6 

  • 1-mile - 4:01.5

  • 3000 meters - 8:06.3

  • 2-mile (3.2 km) - 8:40

  • 3 miles (4.8 km) - 13:17

  • 5000 meters - 13:44

  • 10000 meters - 29:17.6



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