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 (12 yrs) and a Lanikai Juice Run Club coach.   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 nearly 40 marathons and has been the top 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.  


Counselors/Coaches (2019):
Bethany Spector recently completed five years of active duty service in the Navy and moved to Kailua, HI where you might see her running during her daily workouts. She was introduced to cross country 15 years ago and ran both cross country and track through high school and college (United States Naval Academy). Since college, she has been involved in various running groups and teams across the US and actively participates in multiple running clubs in the Kailua area. Bethany enjoys road racing and has discovered trail running since moving to Hawaii. She also volunteers with Girls on the Run and local environmental restoration groups.  She coaches XC and track at Mid Pacific Institute.  She is the 2018 Hibiscus 1/2 Marathon female champion.
Dr. Nathan Carlson is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves and works at Tripler Army Medical Center as a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  He specializes in Strength and Conditioning and is an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist.  He also teaches a running form class to help people run injury free and more efficiently.  Nate is the Castle High School Track and Field Distance coach and founder/coach of Dr. Nate’s Champion Running Program that individually trains Oahu high school distance runners throughout the summer and winter to prepare them for their high school seasons and future college running careers.  He previously had a personal training business and spent one season as an assistant cross country coach at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. In 2012, he was inducted into the Saint Martin’s University Athletic Hall of Fame where he was an NCAA DII All-American in Track and school record holder in the mile and 1500m. Nate placed 32nd in the 2012 USA Cross Country National Championships as a member of the All-Army Team.  He was also the first Hawaii resident in the 2013 and 2014 Honolulu Marathon.    

Gary Fanelli Jr. graduated from Damien Memorial School in 2013 where he excelled in cross country and track. In his senior year in high school he finished 9th in the state xc meet. He was the 2013 Hawaii State High School 1500m champion and runner up in the 800m. Gary was a 3 x Aloha Cross Country Camper and has been an counselor every year since.  He is a graduate of Southern Oregon University and majored in communications.  Gary has run 800m in 1:54 and 8k in 27:32.  In 2017, Gary made All-American running in the 4 x 400m at NAIA Nationals.  He enjoys hiking and going to the beach. 
Matt Holton has been Assistant Coach for Kihei’s Cross Country team for four years. From 2013-2015 Holton was the Kama’aina Winner of the Honolulu Marathon, and his PR’s include: 2:23 marathon, 1:06:38 half, and 30:01 10K. Matt’s passion for running has compelled him to create a running trail in his backyard pasture in Upcountry Kula at 2,500 ft. elevation. His cottage on Maui is also home to Holton Gallery where Matt has his studio where every nook and cranny is full of an eclectic collection of artwork from oil portraitures, wood carvings, abstract paintings, and most recently mixed media sculpture/paintings.
Zoe Sims became a runner in high school at Hawaii Prep Academy, roaming around the hills of Kona and Kohala on the Big Island. After graduating from HPA in 2013, she went on to run track and XC for Princeton University, specializing in Ecology and Environmental Studies in the classroom, and the 800m on the track. Back home in the islands, she works at the State Legislature, coaches with the Roosevelt High team, and refuels her spirit by freediving and trail running. Zoe currently remains the Hawaii High School State record-holder for the Girls' 1500m (4:36.2, set in 2013), and can't wait to watch - and, she hopes, coach - the next athlete to claim the title

Shane “Aka” Akamine - Roosevelt High School assistant XC and Track coach
Paul Oshiro - Kamehameha-Kapalama School assistant XC and Track coach


Workshop Speakers (2019):
Ray Woo (Runner’s HI)
Dr. Nate Carlson
Matt Holton
Bethany Spector

Tim Boyce (University of Hawaii)





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