Story by Karen Iwamoto on 03/08/2018SCHOFIELD BARRACKS In James Jones' classic World War II novel From Here to Eternity, protagonist Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is ordered to run up the Kolekole Pass, here, as punishment for talking back to an officer.
On Saturday, March 3, a crowd of over 300 showed up voluntarily to make what was, in essence, the same run.
The lure of access to an area that is usually restricted proved irresistible for those who signed up for the Kolekole 10K Run. They began gathering at Leaders Field before daybreak, prepared to make the dash to the Kolekole lookout and back.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii opened its gates to the public for the event, welcoming participants of all ages and walks of life, from competitive runners to parents with strollers and baby carriers. The only yelling along the way came not from irate officers, but from fellow runners cheering each other to the top.
"This is something we wanted to make sure we shared with the community," USAG-HI commander, Col. Stephen E. Dawson, said.
A handful left with medals and prizes for their speed, but all had an opportunity to take in the view from the Kolekole lookout, an area that is usually closed to the public. The Army and the Navy share control of access to the Kolekole Pass, which connects Schofield Barracks to Navy property. The Navy oversees the portion of the pass that includes the lookout.
Dawson, who participated in the Kolekole 10K with his family, thanked Navy officials for working with the Army to make the run possible.
For avid runners like Sergio Florian of Honolulu, who placed third in the males open category of the race, the route was a breeze. His family came along for a chance to see the view of the Waianae Valley stretching out to the ocean or at least that may have been the original intent.
"The part I enjoyed the most was finishing," said his wife, Dayane Florian, who had pushed their 5-year-old son, Kai, in a stroller and carried their 2-year-old daughter, Keila, in a baby carrier, during the run. "But the view was really nice out there, too."
Latosha Collins, an Army spouse, also completed the race with her two children, Gabriel, 4, and Micah, 1.
"It was tough, but it was worth it. I'm so glad I made it to the top," she said.
"And now my feet hurt," Gabriel said.
"You think your feet hurt," Latosha replied, with a laugh. "Next time I do something like this, I think I'm going to get a doggie stroller."
She had pushed both Gabriel and Micah in a single baby stroller by herself for much of the route, although Gabriel did walk for some portions. Her husband couldn't join them because he was at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Their family has been stationed in Hawaii for three years, but this was the first time she got to see the Kolekole lookout, and she said she was glad to have had the chance before they made a permanent change of station move.
Donald Hopper, Jenifer Kanechika and Evan Nishimura of Pearl City also came out for the chance to see the Waianae valley from the lookout. Kanechika is a civilian employee for the Navy. She found out about the race through a Navy email, and urged Hopper and Nishimura to come along.
"Having lived on Oahu my whole life, I had heard about (the Kolekole Pass), but I had never had a chance to see it," Nishimura said. "When (Jenifer and Donald) told me about this, I decided to come out and see for myself."
On top of taking in the view, Nishimura placed second in the race category for males aged 35 to 39.
For more information and to register for the following upcoming Army races, visit HiMWR.com/races.
Color Blast 5K Run (DOD ID cardholders only)
Helemano Military Reservation
Run through 4 miles of color powder during this family friendly event.
National Run Day Virtual Run
Location and distance up to you.
This race is a qualifier for active duty Army.
Hawaii's Hardest Half
This out and back half marathon goes up and through the Kolekole Pass.
The Wurst 5K Run
This Oktoberfest-inspired run will include German food stations.
Zombie Run 5K
This evening run is full of zombie survivors and zombie slayers.
Pearl Harbor Commemoration Run/Walk
Wheeler Army Airfield
Learn about WAAF's historical connection to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor during this 4K.
Kolekole Walking Path
While the Kolekole lookout is generally closed to the public, the Kolekole walking-hiking path is open weekends when live-fire training is not being conducted. To find out when the path is open, connect with the garrison at facebook.com/usaghawaii.