Monday, April 15, 2013

Iha Park

The terrible twos have taken over Isaac and I'm ready to call an exorcist.  I'm not sure if I'm taking the tantrums, acting out, and major attitude harder because Isaac is usually such a sweet, mellow little dude, or maybe I've just blocked the memories of when Owen went through this phase.  Either way, I haven't had the energy or the patience to do much exploring with the boys lately.

But the weather was amazing last Saturday and I needed to get out of the house.  When we headed up to Bios on the Hill a few months ago, we spotted construction on a new park just off the 329.  I recently heard that the park was finally open, so we used Saturday's great weather to check it out.

Looking over Iha Park

Iha Park (伊波公園) is so nice!

There's several playgrounds and lots of places for the kids to play.  The main structure (pictured above) has some big slides, an obstacle course, and towers to climb for older children but there's plenty of smaller slides and tunnels for younger toddlers too.  The toddlers even have their own playground.  And of course the boys loved Iha's tall slide!

Owen navigating an obstacle

Toddler play area

Iha's big slide

Swing sets

Besides the great playgrounds, the upper area of the park has several fields, a small baseball diamond, a bull ring, and exercise equipment.  Although I'm not sure on the distance (I'd guess a half mile) and there are some stairs, the path winding through the park is cushioned and wide enough for a double jogging stroller.  Going for a run then turning the boys loose on the playground would be fun.

Pull up bars and cardio equipment
The boys enjoying the reflexology track

To get to Iha Park, travel north on the 329 by-pass.  Just before the intersection for the 6 (and right after an overpass), Iha Park is on the right hand side.  The park is very easy to spot from the 329, so shouldn't be difficult to find.  (Iha Park isn't on Google Maps yet, but here's a map of the general area.)  The park was very busy on Saturday and we didn't get a chance to find the parking lot, but there was plenty of places to park on the small road on the park's perimeter.

There's also the Iha-jo Castle Ruins in the neighborhood.  Next time we might pack a little lunch and do some more exploring after hitting the playground.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ayahashi Half

The Ayahashi half marathon was awesome!  Definitely one of the best races I've ever done.

I had a lot of fun doing the 10k last year but I think the half is much better.  It was much less crowded than the 10k and you get to spend a lot more time taking in the views of the ocean.  Either way, both distances have amazing spectators, wonderful volunteers, tons of water stops, and a beautiful course.

Unfortunately, the weather this year was a bit of a challenge.  Although I was glad to have a breeze to keep me cool, the wind gusts made the last 3 miles tough.  I often felt as if I was running diagonally - moving forward across the bridge while leaning into the wind.

Chris was sick and I didn't want to drag the kids out with iffy weather, so I went alone again this year.  I left McT around 6:45, got to the parking lot around 7am.  Easy peasy!  (I take the 8 and then a left on to the 37, just follow the signs for Henza Island.)  This year I tested out the Okinawan "bag check system" (aka just leave your stuff in the stadium) and can happily report my back pack with warm up gear and iPod was right where I left it.

This year's pictures can be found on this website  Following the instructions that came in the packet were a little confusing for me, so here's the steps to see your Ayahashi pictures:

1. Go to the website, in the upper left hand corner is a box for the event ID, type 201891 and click the brown button
Event ID: 201891
 2. Next, enter your bib number (ナンバーカード) and click the grey button

Password: 9208

Cannot wait to run the Ayahashi half again next year!