Going the distance

May 30th, 2011

For this Father's Day celebration, Tommy Heffernan will present himself with a gift that will unwrap over 37.5 miles.

"I'm ready," Heffernan said of the June 18  Hilina‘i Walk. "I think I am."

The walk-a-thon is intended to help defray the tuition costs for his daughter, Hilina‘i, who suffers from hyptonia, a low-muscle-tone condition that can affect motor nerves and muscle strength. She attends Variety School of Hawaii, which has programs helpful for children with delayed development.

Heffernan, who is the Warriors' strength and conditioning coordinator, came up with the idea last year. He and his daughter often enjoy long walks in their Hauula neighborhood. The goal was to walk from Hauula to Variety's Diamond Head campus. To reach the destination at a reasonable time, Heffernan decided to start his trek at 12:10 a.m. About 30 others joined him at the start of last year's inaugural walk, with half lasting through the halfway point at Kaneohe District Park. Heffernan and a dozen others reached Diamond Head at about 3:30 p.m.

Heffernan said this year's walk, which will be held the day before this Father's Day, also will start a little after midnight.

Heffernan said the most difficult stretch is the 2,813 feet of Likelike Highway's Wilson Tunnel.

The walking lane is so narrow that they their backs were literally against the wall. "We were scraping the wall as the cars were going by," Heffernan said.

Heffernan said the school has been helpful.

"She's been 180 (degrees) from last year," Heffernan said. "Her speech is probably the most improved. She can communicate and get her thoughts and feelings out. She's more confident. She's doing a lot better."

Pledges may be deposited in the Friends of Hilina‘i Heffernan account at American Savings Bank. For details, go to hilinaiswalk.blogspot.com.

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It's always a shame when an omission is a declaration of a season's end. The UH baseball team had a nice run this year. It's unfortunate it won't go on.

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Bodog.com wastes little time:

Who will be the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes for the 2012 season

Urban Meyer                  3/2

Mark Stoops                  5/2

Jon Gruden 3/1

Bo Pelini 10/1

Mark Dantonio 12/1

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