The University of Hawaii is in a giving mood this holiday season.
Kaneohe native turned Las Vegas resident Fuchsia Yamashiro hasn’t missed a Rainbow Warrior football road game in two years. That included the Mountain West Conference championship game in Boise, Idaho last Saturday.
It was a tough decision, as Yamashiro was also scheduled to be at the Honolulu Marathon 18 hours later.
“Two things that I love more than anything is Hawaii football, Hawaii Athletics in general and running,” Yamashiro said.
“The question became do I do the marathon do I do the game? How about both?”
After purchasing a ticket to the MWC title game, Yamashiro booked a ticket that would force her to leave at halftime, but arrive in Honolulu at 10:30 pm.
She reluctantly left the game on time to catch her flight, but mother nature didn’t oblige, delaying the trip due to weather. She wouldn’t be able to catch her connecting flight in San Francisco.
“All of a sudden the flight’s now delayed. I’m not gonna make my connecting flight, not gonna make it home for the marathon. Standing there at the gate in tears.” Yamashiro said.
With a flight rebooked for the next day and the 26.2 miles 2,800 miles away, Yamashiro went back to Albertson’s Stadium to watch Boise State put the finishing touches on a 31-10 win over the ‘Bows.
It was then that one of her friends had an idea.
“Someone mentioned about the team’s charter.”
The Rainbow Warriors don’t usually charter flights back to Honolulu but did for the MWC championship. Yamashiro got in touch with some Athletic Department officials, who made ends meet. She was booked for Honolulu after the game.
“I jumped up and down gave people some hugs,” Yamashiro said.
The charter flight arrived at Daniel K. Inouye International airport just before 1:00 am. Fuchsia was too excited to sleep, so she went to Waikiki and readied for the marathon, arriving for the 5:00 am start.
“At the start when Hawaii Ponoi was playing, I couldn’t believe I made it home and was there at that start,” Yamashiro said.
She beat a course personal record, finishing in 3:52:28.
“Crossing the finish line felt amazing. My whole family was there my mom and my aunties were crying as I crossed the finish line.”
Consider it payback for Yamashiro’s support of the UH athletic department. She began following the Rainbow Warriors and Wahine as a child but grew close to the program when she moved to UNLV as a freshman in 2007.
“We went to games growing up but once I went to the mainland the away games became a way for me to be around Hawaii people. Like when I’m so homesick by myself in Vegas I can go to a game and it’s like I’m around family.”