Melissa Braswell, an owner of Big Island Running Company, made the move from Chicago to Kailua-Kona in 2009 with her husband Jason, transitioning from life as a transactional attorney in a city known for its nasty winter weather into life as an entrepreneur in a land where a bad weather day is a cloudy sunset.
Melissa started running as an exercise alternative to the team sports that she played while in school, and she eventually caught the racing bug. While in Chicago, she enjoyed running 5ks through half marathons, never quite making it to the marathon distance. It wasn't until 2011 that she finally completed her first marathon in Honolulu, finishing in just under 4 hours. Lucky for her, she also won a contest that grants her free entry to the Honolulu Marathon and the Hapalua Half Marathon for life!
Melissa has a marathon P.R. of 3:47:45, set at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon. Although she has dreams of one day qualifying for Boston, the half marathon distance is still her favorite.