Spoiler alert – I don’t fall even once (how I managed that on this course is beyond me) so unfortunately there are no pictures or stories of gashed open knees or other body parts.
Although training leading up to the HURT 100 was way less than ideal, I was still excited to embark on this adventure. Two of my best friends, Nic and Juli Shelton and I had been talking about and preparing for the racecation since I first got selected in August. No matter what happened in the race it was going to be a super fun experience. We landed in Honolulu Wednesday late evening. The warm air was very welcoming, as was the beach and sun time on Thursday. Friday it was sleep in, pack the crew bag and pre race meeting day. After the brief afternoon meeting it was nice to catch up with several of my friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Saturday morning shortly before 6 am we all gathered on the bridge for a pre race prayer, the earth is my body, the water is my blood, the wind is my breath and the fire is my spirit. Now the fun begins ….
I had been warned and seen pictures of the massive roots that had to be navigated on this course, so I was prepared for the worst. The course definitely contains
numerous roots that you have to navigate over through and around, luckily they were not as bad as I had envisioned and were, for me, manageable. The rocks,
however, are slick little bastards that are just waiting to take you out. Since all the runners start out on a single track it is a bit congested during the first loop as everyone settles into the rhythm and pace they’re comfortable with. Towards the end for the first loop I started running with Caleb, which later on that evening would end up being one of my main running partners. The course was dry with the excepting of the water crossing before the Nu’uanu aid station, where I got to see my crew for the first time. Overall the first loop went smoothly and I was feeling solid on the climbs and descents.
Loop two started with a shoe change to get into dry shoes for 13 miles before hitting the river crossing again. The heat was now starting to settle in. The advantage of the tree canopy is you are shaded from the sun. The disadvantage of the tree canopy is there is absolutely no air flow. You can see on loop two the people who went out too hard as they were starting to really struggle and runners are beginning to get a little
more spread out. Coming into Nu’uanu, Nic made the
comment that it was cooler over here. I knew what he meant, that is was cooler at that aid station because it was by the water and it was, but he still got the death stare. Note to crew, never say that to your runner when they can wring sweat out of every piece of clothing they have on.
After running the last half of loop two together Caleb and I decided to try to stick together for loop three since it was be the beginning of the night section. We headed out of the Nature Center and made it to Paradise
Park before dark. As the sun set, it felt slightly cool which was nice after running through the heat of the day. Everything was going well and we were making good time as Caleb and I traded off leading. I left Nu’uanu slightly before Caleb thinking he would catch me shortly; however it would be as I was leaving the Nature Center for the fourth loop before I would see him again.
In my opinion this is the hardest loop of the race. Having the company of a pacer this loop was nice,
although being a night loop it was a little trickier navigating and route finding through some of the roots with the shadows created by the second headlamp behind me. As I was making my way into Paradise Park sleep was calling my name. Juli had some caffeine gum, which
I chewed on for the next thirty minutes. Over the ridge line I remember being so sleepy all I wanted to do was to crawl into a ball and take a nap. I kept telling myself if I can just make it to the aid station I would let myself take a nap there, knowing fully that once I got there I would be reenergized by my crew and the volunteers that I wouldn’t be able to nap. On the decent into the aid station the caffeine gum finally kicked in and I started to feel like running again. Coming into the Nature Center I was still sleepy. I knew daylight was coming soon and I just had to push on.
Loop five I picked up my poles and my good friend and long time running buddy, Nic. The advantage of running with someone you’ve known a long time is they know exactly how to push you. Even when I knew I wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted too, Nic knew how to encourage me to where I didn’t feel down on myself which, in turn, made me run faster. I was slightly sad, that after the first climb, the guys with the fresh coconut had already
packed up and were no longer set up by the road. The sun was up and I was starting to feel stronger and was having fun again. We made fast in
and out transitions at the aid stations. Coming home on the last section we even hit some 7:30 minute miles, I could now smell the finish line. I got to ring the bell and kiss the sign in 30 hours 44 minutes after I started this epic adventure. My time was good for 4th female and 20th overall.
Overall take away
HURT 100 is an amazing race and one of the hardest courses I have done. I could not have had the race I did without my
amazing friends who came to crew. I think they deserve a buckle more than I do. Juli is so incredibly detailed she had everything set out and ready when I came into every aid station. The aid station food at this race is, without a doubt, the best quality and selection of any race I have been to. You definitely want to make sure you have a good light source (or two) because it does get dark under the tree cover. The volunteers, of course, are wonderful, even
though I had a crew they were always coming over to ask if there was anything I needed. This was the first race where when I finished I had a heat rash pretty much everywhere that clothing touched my skin. I rarely repeat races, this is one I am hoping the lottery gods like me next year and allow me to take on this beast of a course once again.
Time – 30 hours, 44 minutes
Place – 4st female, 20th over all
Nutrition – average of about 150 cal/hour (real food)
Hydration Vest – Nathan VaporHowe 12L, bladder half full and a soft flask
Shoes – Pearl Izumi N 1’s, because I can’t find another shoe that works (I’m sad they’re getting hard to find)
Socks – Drymax (Changed every loop at the Nature Center)
Pre-Race supplements (also taken daily) – Mito Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Endurance Amino, Endurolytes and Anti-Fatigue Caps (all Hammer products)
Post race recovery – Hammer Recoverrite and Tissue Rejuvenator