Ultra Running in Hawaii

Navigation:/, Facts & FIgures/Ultra Running in Hawaii

There are people in Hawaii doing 100 mile ‘races’ with a cutoff time – meaning you must finish the race within 36 hours.

[Ultra-running  video at the bottom of this article]

Ultra running is something I’ve only recently thought of doing – in Hawaii, and my first one will likely be in Thailand in 2015. Pre-2014, I think the farthest I ever ran was about 12-15 miles. I wasn’t keeping track at the time, it was just a very good run so I kept going for a few hours. It usually is not like that for me, running has always been fun for short runs – but for long, no. Not at all really.

Then I started watching all these ultra-running videos at Youtube. I read “Born to Run,” and amazing book that really gives a nice overview about what ultra-running is like from the insider point of view. The book makes ultra-running seem like everyone can do it, and the story of how they start an ultra run for people all over the world in the outback of Mexico is really a great read. Highly recommended.

I started running 4-6 miles a day. Then 7-9. Then I thought, ah, what the heck, I’ll try a 15 mile run. I made it. I tried another. I finished that one too. One day I was feeling lethargic, it was raining, it was cold. I knew I had to run that day or I’d cause problems with my schedule and goals. I went out and walked around the park a few times in the rain. Then I figured, why not? I ran a bit. I didn’t stop for 21 miles.

Technically an ultra run is anything beyond the standard long-distance race – the marathon – at 26 miles. I am shooting for a 30 mile run at a supported event just north of here in January. I think I’ll be able to complete it. I don’t think I’ll be able to do anything resembling “racing” it.

I’ve done triathlons, 10K running races, long bike races of 100 miles.

Running for 100 miles in the H.U.R.T. race in Hawaii? Sorry, just not interested. I’ve power-hiked (hiked fast) up many of Oahu and Maui’s mountain ridge and peak hikes. They are great fun, but really challenging as there is no water and you have to bring your own. The path is slippery often, and downright treacherous at times. There are some dangerous spots, but really the prime dangers are rolling an ankle on a root or rock and having to hobble back to civilization. There are many people on the trails in Hawaii, so you’ll have company. I don’t remember seeing anyone running the trails when I was there, but I did go with a group of Hash House Harriers up Tantalus and a couple of other great mountain trails for a strenuous jog every week or so.

Recently I saw videos of Michael Arnstein, accomplished ultra-runner, that ran 100 miles and then climbed a 6,200 foot mountain in just two hours the next day. Apparently he wasn’t sore. This inspired me. Not to try it – but, to write more about it, so I looked up ultra-running in Hawaii and found the HURT group.

HURT means the Hawaii Ultra Running Team. Their next race is January 17th AND 18th, 2015. You know that’s a sick race when they announce that the race covers 2 days! They start at 6 a.m. on the 17th, apparently. The record holder, Gary Robbins, did the race in just 21 hours 34 minutes in 2014. They need volunteers, so if you want something fun to do – go help out and see firsthand what these nuts are all about.

Specifically they need Hawaii volunteers to:

1) assist in case of an emergency,
2) maintain course markings,
3) monitor the race.

If you think you might be interested in doing a 100 mile run, the team offers the “Book of HURT” <- click to get it (PDF).

Contact info for HurtHawaii.com – kailuamac@yahoo.com

2017-05-18T20:52:47+00:00

About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.

Join the conversation! What do you think?