- Gordy Ainsleigh
1-9-12 PRE RACE REPORT
Have you ever been put in a situation that seemed impossible, but somehow you pull it off? How much more proud are you when you think there is no way of doing it, but you made it happen? When you expect something to happen and it goes as planned there isn't much satisfaction in that.
Before running my first hundred miler I had no idea what to expect. That's what drew me to it. My mind was having trouble comprehending what I was about to embark on. When i stuck it out for nearly 24 hours through some of the most rocky and rugged terrain you can find, I was in shock at what I had just done. It was one hell of a journey and I'll never forget it. One year later I arrived looking to go sub 20 and possibly win. My knee locked up and I basically walked the final 30 miles in. I never considered quitting, but when i finished I really didn't care about what i had just done since I considered it a failure even though it was still an hour and a half faster then last year. I'm proud that I overcame that obstacle, but I never considered not finishing so when I arrived at the finish it was expected.
Looking at the hurt 100, I'm not sure how I'm going to pull this one off. Finishing at three in morning at Cactus Rose doesn't quite put you in that sleep deprivation mode. The average person who actually finishes HURT takes approximately 32-33 hours to finish. At that point you encounter some major sleep deprivation, and it's hard to keep functioning at that point. I cannot wait to find out what I'm made of. I like to say that I'm ready. I like to say that I'm one mentally tough mofo. But am I really? Have I truly been put in that situation when quitting really sounds like the best option. When quitting is completely justify able, and not a single person will question you. When you can't comprehend what it will take to finish when the muddiest, rockiest, steepest, root infested mountain lies between every aid station. Well what did Gordy tell himself that day when his horse went lame for the western states one day? Back then the race was a 100 mile horseback ride, and nobody ever considered doing it on foot. Well, without a horse he decided to attempt it on foot and 23 hours and 42 minutes later he arrived in Auburn. He told himself that one more step was possible. That will go through my mind when that situation comes in the darkest hours of the night when I'm hurdling roots and slogging up and down those mountains covered in mud. Gordy also said the darkest hour is always just before dawn. So if you can just not quit.
|The H.U.R.T. 100 elevation profile of the entire 100 miles. Perfectly flat and fast right?|
|A map of one loop from the course. each 20 mile loop is three sections. each section goes up one side and down the other side of the mountain. each section meets at the summit, and each aid station is in the valley.|
As far as a goal? Finish. But if you know me, you know that i have a time goal. The condition of the course drastically effects the runner's pace. With good conditions, I would like a sub 26. If it gets as nasty as it has been known to get out there I believe that just finishing the damn thing will be good enough. Even if it takes 35 hours and 59 minutes. (time limit is 36 hours)
H.U.R.T. 100 RACE REPORT
I got into honolulu late wed night (4 am Dallas time) so i went straight to sleep. Thursday and Friday we stayed pretty active with swimming at north shore and a short hike Friday before the meeting. The meeting was brief and it was nice to meet the RD's and other runners. Matt got to work milking all the past finishers what their secrets were. All the answers had one thing in common: start slow! We went back to the hotel, i packed my drop bags then we set out for dinner. We landed at a local diner that had all you can pancakes! When we got back i was exhausted and actually went to sleep right away. That's a rarity before races, but a full nights sleep was important before this one.
Loop 1 (getting a taste for what HURT is all about)
About ten minutes before the race start the RD's called us up to the starting bridge. We all gathered on this bridge in the dark which was only lit by a line of tiki torches the first 20 yards of the race. We had a brief moment of silence. I used that time to mentally settle down and think about what i was about to embark on. The only thing you could hear was the river right below our feet. It gave us that true rain forrest feel. The RD, John Salmonson, broke the silence with a prayer, which was a nice twist for this race. This race is very intimate and you're not just a number out there. Everybody is on a first name basis, and everybody is out there with the same goal in mind. Before I knew it, we were counting down from ten and the conch shell blew which signified the start of our journey. You immediately start climbing up hogs back which is a brutal climb that climbs about 1,000 ft in less then a mile. No switch backs and probably the worst footing you can imagine. The first 3 miles is off and on climbing to get to the top. Once up top it travels about half a mile through a big field of roots. The whole course is littered with roots but in this section you probably wont ever touch the actual ground, you just run on top of the roots which are slick as can be. Then you start the 3 mile descent trough manoa falls down to paradise park. Around manoa falls is probably the nastiest section of trail that exist. Its nothing but boulders that are so slippery that it takes a lot of concentration and strength to keep your feet under you. I arrived at the 7.3 mile paradise park aid station in 1 hour 50 minutes. I knew it was going to be a long race if the first section with fresh legs took that long. At that point you turn around and go right back up the same mountain you just came from. So another 3 mile climb and 3 mile descent and you're at the Nu'uanu aid station. At this point I had gone about 12.8 miles and been out there longer then it takes me to run a marathon. This entire course is made up of cliff side trails that are very narrow in a lot of spots. One wrong step could be bad. In a couple places there was a rope tide to the cliff side to make sure you don't slide off on the slippery rocks. I kept the advice of starting slow in my mind and finished loop one in exactly five hours.
|Up Hogs back of the H.U.R.T. 100 course|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - hogs back was the opening climb for each loop|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - manoa falls. Always nice to pass every loop.|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - staring at the landscape and trees never got old|
|On the way to the banquet. Looking back at where I spent a lot of time that weekend|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - these boulders were slick as ice|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - typical section of trail|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - climb from paradise park|
|H.U.R.T. 100 course - dark and lonely at night (this picture isn't even from night but you see how dark it is even during daylight hours)|
|H.U.R.T. 100 buckle - well earned and damn proud!|
|a touch of the sign is required to be an official finisher|
|at the H.U.R.T. 100 post race banquet - all the 100 mile finishers.|
|at the H.U.R.T. 100 banquet - all the first time 100 mile finishers|
|our hike on Friday before the race up to lighthouse piont|
|right place at the right time along waikiki beach. I watched this seal emerge from the water.|
|some well earned beers at an oceanside beach bar.|