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Hurt 2010: Wine and Cheese

Hurt time again … one of my all-time favourite races. A tough, painful and rewarding race, with 5 loops that seem to grow exponentially in length …


  • Pre-race hypochondria and paranoia: check.
    With not enough training due to my sprained ankle from a few months ago, I also came down with a cold the Sunday before the race to boot! Fatigue, congestion, etc. A shame to my education, I decided to try everything possible, from homeopathic “stuff”, zinc lozenges, massive amounts of vitamin C, silver-based nasal spray (I sort of get what that’s supposed to do, but it’s gross).  Anyways, friday I spent with noticeably elevated heart rate for whatever reason (probably nervous), but my cold seemed to be on its way out again .
  • Heat training: check
    Try Bikram Yoga in a fleece and in sunny spot on the heater side of the room. Don’t think about the fact that all the women think you’re the grossest person ever, given not drops, but streams of sweat flow to your towel … That and the good ole sauna suit … moron time!
  • Weight: fail
    10 lbs over what I want to be. What’s even more depressing though is that Mark Gilligan can run faster than me weighing 200+ lbs. Thank god he’s a total wuss (more later).
  • Chewing off passenger’s ear on the flight: check
    Poor Amy. Even worse, she might try trail running. Little does she know how much this actually sucks .
  • Traning: fail
    I don’t know what that “trining” is that other people appear to be doing, but it seems to work for them. Maybe I should try it.
  • Friends: check
    Not only would I meet my usual gang of HURT friends (Alex + family, Jeff, the whole HURT gang, Jamshid, Catra, Andy, Kevin, …) but we’d have a solid showing of bay area crazies this year (Wendell, Phyllis, Mark, Nathan Yanko!, Brett …)


I’ve written a bunch about HURT, so I’ll stick to the highlights this year:

  • Beat is a moron
  • Mark is a wuss
  • Wendell isn’t too smart either
  • Phyllis needs a stairmaster
  • Nathan needs to tell me what he’s doing
  • Monica Scholz RULES (and otherwise is completely insane)

Ok, the long version:

  • Lap 1: Feel sluggish, goes ok. 4:45 or so. It’s so dry, it’s dusty. And somehow the course isn’t really that much easier. It’s hot, I am drenched in sweat within 20 minutes, wearing only one thin short-sleeve layer at the start.
  • Lap 2: I actually feel better than on lap 1, even though I run out of water halfways through the first leg (toasty!). Catch up with Mark Gilligan (the boy added his girlfriend’s weight since last year and hasn’t trained in 4 months. Still he’s moving well. Jackass.) I think I’m going too fast, but am happy to get the two laps done in good time (about 10:30 I think). After the lap, I am HUNGRY. My strategy to eat only Chomps and gel blocks works ok so far, but I want some solid food. I mentioned many times: if I eat something solid before a massive climb, I get sick. Keeping this OUT of my  mind, I chow down a pork sandwich (greasy and oh so good – at that time) which I’ve never tried before.
  • Lap 3: After 10 minutes on Lap 3 I know I did it. Stomach is completely and utterly gone. My legs feel like lead, I am nauseated, and I don’t think I can finish this. I even try to stick my finger DEEP down my throat, but I can’t throw up much. The wretching makes me feel better though (yeah). Still, I’m going slow, and solid food is off the menu. At mile 49? I see Wendell and Phyllis coming down: they’ll quit at Paradise Park on loop 3. He can’t deal with the heat (no heat training -> tsk tsk). She can’t walk downhill, quads are completely busted. I am trying to get Wendell to go on, but he’s doing 7 miles in 3.5 hours instead of 2.5 (which is slow already) – not good. The rest of lap 3 is slow. 7:10 or so for this one. It gets a little cooler, and dark.
  • Lap 4: I’m moving – slowly but surely – ok now, food intake limited to a can or two of ginger ale or coke and half a bag of chomps or such. No wonder I’m not going too fast … Monica Scholz catches up with me. I am thankful for her, because her insanity (she’ll attempt to run 30! 100-milers this year) makes me look very normal, and secondly because she’s a smart and unbelievably consistent runner and makes me actually run faster as I stick with her. Monica doesn’t seem to leave anything up to chance, and I understand why she’s able to do the things she does. I’m in awe. Anyways, we have a good talk to boot.
  • Lap 5:  On the way up Hogsback I meet Mark Gilligan and Cindy coming down – Mark decided to QUIT because “his feet hurt” and he fell apart or so. I overtake Alex on the way down to Paradise Park. He’s been an hour ahead of me, but he has some NASTY blister/toenail problems, and he’s not moving fast. I’m pondering sticking with him, try for a while but the pace isn’t doing me any good – knees are complaining. So I try to catch up with Monica again, who is now 10 minutes ahead – alas, all I accomplish is totally spend myself. On the way up from Paradise Park I meet Mark, paced by no other than Tropical John! Turns out he decided to go on after all. He ponders quitting AGAIN, and I promise to buy him a Mai Tai if he finishes – but he has to buy me a Ferrari if he quits. He agrees to the bet (witnessed by John). The rest of the loop is ok, and I finish 21st – still slower than 2 years ago, but I’m happy.

My lap times: 4:48 5:25 7:12 7:41 7:01 (note the time at the start/finish counts to the next lap time, so lap 1 always seems a little shorter) which amounts to 32:18.


Wine and Cheese

Wine and Cheese Award

Fortunately this time I stayed an extra day, allowing me to hike from Waikiki to Diamond Head for recovery – on top of which I meet Nathan and Brett + company! They were mildly impressed by my ability to move well, while they were limping, but of course Nathan was a full 10 hours faster than me … ah well. He was still over 2 hours behind the winner and new course record holder, Gary Robbins (in a mind-blowing 20:12). The award ceremony was fun, and I win the “Wine and Cheese” award, which all of you who know me is totally and utterly unfounded because I never complain and say stuff like “it’s not my day” or “I’m not feeling it” or “I am sooo unprepared” or the like. Jeff sure thinks he’s funny. Well since I never stayed for an award ceremony I had it coming.

As for Mark, he’s the one guy I know who quit TWICE in a race – not far from the finish – and all because he had some blisters and his feet hurt. EVERYONES feet hurt at HURT! AND his girlfriend AND parents were there! He won’t live that one down. And I’m still waiting for my Ferrari. I think it should come any day now …

Despite the perfect conditions, the finisher rate is still under 50%. To make up for the lack of mud, I ran Pacifica 50k a week later, which was a total mudfest thanks to a solid week of rain here 🙂

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